Posted by: shelleyjo's life beat | November 18, 2012

NaNoWriMo Month and the Novella

As many of you know, November each year is National Novel Writing Month.

It is a sort of competition and challenge, and there are prizes, but mostly it is just to motivate people to write an entire novel and submit it within that one month.

I have always wanted to participate, and usually end up too distracted or ill in November to think of a story, much less write one.

Truth be told, I have never written a story. I have attempted to write a couple of poems, and they are posted under the category Poem. They were spontaneous, and one was in response to a quiz I had taken online. It turned out to be a dirty rotten trick!

I was on a quiz site, and the end of this one booted me to a contest in poetry. You had to write, I think it was 20 lines of a poem. So, in the wee hours of the morning, on a work day where I got up by 5:00 a.m. to get ready for work, I wrote 20 lines, and stopped dead on the count. I didn’t like the end, but it was 20 lines so I clicked send.

They said I would have it read and “graded” by a teacher, so that seemed fun.

I turns out that it was a bogus book company, that made people pay to be published. By pay, I mean you had to buy the book. My youngest brother is a poet, and some of his stuff is really very good. He knew they were bogus, too. But, we thought it might be very fun for our mom to have 2 of her kids’ work published in the same book, so off he sent his poems in. We wanted to give her a book with both of us published in it for Christmas.

Well, we were in 2 different books, and both of ours were on page 1! See the scam? Then we “won” an opportunity to go to a convention, etc. Pay, pay, pay. Of course, neither of us went any farther, and I still laugh if I go through a box that book is in. That book with its glued on picture on the front. It appears to have been put together in someone’s basement, didn’t have the title they said on either of the books, and was so cheaply made.

I say this because that is the only writing I have done, aside from writing this blog, and writing instructions for things, which I am very good at. I haven’t even written a term paper for school! Nothing. Nada.

I do write prayers out, as well, but I don’t count that the same kind of thing as writing a novel, or story.

On to the point:

Without realizing what I was doing, that in November I had dashed out a story! It is not bad, but not great and needs a lot of work.

I was browsing my facebook feed page and came across a quote I had never seen before!

Silly that I can be at times, I took it as a challenge of sorts. To write a great story. Well, my story needs a lot of work to become great, but tonight before going to bed, my dear sister, Diana @ told me she enjoyed it! There are a couple of places in it that are too detailed and not good for people who distract easily (which we both are), but it did make her laugh and then say, what? at times. and that is what I wanted!

It is novella length, with over 8,000 words, and I have some great ideas to go with it. I am considering a trilogy! Ha-ha! My first written story and I am having to pare it down and split it up to become 3 stories. I will add to each one and am enjoying just thinking of it.

I hadn’t realized before just how much work is in writing a story. Who would have thought that taking the awesome and fun stories in your imagination could be so much work to put to paper and bring your reader to the same enjoyment you have? But it is definitely work that I am enjoying immensely.

I was quite ill the nights I was writing, but it was a great way to be able to stay upright and not lie down too much.

I have so much to learn! How do I make footnotes? How do I make the tiny little numbers where they will go with the footnotes? How do you decide where to split things into chapters? Hmmm. It’s a curious thing. Fun times!

Aside from being so ill with anaphylaxis and general allergies being at their height of glory, the writing of the story has taken my time and energy, so I haven’t been blogging. I haven’t forgotten you! I am just distracted and tired.

All of this to say, I did it! I wrote a novella length story in November! I didn’t join in the competition to share it, but I have been writing it, and have the chance to clean it up and finish it soon, perhaps before the end of the month. But we will see.

What started as a tongue-in-cheek joke has turned into a story. My nephew, Dan is a writer of short stories and has finally been published! I am so proud of him. My sister is a wonderful and creative writer, and my friend Diane is a good writer. So, I am surrounded with creative talent, and am hoping to join the ranks of the good ones. Wouldn’t that be grand?

I am so happy!

What about you?

Do you participate in NaNoWriMo?

Do you like writing?

What style of writing do you prefer? Books? Poems? Instruction? Plays?

What is your genre and how does it work out for you? Comedy? Romance? Drama? Horror?

I really would love to hear from you about this! I would love to hear about your experiences as a writer and creative artist. And, I would love to read your work, if it is available to read.

Please do share with us!

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