So, signups for Nano opened sometime late last night. For those who don’t know, Nano was started by a group of friends in San Fransisco who thought it would be cool to each write a 50,000 word novel in a month. To put that in perspective, the average novel is about 120,000 words. The point has been made that it might be better to call it Novella Writing Month (And it’s international, as well), but those people have been made to sit in a corner in shame and think about what they’ve done.
The first year, I think about 20 people did it. This year, they expect 75,000. It’s all on the honor system. I’m sure people cheat, but since you don’t really win anything, it’s like cheating at solitaire. I’ve never cheated. I finished in 2002, 2003, failed in 2004, and finished in 2005. It’s really amazing the first time you win (And pretty cool the other times). In 2002, I finished the 50,000th word of “The Dance of the Ducks” at about 10PM on November 29th. I rushed to Kinkos to print it out, but they were CLOSED. Lights on, doors locked. Oh, was I salty. I’ve harbored a bit of a grudge towards Kinkos ever since.
In 2003, I finished “Love in Black and White” on the 27th. I’m still working on LIBW. It’s up to maybe 75,000 words now (I write a bit every 6-8 months, it seems). It’s my favorite of the three, and the best prospect to be published should I ever finish it.
In 2004, I wrote about 450 words and didn’t get any further.
“The Dance of the Ducks” was a story about a man tormented by personal demons that manifest themselves as almost-real ducks. Then he becomes the hero and saves the girl and banishes the ducks. In 2005, I wrote “The Dance of the Ducks II - In the Land of the Ducks”. It’s something of a continuation of DotD I, except from the perspective of the ducks. It was the least serious (by far) of the three.
Anyway, it’s a lot of fun. As it gets more popular, it gets harder to find the people who are really into it because they tend to be obscured on the forums by forum-junkies who have 4000 posts in the Off-Topic forums in November, and only 3000 words in their novel. I’m not bitter, though.
So, you should all try it. It’s really a rush, the first time you hit the word count button and it says “50,000”. And I had never written 50,000 words before my first Nano. My longest story was about 20,000 words prior to DotD. I expect I will be doing something here to track my progress so you all can yell at me if I fall behind.