Madeleine Marsh


First Post - NaNoWriMo, One Month of Writing

Every November 1st for the last nine years I've joined tens of thousands of others worldwide and embarked on a month-long journey of discovery.  NaNoWriMo, the National (more International these days) Novel Writing Month , is open to anybody and everybody.  The goal is to write at least 50,000 words in thirty days, to be the proud owner of a finished manuscript on November 30th, however draft, however skeletal.  

It's a deadline worth working to, with daily support from other NaNolians by way of forums, Twitter sprints, novel covers, author interviews and prep talk posts.  It inspires would-be novelists like me to write in every spare moment we have; mornings, evenings, lunch breaks; in coffee shops, on the toilet, at the dinner table; those times when you wake up at 4am and absolutely have to write or you've no chance of sleeping.

For one month in every year, NaNoites have an excuse to miss meals, to not do the cooking or washing up, to forget to feed the cat.  It's thirty days in which we celebrate the written word, bask in the glory of prose, shake the dust off the thesaurus.  It's a great chance to chat with other writers and discuss those important questions; which tense suits the plot best, whose point of view should the narrative be written from, should your hero wear jeans or hot pants.

I've been participating since 2003 and over the years I've written such potential novels as The Art of Necro-Gastronomy, a supernatural adventure in cookery; The Graphical Relocation of Currency, an English village heist; The Sundial Group, a whodunnit in higher education; Shooting Holmes, murder on a film set; Waterfall, a spy thriller set in Geneva after the Iraq war.  Every year it's such fun to just let the words flow.  There's no time for editing, for re-reading and re-writing.  It's all about the first draft, that initial splurge of prose onto the blank page.

This year, however, I'm sacrificing the experience in order to concentrate on finalising what is going to become my first published novella.  And it's a NaNoWriMo manuscript, re-read, re-written, but conceived between November 1st and November 30th 2010.  Its working title, its registered title on the NaNoWriMo website, was Imago: an often idealized image of a person, usually a parent, formed in childhood and persisting unconsciously into adulthood.

It has since been renamed for its imminent publication to something a bit snappier... The House at the End of the World.  Okay, if not more snappy then definitely more descriptive.

This book will be my first venture into the scary world of publication, this post-apocalyptic love story featuring an old lady who knits creatures with teeth, a landlord who speaks in Haikus and a small group of unlikely saviours trapped in someone's utopia.

I’d like to thank everyone in advance, those who are going to be involved in getting it out there over the coming months.  Sacrificing NaNoWriMo this year is a big step for me, but I think - I hope - it's going to be worth it.

Last updated: 2013-08-25 13:04:59

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