How Do I Write a Novel?

Categories: Personal

The title of this blog post isn’t catchy clickbait to entice you to learn how to write a novel. In fact, it’s a genuine question:

How do I write a novel?

In honor of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge, I’m procrastinating by writing up a blog post about it. Procrastination at its finest.

So the challenge is to set yourself up to write some set number of words to complete a novel, which contains, by most definitions, at least 50k words. That’s about 200 pages (two-fifths of a ream of printer paper single-sided, one-fifth double-sided), double-spaced, 1-inch margins.

I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I stopped writing consistently after high school, when college seemingly up-ended my priorities and scattered me about. But that didn’t stop me from trying to continue writing where I could; I’ve got loads of horrible writing drafts and prompts from college that will never see the light of day. (And I’m okay with that)

The most writing I did in the past few years were papers for classes (probably the longest was a 15-pager for Philosophy of Mind) and…blog content. Yeah, that’s it. So longform is definitely not a strong suit of mine.

Why participate in 2016 then?

You could argue that I’m not ready, and I’d agree with you. But I think I’m about tired of not being “ready”. There’s something fairly seductive about being a “pantser” once in a while–being someone who does little to no planning but lets things resolve on their own “as nature intended”, so to speak.

There you have it–my plan for this year’s NaNoWriMo. To be a pantser. And enjoy every second of it.

NaNoWriMo for me this year represents a lot more than just writing; it’s about being able to express myself, to be able to let loose when my life for the past few months has been about forcing myself into the status quo.

I'm going to be weird and I'm going to like it. Via Giphy
I’m going to be unapologetically weird and I’m going to like it. Via Giphy

So I’m going to challenge myself and set a goal of writing 50k words this month. Though it’s possible that I’ll hit that 50k mark, it’s also very likely that I won’t succeed. But my hope is that I’ll become a better writer in the pursuit.

How about you? Are you planning on participating in NaNoWriMo? Let me know (or you can find me on the NaNoWriMo website) and maybe we can bounce a few ideas off each other. 🙂


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