A couple of weeks ago, Evie called Sarah with a pretty outlandish proposal: “Want to do National Novel Writing Month with me?”
NaNoWriMo, as it’s known, is an annual event in which writers from around the globe commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. That’s about 200 pages to tackle, starting November 1.
If you’ve been listening to our podcast, Best Friend Banter, you heard us talk about trying to balance full-time motherhood with writing in our “Domesticity + Dreams” episode. Writing a novel in 30 days with young kids running around won’t be easy, but we’re going for it!
We’re going to be doing a lot of writing next month. Fiction writing. As we navigate our imaginations, we’ll be sharing our process here. You’ll see some posts where we update our progress, share our different writing strategies (we couldn’t be more different!), and if we’re brave, you may even see a sneak peek or two of the content. Of course, we’ll still be updating the site as well with other essays, so stay tuned!
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? If so, what type of writer are you?
Do you have a perfected outline before you even put pen to paper? (Just like Evie!)
Or, do you write from the heart, letting the story come to life as it unfolds? (Like Sarah!)
Team Evie? Or Team Sarah? Let us know!
A Few Details About What’s Been Happening as We Prepare!
Sarah: I’ve been thinking about characters for weeks, their flaws and successes, and a plot that will tie all of these characters together.
Evie: I’ve had a few ideas floating around in my head for a while now, so I talked through each with my husband and Sarah to pick one. Then, I started character development, finding pictures to represent major players and developed character profiles. Now, I’m outlining using the story beats method, in excruciating detail :)
Biggest fears about NaNoWriMo
Sarah: Time. I’m not sure I’ll have the time to devote to the story. I haven’t written a big project since before I had kids, and then, I used to write all weekend, barely stopping to eat. Now, of course, I can’t do that, and get interrupted constantly. I’m not sure how I’ll be able to get super involved in the story if I have to keep stopping.
Evie: Time. I’m big on breaking big projects down into digestible bites, but NaNoWriMo makes that hard. In order to stay on track, you really need to write more than 1,500 words each and every day, which seems impossible! Maybe buckle down on the weekends??
Previous experience writing fiction
Sarah: I have written two novels but they were not published. I had my first book published in 2013, called “Making Kid Time Count; Ages 0-3, The Attentive Parent Advantage.” That book was non-fiction, but I had some creative license with it. I studied fiction writing in college and was part of a fiction workshop group after college.
Evie: None, whatsoever. I probably haven’t written a piece of fiction since middle school. Yikes.
Sarah: Anything by Jodi Picoult, Tim O’Brien, and “Little Children” by Tom Perrotta
Character driven or plot driven?
Sarah: Both. There have to be strong characters and a moving plot with a clear rising action and climax, in order to keep readers feeling interested and satisfied.
Evie: I love a good character driven novel, but I hate walking away from a book not being able to say what it was about.
Sarah: No idea…that always comes last!
Evie: Um, Love, Whispered for now?