Considering that I work with cutting-edge space technology, am constantly educating myself about the latest advances in science and engineering, and have been taking things apart and putting them back together for decades (I guess I never grew out of that phase of my childhood), it might not seem intuitive that I live under a bit of a digital rock. Sure, I run a website. Sure, I have my own blog. Sure, I am basing the entire project that is IGC Publishing around people being more inclined to spend their time perusing the vast reaches of the internet than I am. All those things are true. It is also true that I don’t have a social media presence (something that I know, rationally, I should change, so that I can better promote this site, but that I just haven’t convinced myself to do yet), and am notoriously behind when it comes to all manner of popular culture references. I’ll get your reference if you allude to Dante’s Inferno, but Twitter? I’m pretty sure that’s still the little noises that birds make outside my window on a bright, crisp, autumn morning.
So yes, I admit that I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo, despite it being one of the most popular events for the past several years for aspiring writers. The goal of it is to help people establish a writing habit, so it’s not that I don’t support the mission. In fact, I post writing prompts here on the site precisely because I want to encourage people to write more. And the idea of basically free-writing a short novel in the course of a month isn’t a bad one. As unreasonable as it might sound, writing fifty thousand words in a month is not all that much of a stretch, if you’re willing to make a routine out of it. The first draft of the first Fo’Fonas novel was one hundred and fifty thousand words, and I wrote that over six of the busiest months I’ve had, work-wise.
If I weren’t in the midst of writing Blood Magic, I might have considered participating in this event this year, but I’m hard at work finishing the last two episodes of the first season, and then I will probably try to start right in on the first episode of season two. Although I call them short stories, each Blood Magic episode is at least seven thousand words (usually ten thousand plus), which is where most people would say that short stories end and novelettes begin (I don’t like the term “novelettes,” though, so I still think of them as short stories. The format here on the site allows me to be a little more flexible with word counts than I could be in a more traditional forum). For reference, most people use these definitions (I cut out the novelette category and stretch short stories up to twenty thousand words):
- Short Story: <7000 words
- “Novelette”: <17000 words
- Novella: <80000 words
- Novel: >80000 words
However, although I won’t formally be participating on this year’s NaNoWriMo, I know that there are many people who find the event helpful, so if that’s you, I encourage you to participate, and invite you to post your progress in the comments below. You can also leverage our writing prompts here on the site (which I will attempt to update more frequently this month) if you’re running into trouble with ideas. Happy writing!