Why I do NaNoWriMo: My Goals and Expectations

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Man looking at the stars

While NaNoWriMo is a great experience in itself (I mean, just in a month, you end up with a novel, right?), I look at it as a great opportunity to solve my writing problems.

Being more of a planner than a pantser, I surrounded myself with walls of the heavy outline and left little space to be free to change my mind or play with my writing as I did when I was a kid. I struggled with moving forward, trying to write in the confines of the outline. But I found that while sticking to the plan, writing every line and every scene felt like hard work, not like fun.

And then I got that email from BookBaby where they share their awesome calendar for NaNoWriMo participants. And I thought, hey, why don’t you sign up? So I signed up. 🙂

A new beginning

First, I wanted to write another 50,000 words for my current book, “How to Save a Princess.” But I decided I need a fresh project. I needed something brand-new, without any set boundaries yet. I needed a book I can write freely, play with, try new tricks on.

So I sorted through my Evernote ideas notebook and picked up a few, then finally selected one with a silly title “Invasion of the Veggie Snatchers.” It seemed just perfect to write for NaNoWriMo.

Here’s what’s it about:

It’s a parody sci-fi/fantasy thriller with allusions to many characters from popular movies and books like Alice in Wonderland, Matrix, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Predator, Alien, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Call of Cthulhu, Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Stephen King’s It and others.

One way or another, all those different characters come to one parallel world slightly resembling the land of Oz mixed with Panem from Hunger Games with towns like Merry Derry, Twin Pines, Silent Lamb Hills, Cocoon City.

Our heroes all struggle to accomplish their personal goals but they are united before the face of an ancient aliens’ invasion who turn vegetables into walking monsters drinking people alive. All they want is to survive traveling up to the yellow brick road with a little hope that in the Green Capitol they would be safe. For Christian Green better known as Mighty Wizard surely could protect the city and figure out how to stop the aliens’ invasion, right?

Why do I do Nano

There’s a few reasons:

  • I want to develop a habit of writing daily.
  • I want to test my limits. Can I balance my work and walks with wife and still manage to write 1700 words a day?
  • It can be possible if I won’t edit my manuscript while writing. I noticed this sin in me and I’m really determined to get rid of it.
  • In a month, I will have a book I can potentially sell. Yeah, I fancy myself as an author who can start to make a living from his writing some day. And then maybe my wife won’t ever think he made a bad choice of a husband. 🙂
  • I want to push myself even harder and break the language barrier, and that means I’m not writing in my mother tongue.

Even bigger challenge

Since I’m Russian and live in Russia, it would be obvious for me to write NaNoWriMo book in Russian, right? So I decided I need a real challenge: write 50,000 words in English, straight out of my head, not translating from Russian into English. Well, frankly, that was my beautiful wife’s idea. She likes to push me to the limits. 🙂

So here I am writing a novel in English as a second language. Sometimes looking a word up. Sometimes trying to figure out how to tell what I see inside my head in English. But overall, I’m just amazed with the flow of the words and ideas. It turned out to be easier than I thought. After a few years reading in English only, it seems so natural to write in English, too.

I know my grammar leaves much to be desired and my choice of words is probably poor for a native. But hey, I’m really writing a novel in English! For the first time in my life. It’s really happening.

If you feel like connecting with me on Nano site, look me up as AlexKoolaev. Will be glad to have buddies like you. I’m also open for emails and Facebook chats. Just drop me a line.

Good luck with your Nano book!

Featured image credit: Greg Rakozy