And we are off!

Today is the first day of November, and that makes it the first day of National Novel Writing Month. The goal is 50,000 words towards a novel captured over the thirty days of November. So how do you start? If you want to be part of the official challenge, then visit NaNoWriMo.org. Create an account and start writing. That site is filled with helpful suggestions and provides a word count tool as well as goodies if you succeed.

There are many parts of writing to address, and there is no specific order to do them in. Each writer will find this or her own comfort zone. What is the type of story (short story or novel), genre (romance, adventure, science fiction, historic), characters and title? Sometimes choosing one item creates one of the others. Choosing a genre, say adventure, drives character names such as Rock or Hunter. You may not even know what kind of story you are writing until you get into it. Last year, I ended up with a romance, definitely not what I started with.

This year, I am attempting a science fiction effort. I have a good idea about character names and personalities from ideas I have had in the past. Now I have to put those personalities together. I do not have a complete plot idea, just a rough outline in my head.

Now the idea is not to get a complete novel written, although that would be great. The idea is to write. The distractions will be significant. There is work, family, an election and all of the other every day events that keep us from writing. So the true challenge is to push all of this aside and write. I don’t suggest sacrificing your career or ignoring your children, on the contrary, use your specialties to make your story more complete, talk to you kids about what you are writing, they may ask the questions that give you your breakthrough. Every experience can lead to an idea.

I do not just encourage you to write, I also encourage you to let us know how you are doing right here on TheSoapBoxers.com. The only limitation is to remember that this is a family friendly site.

50,000 words is about 1667 words per day. Good luck!

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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