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NaNo19: It’s begun!

Welcome to November. Somewhere across America, fingers are flying with a frenzied energy as a writer is pouring their soul onto the page in a maddeningly exciting, stressful, and crazy experiment called National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) where writers across the globe attempt to produce a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days. You’ve heard me blog about it before. You may have checked out my articles and resources. If you’re a longtime friend or reader, you might even remember my own failed attempts, and the one, glorious year (2012) where I actually met the 50k/30 days challenge. And yes, it was as nerve-wracking as you can imagine. After setting aside my fiction writing for a number of years, I’d like to do a second experiment this month: was it a fluke, or can lightning strike twice? How close in a single month can one determined writer (namely, me) get to the 50k goal, with very little in the way of preparation?

The antagonists:

Time. I will be working full-time, and additionally, have a second job that I will need to do over the next month. I’m honestly not sure if this is really enough time in my life right now to accomplish this, but I’d like to try.

Age. The difference of a decade is huge. Body changes, energy changes. There’s a big difference between your 20’s and your 30’s, and your 30’s and your 40’s. Just keeping it real.

The mind game. This can be fatal.

Plantsing. Yes, this is a word. It’s a cross being pantsing and planning. This is the method that I intend to try out for this crazy adventure. This may be a trickster, either an antagonist or ally, we’ll have to wait and see.

The allies:

Vacation days. I’ve got a couple scheduled in here or there. I’m going to need all of the time I can get.

A light work load. I’m trying to focus on reducing the amount of work from my second job (agenting) this month to free up some time for this challenge.

Pre-planned blog updates. So I can focus this month solely on drafting, I’ve sketched out the blog updates here for the month during October. There will be real updates on how things are going (namely the “End of the Week” posts), but the target goals for each week “Week # Overview” have been drafted weeks in advance to give me goal posts for the month.

Plantsing. I am generally a plotter so I’ve got a rough idea of what the story is about, and even as I am writing this (in October), there is still a lot up in the air.


The Project:

A West End starlet, a Wall Street tycoon, and a fortune in diamonds; it sounds like the perfect wedding, but who put the Grim Reaper on the guest list?

This is the “elevator pitch” for my project, traipsing the lines between a literary novel (in ambition) and a genre novel (based on my past reading preferences), so, the goal is to give the idea some breathing room and see how it develops and like any first draft, it’s going to be absolutely dreadful. Just don’t chuck out any ideas — let it develop on its own and see what you’ve hatched.

My as-yet-untitled “Lake Project” (see image above) is aiming to be a 90,000-word novel, so the drafting phase is likely to will spill over into December 2019.


This year, NaNoWriMo starts on a Friday so there’s going to be a lot of writers (me included) trying to make as much headway over the weekend as possible. If you’re not interested in this November challenge, no worries! Just auto-delete those subscription reminders, or skip clicking the Twitter posts between now and November 30th. Things should get back to normal here sometime in December January.

If you are interested in following along the journey, hurray! Check back on Monday for an overview of the goalposts for the first full week of NaNoWriMo. I’ll talk to you soon!

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Lauren Miller is a Midwestern born writer with a passion for Jesus, the written word, and dogs. She has two decades of experience in the library field and reviews books for the Historical Novels Review (UK). She likes to spend her free time enjoying period films, discovering new reads, and being surrounded by other people’s pets. Lauren, her husband, and their wily Maine Coon (who isn’t quite a dog) live in Missouri. You can learn more about Lauren’s writing at LaurenJoanMiller.com.

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