Sunday, November 04, 2007

Happy NaNoWriMo to You! -- Eve

November is National Novel Writing Month, and I’m all signed up for NaNoWriMo! Okay, so I’m a few days late. Have any of you ever known me to be on time for anything?? Go to for more info, but basically it’s a nationwide project where we crazies pledge to write an entire novel in exactly one month!

My good friend, Tina Nichols Coury, once told me that John Lennon (yes, that John Lennon!) said he wrote his very best songs in the back of the car on the way to the studio. I believe he personally said this to Tina’s husband several times back in the day, when they hung out together. Long story! Anyway, though I’ve never been a “work better under pressure” kind of person, I think of John Lennon’s words often. And, these days, I’m finding that I actually do some of my best work with a self- or agent-imposed deadline. Who knew?

After the recent release of two YA novels (that shall remain nameless) that share the exact same premise as my YA love story work-in-progress that I’ve been obsessed with for the past year, I had exactly two days to re-think, re-synopsize and re-write my story, so that it would not appear to be a knock-off of either of these critically acclaimed YA masterpieces (even though I had the idea way before coming across either of these). Whew! What a fun 48 hours! The reason for the deadline is that I’m attending the Big Sur Children’s Writing Workshop at the end of November, and had to FedEx part of the ms for editorial critique by, um, yesterday. And the reason I started the process so late is because I didn’t finish revising my MG novel for my agent until Wednesday. So, I re-started my YA book at midnight Thursday. NaNoWriMo to the rescue!

Even though I was heartbroken to abandon my genius hook and plot, I found that working under the gun actually worked to my advantage. Lack of sleeping, eating, and bathing does wonders for my creative side. I watched a Charles Schulz biography on TV recently that described his battle with depression. He used to withdraw from society for long stretches of time, hole up in his office with only paper and ink, and, ironically, create his very best work. I’m not suggesting that anybody submit to depression on purpose to enhance his or her creative work, but I’m finding that sometimes I do my best work when I’m somewhat withdrawn and “in my own head” for a while. Which translates into refusing to take calls, emails, or visitors for awhile. Sorry, Jay and Robin!

But, I digress. The idea of NaNoWriMo freaked me out at first. I thought How? Why? But when I realized that I had no choice but to write a whole new novel in one month (the Big Sur Workshop starts on November 30th, and I need to have a crappy first draft complete by then), I said, “Bring it!” And then I said, “It’s already been brough’in!” And then I said, “Si, se puede!” *

Happy NaNoWriMo! Please let me know if you are one of the “crazies” who signed up, too!

- Eve

* Please forgive the inside-jokes aimed at Robin :)


Hélène Boudreau said...

Yay! another crazy NaNoWriMo-er!

I am updating my progress on my blog so feel free to drop in on my NaNoWriMo-er party.

It really isn't a shameless plug (honest), I'm just so happy there are other housework-avoiding, shower-forgoing, cooking-ignoring crazies like me who have taken the challenge.

(I really should bathe today though...)

Jen said...

I'm swimming in the NaNo soup, too. I'm behind right now and am floundering more than last year, but I'm not giving up.

Emily Marshall said...

Yep, I'm another NaNo "crazy." Good luck on your project, Eve.

Patty Palmer said...

Hey Eve,
Glad to hear you'll be in Big Sur. I'll see you there...that is if my 20 pages pass the scrutiny of the admission policy.
Good luck with the novel writing in a month thing--utter craziness!

cynjay said...

Yay for you and the NaNo! I'm not doing it this year because the timing is wrong - I'm revising my YA so I can get it to Agent Erin by next Friday and if I try to start the next thing right now my head is going to explode. If I'm dead, there will be nobody to clean up the mess.

I'm missing Big Sur this year (next year?!?), but I am going to register for Asilomar in February. Monterey anyone???

Linda D. (sbk) said...

I wanted to do it this year, too, but the timing is wrong. I think my family would have me committed if I took on something like that right now.

I did it last year, though and had tons of fun. Well, it was fun for the first two weeks. The rest is a blur.

Candace said...

Ahem...*raises hand* crazy here.

I'm a few thousand words in already; my goal is to write roughly 2000 words a day (which is basically one chapter a day). This is my first NaNo and I'm having lotsa fun with it!

Disco Mermaids said...

Wow! So happy to be in such good company! The message boards are hilarious. I could read them all day...but then of course I would't have time to crank out 2000 words a day.

Candace- is that really what we're talking 'bout here? 2K words a day?? Guess I forgot to do the math. I did about, uh, 10 words yesterday. Good? I'd better step it up, quick!

Would love to hear about everybody's progress. You can always email me at
if you're feeling stressed. I'm a good listener. On email, anyway!

Good luck fellow NNWM-ers!!


Hélène Boudreau said...

There's a FaceBook page, too. Another time waster.

Oh! and an application to add a word counter thingie to your FaceBook profile.

I'm shooting for 1,600 a day (50,000/30)--a huge struggle for me. I've never written anything longer than 30,000 words and THAT took me 2 years. erp!

Good luck, everyone!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to Big Sur too.
And using that deadline to
write like crazy a
few things I'd let flounder.


Jodi said...

This is my third consecutive NaNo, and as of Sunday night, 7:10 EST, I am 15,544 words in. If I'm lucky, I can continue to plug more words than 1667 a day and finish early; I have two papers for graduate courses due right after Thanksgiving and finding time for both is a challenge!

BTW - visit my LJ ( for an exciting post about 13 Reasons Why!

Candace said...

Lol, well, if you wanna be real technical about it, it comes out to somewhere around 1,667 per day + some fraction of a day. But I'm anticipating those days where an extra two hours of sleep, or a day at the mall sounds better, so if I skip a day I won’t be too behind. A good way to keep up your word count: Challenge someone to a word war. Set a time limit, see who can write the most. My friend and I did a 5 min one the other day and it was fun! Eve, keep going you just need 49,990 more! :D

Hélène Boudreau said...

How's Nano going Eve?

Do we get an update? :-)