Friday, October 31, 2008

Writing a novel

If you happen to remember, one of my goals for this trip is to write something. Though I am open to what I write, I have had some very specific ideas about some possibilities. And one of my big ideas is to write a young adult novel.

I have very fond memories of reading when I was younger. I hated reading until I was about 10. And then... I discovered the oh-so-wonderful Baby-Sitters Club series, and then I was hooked. Forever. For several years, I would get a weekly allowance of $5 and mom would walk over with me to the bookstore in the World Trade Center and she'd unleash me... I'd run to the young adult section and choose the next BSC book in the series. They were $4.99 and that's where my money went. I'd start the book as soon as I got home, reading constantly. I'd balance the book on the table, it bent around my plate as I ate. I was lost in Stonybrook, with Kristy, Claudia (God, I wanted to be her!), Maryanne, Dawn and Stacey. Baby-Sitting, dealing with boys, solving mysteries...

It was bliss.

And I want to do that for someone. I want to create a world where a young adult girl can get sucked into, and enjoy herself and be creative and learn new things. Especially after working students for the last two years, and seeing what some of them read.

Anyway, I have been writing while I've been here... probably not as much as I should, but I have written some. And I often get frustrated with the editing and going back and censoring or changing what I've written... nervous that it sounds stupid or doesn't make sense.

But NOW, well, now I have an answer to my prayers. All thanks to my friend Carrie! Carrie's facebook status today read "Carrie is writing a novel in November and thinks you should too." I like Carrie. I think she's cool, and more than that, I think she's smart. I take her advice. I appreciate her opinions. So I went to the site. And it's great!

This is the site fo
r National Novel Writing Month, and the gist is this: You write a novel. In November. I will start tonight, at midnight, and keep on writing till November 30th. By midnight on November 30th, I submit my work, the words are counted (and then the contents deleted - I was concerned about copyrights, plagiarism, etc. but it seems legit) and if you have written 50,000 words by then, well, you win.

What do you win? Mainly the satisfaction that you have written a novel (or at least begun one). There's no editing during this month, it's, as the site says, an "experiment in output." That's what got me. I like output. I want to output some writing. I'll worry about editing and changing things later.

I think this rocks. I am so excited about doing this - I think it's got just enough of a gimick to keep me going. You can update your word count as often as you like, and see how you are doing. It's fun. It's exciting. I'll let you know how it's going!


  1. Claudia is cool, but I think Stacey is way better. Even though she has to deal with diabetes, she had that great hair and lived in NYC and yes, Claudia had the cool fashion sense and almond shaped eyes (if I recall), but Stacey wasn't hurtin in the looks and fashion department either.

    At least neither of us wants to be Ramona...

  2. I was a big fan of MaryAnne. I was the same way growing up. As a matter of fact, I credit much of my fervent creativity to BSC. I love reading and writing now where, before I started reading those books, I hated it.

    Oh, I'm a fellow NaNoWri as well.

  3. Star - I agree, Ann M. Martin is a major source of inspiration. Off topic: I notice you are in Beloit! I went to Beloit College for a year back in 1998. Small world!