November is National Novel Writing Month, usually shortened to Nanowrimo, shortened even further (by me and many others) to Nano.
The idea is you write a novel in one month – November. By ‘novel’ they mean 50,000 words.
I don’t normally bother with it, on the grounds than I can beat that target any month I choose. That’s not just an idle boast. I don’t do anything these days but write, and my typing speed is fast enough to produce well over 1000 words an hour. Since the Nano target is less than 1700 words per day, hitting it is quite easy for me. In theory.
I’m best known for my cosy crime series, the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries, but I’ve had a hankering for writing darker, grittier material for some time. And therein lies the reason for taking part in Nano this year.
Most writers come in with a plan. I have one too. My plan is to have no plan. I know where to start, I know where I’ll finish, so all I have to do is fill in the bit in the middle.
Most writers will also work linear. In other words, they start at the beginning and make their way methodically to the end. I don’t work like that. Instead, I carry out random sorties. I might right the opening, then the ending, then chapter seven, then a section of chapter nineteen… and so on. It may seem odd, working in this manner, but it ensures that I will never dry up.
The new work will be entitled Womanhunt, and it will be produced by Robert Devine. If you don’t know who Robert Devine is, it’s because you’re not paying attention. He’s me.
Womanhunt is the second in a series of planned works with the central character Wes Deakin, a general counsellor and therapist, who has suffered more than his fair share of psychological problems after his wife was murdered by a serial killer four years previously. The first in the series, Hunter’s Moon is complete, awaiting revision, editing and publication. I’m hoping to put that out before Christmas, and Womanhunt will follow sometime in the New Year.
I’m not gonna tell you anything more about them right now, but I will keep you posted on my Nano progress as we go through November.
And with that, I’d better get back to the keyboard. The 50,000 words won’t write themselves.