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National Novel Writing Month 2016

In November 2016, I am participating in National Novel Writing Month. Although it's easy to recognize that novels don't get completed in a month, some famous rough drafts were written in a literary sprint. Jack Kerouac's original scroll for the On the Road is said to have been written in less than a month, and Paul Auster's novella-length memoir "Portrait of an Invisible Man" is said to have been written in two to three weeks. It's possibly only rumor that Thomas Pynchon wrote a full draft of The Crying of Lot 49 in a few weeks.

For Fight for Your Long Day I used a period of significantly less than my usual workload combined with less access to the internet to write the full 90,000-word rough draft from late June through early August of 2004. Substantial editing was required before it was contracted in early February 2010 and then published on October 1 that year. Spark Park's 125,000-word rough draft was also written "on a roll," and I wrote many short stories that way years ago. Auggie's Revenge was written on and off from December 2004 through final edits in July 2015 without a sustained period of uninterrupted writing of more than several hours each day.

For #NaNoWriMo2016, I already have 37,000 words (135 double-spaced Word pages) for the sequel to Fight for Your Long Day, and my goal is to create a complete rough draft by November 30 and a good rough draft (something I could show a friend without too much embarrassment) by January 1. According to #NaNoWriMo's website the goal is a 50,000-word novel from November 1 through November 30, so what I am doing is similar, if not exactly the same.


Pete said…
My only published novel, Wheatyard, was written during two consecutive NaNoWriMos, ten years ago. I don't participate in the annual exercise any longer, but it was very helpful for me as a beginning writer.

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