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02 November 2010

NaNoWriMo and the Death of Harold

I signed up for NaNoWriMo this weekend after performing some astoundingly inaccurate long division. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and the idea is to write a 50,000 word story during the month of November. That's on the short side for a novel, but according to the NaNo organizers it is challenging but achievable. The math mistake I made was to divide 50,000 by 30 and come up with 1066. I even took it as a good sign -- 1066, Battle of Hastings, what the hell!  I realized Sunday evening that 50,000 words divided by 30 days is not 1066 but 1666 or even 1666.666666666 forever. 1666 is, interestingly, a significantly different proposition from 1066. You wouldn't think 600 would make that much difference. Oh but they do.

(source - section from Bayeux Tapestry, showing the death of Harold - the last English king. I saw the tapestry this summer by the way -- highly recommended)


By the time I realized my error, I'd mentally committed to the project.  I know it will be challenging but it is only for 30 days, and if I manage to get to 50,000 well, that will really be something. It won't be beautiful by any means, but what I hope to achieve is what Anne Lamott would call a shitty first draft. Shitty but a draft. A done one.

So, yesterday I did all my words and this morning I did about 1000. The challenge for me will be tonight and any other night, if I have to write then. I have already warned the girls that they might be cooking supper this month... They think I'm joking.

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