Every year, fools like me, put themselves through thirty days of craziness for the chance to write 50,000 words in that short amount of time. I’ve been participating since 2007, I think. In that time, I have managed to hit the magic number only twice. Even so, I make amazing inroads into whatever I’m working on. I might manage a measly 30,000 words but it’s still an accomplishment.
As a sane person, you might ask, why not write consistently every day and not worry about putting yourself through hell one month out of the year? That is an excellent question and I have a less than excellent answer for you—and a long-winded one at that: Humans need carrots (I prefer pizza). Even writers, who are generally considered loners, need the camaraderie an organized event like this provides to generate the enthusiasm and drive to put out just a little more effort. It’s a competition of sorts, with a few bragging rights involved, which makes it fun to post your accomplishments for your friends to see. They cheer you on and they offer encouragement when things aren’t going well. Seeing what others have managed can also get you to pull yourself up by your typing fingers and fight for that extra thousand words.
I have high hopes for this year. Since I’m feeling so much better, I’m writing more than double each week what I did before my CPAP treatment. When I’m particularly inspired by a scene I’m working on, the word count can leave me blinking in wonder. I did that?
In addition to writing, I’ve been fiddling with the character designs for the next cover. You heard it here first, the characters for book IV’s cover will be Lord Icewind and Lady Culna’mo. I’ve got Lord Icewind down pretty good, but Lady Culna’mo is giving me some trouble. I think I may have hit on a design, though, I’ll work on her more today.
Going back a few months, I wrote most of a short story which takes place about ten years after the events in the Chronicles of Shadow series. I finished up the story and sent it to a kind, patient lady to look over. I’m sure it needs some work. Maybe a lot of work. I haven’t dared read through it since I initially typed it out. At any rate, once it is finally in polished form, I’ll be making it available for free as a gift in return for joining a mailing list. I know. I know. Everyone has a friggin’ mailing list. Unfortunately, it is one of those things the people “in the know” swear is necessary for anyone serious about writing as a more than a hobby. The good news is, seeing as I’m so sporadic about blogging, you don’t have to worry about drowning in a barrage of emails from me.
I’ll try to get at least one more post up before November 1st. Odds are, once the challenge starts, I won’t have the ambition to do anything other than pound keys toward my word count goal. Wish me luck! The more I get done the sooner Book IV will hit the virtual shelves.