It’s called NaNoWriMo. And though it sounds like a character from a Star Wars movie, it’s something Wes Davies takes very seriously.
Davies, a first-year scriptwriting student, is one of hundreds of thousands who are working to write 50,000 novels by the end of November as part of National Novel Writing Month, an annual international internet-based creative writing challenge.
“I want to see what type of manuscript results from 30 days of reckless writing where the author throws out all the rules of writing.” Kelly Buell
Some people choose to bend the rules a little, writing short stories or essays instead of a book. Others use the time to finish a book they’ve already begun.
“I’m a sci-fi guy,” he said. “There’s a new author I’ve been reading a lot of named Hugh Howie. He wrote a book called Wool, which was actually a NaNoWriMo book from 2009. That was pretty much what got me into NaNoWriMo.”
While Davies completed the 50,000 word challenge his first year, his book has yet to be finished, an intention that might be seen to fruition this month, despite the fact that Davies is working on a second novel: a science fiction about robots.
“It takes place roughly 30 years from now when they’re just developing A.I. Technology. They realize before they can mass-produce these robots, they have to put them through lots of testing,” he said.
“It’s kind of dark because you have this doctor putting these robots through horrible psychological torments; the doctor becomes less human than the robots.”
“This new one is actually already almost done, so I might cheat a little and finish that book and then go back and write the ending of the book I did last year,” said Davies. “I did some research and the general consensus is as long as you hit your word count, you’re good.”
Kelly Buell, a graduate of Algonquin’s journalism program in 2001, is already 26,000 words into writing a quality draft of her first novel after about six months of serious work. Her interest in NaNoWriMo was piqued while pursuing creative writing at Humber College.
“This is my first NaNoWriMo project, but I have been a published writer for almost 17 years,” she said. “I want to see what type of manuscript results from 30 days of reckless writing where the author throws out all the rules of writing.”