official website if you are interested in knowing more, so I'll keep this short: by taking part in NaNoWriMo, you are aiming to write a novel - or at least the first 50 000 words of a novel - between the 1st and 30th of November.
There are many people out there who say they want to write a novel, but the huge majority never get round to trying. So the idea behind NaNoWriMo is to get people just to get on with it. What started off as less than 20 people in the San Francisco area has grown to over 200 000 participants in the last dozen years or so. The organisers confess that what you produce is likely to be terrible - but that's not the point. Everyone who completes 50 000 words is a winner and who knows, you might just produce something terrible that has the potential to be turned into something better.
The novel I am planning to write is an amalgamation of ideas from previous short stories of mine that never quite worked as short fiction for various reasons. I'm excited about it, but I sort of feel that I don't know how to write a novel. That may sound a little strange coming from someone who has just written onel, but I look at The Crosser of the Worlds and wonder how on earth I ever managed to work out such a complex plot with the characters and structure to match. It seems like an impossible task to me, even in hindsight! However, I really want to try writing a novel for adults that isn't genre-specific and this seems like a good way to go about it.
In other news, I am currently working on one short story that I hope to finish by the end of the month. A week ago, I also received my first rejection for my novel. I sent it to The Greenhouse Agency on Friday evening and got rejected on Monday morning. Brutal! I'm working on the prinicpal of submitting to three agents at once. Every time I get rejected I submit to one more and in the mean time try to forget I ever wrote a novel in order to preserve my sanity. At least I'm not alone... I'm sure anyone who has been or is going through the submission process for a book will appreciate this light-hearted post about the process.
And finally, the news you've all been waiting for. Using my prize from the last short story competition I won, I have got round to buying a new coat so I can actually keep dry while wandering the high moor in fog and rain. As I said at the time of winning... it's a glamourous life this writing business, isn't it?