CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For veterans, the nickname is NANOWRIMO, which translates into National Novel Writing Month. That would be November, and the motto of the international effort's website is: "The world needs your novel."
Whether that's true or not, NANOWRIMO each year attracts a couple hundred thousand wannabe and practiced novelists looking to at least give it a go. The goal is to produce a 50,000-word novel by the time the clock runs out on the month.
There are official group efforts to bolster people's novel-writing chops -- the downtown library has group-writing sessions with other branches and organizations also stage events (see sidebar).
The Gazette scrounged up some 2013 NANOWRIMO participants to gauge the nature of their involvement, their past success -- or utter failures -- and what they're working on this year.
YEARS INVOLVED:"Personally, this is my second year. But there was a three-year gap of laziness in between. So, I'm back and ready to write."
PAST EFFORTS:"My first book was a 'Nano' book as we call it. It was just published last year, but I wrote it in 2009. You write 50,000 words in a month and that's what I did -- I wrote 50,100 words, I cut it close. But the book ended up being 65,000, I did a first draft and it was very rough. And a lot of stuff changed."
Her 2009 book was a romance novel titled "Kentucky Home" and she wrote and published it under the pseudonym 'Sarah Title.' "Just to kind of keep it from my professional writing life -- I publish in library journals. I'm a librarian."
CURRENT WORK: "It's actually a sequel to it. So it's another romance novel. It's just going to be the love story of one the main character's siblings -- his brother. That's kind of a thing in romance series."
TITLE:"I don't know yet. I have to wait until I get a little more done."
WRITING STATUS:"I'm trying. And I'm very far behind. But I'm gonna try to do it."
P.S.:"It forces you to sit down and work. It allows you to dedicate time to writing that you normally would be -- I call it 'making excuses.' Are you going to cook a fancy dinner or work on your book? By carving out November as the time you're going to get it down, you can say, look, we're getting takeout because momma's gotta write a book."
YEARS INVOLVED:"Probably twice -- I didn't do it last year.
PAST EFFORTS:"One year, I wrote for a week solid. And then it kinda' petered out."
CURRENT WORK:"It's really basically a memoir about my coming of age and going out on my own out West. I've written about 4,000 words."