I plan to again participate in this year's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)! (If that link won't connect you to NaNoWriMo, try it again later--they often have too many trying to get on the site at once-oops!) It's a writing challenge to write 50,000 words in one month. I did it last year, and birthed my first completed novel (The Miting) from those words.
My new novel is going to be a coming-of-age story about a girl named Annie Thomas. It's set in the mid-sixties, in the Midwest. I can't wait to get started on this book! I'm working on the preliminary stuff like outlines, characters, and settings so I can jump in and begin writing on November 1st. Here's a link to my NaNo page if you'd like to follow my progress: DThompson's page
(Yes, I'm using my maiden name on NaNo--don't ask me why I set it up that way in 2007...it was a brain blip, I guess.)
If you've always wanted to write a book, I highly recommend the NaNoWriMo experience. The editor in your head (AKA Genghis Khan) is firmly chained during this mad month of simply writing. (No editing allowed!) It's the month of the unchained muse while you allow your story to grow and grow until you finish a novel-length manuscript thirty days later.
It's maddening, frightening, and down-right chaotic, but is it ever satisfying when you see that 50,000 word mark reached on November 30th! And at the end of it all, you have a jewel of a seed for your book. It will need polishing, and in the case of popular fiction, more words added, but it sure is nice to have one half to two thirds of an entire novel resting in your word processor.
I started writing my outline and character pages today. My main characters are already sketched out and waiting for their debut. I have the settings in my head, but over the next few days and weeks, I plan to have everything written and in place before November 1st rolls around.
Why don't you join the fun! You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain from giving this kind of whirl-wind writing a try. Here's hoping I see many of my writing friend's names on the NaNo list this year!