Yes, it’s that time of year again and this year more people than ever seem to be doing NaNoWriMo. In case you’ve been hiding in a bunker for the last ten years, NaNo (as we afficionadoes call it) is short for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place in November every year and during that month ONLY we try to write a novel of at least 50,000 words. That’s a very short novel, almost a novella, but still it’s a great achievement in only 30 days (or 25 days in my case, since I don’t write at the weekend). I am going to take advantage of NaNo this year to write a novel which has been bubbling under for years – a modern take on Dostoevsky’s ‘Idiot’. It will be called ‘Idiota’ in order to denote that the main character is female, and the name will be explained by some sort of Spanish connection, since idiota is the Spanish word for idiot. If you haven’t read Dostoevsky’s magnum opus, it’s about a Christ-like character who is naive and gullible and doesn’t understand what’s going on. He’s a sort of Luna Lovegood character who floats around in an otherwordly bubble, except that he is deeply empathic and distressed by other people’s troubles. It’s a loooooooooooooooooong book but well worth the effort, though I have to say I don’t enjoy Dostoevsky as much as Tolstoy. Plus, I have terrible trouble with the names, because you don’t only have to learn their first names and family names but the patronymics as well, and I can never remember which patronymic goes with which surname.
Mine will be much simpler and about one-tenth of the length of his. No, maybe not a tenth, since that would bring it down to about 80 pages, but let’s say a fifth. I aim to write 75,000 words during NaNo since that will give me a decent length novel to work with and submit some time next year.
Good luck to all NaNo-ers. If you’re taking part please let me know what you’re doing and we can encourage each other.