This is an invitation.
As you likely already know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) begins today, “thirty days and nights of literary abandon.”
The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a novel of 50,000 words or approximately 175 pages in one month. It is also an opportunity for writers to band together in a supportive community to form new connections and reinvigorate existing bonds with fellow writers.
Generally, NaNoWriMo is an individual activity performed in literal writing groups or ones forged over the internet.
I, however, thought it might be interesting to take the cooperative spirit of NaNoWriMo to the next level and write a 50,000 word novel together. A serial novel in the spirit of bygone days when authors used to publish books in installments in newspapers. Or, you could see it as channeling the new “cellphone” novel fad seen in Asia. To re-iterate, this is not how NaNoWriMo is traditionally done. We’re a “rebel” project.
Use it as a warm-up for your novel, a way to participate without writing a whole novel of your own, or stay tuned as a spectator as a novel (hopefully) unfolds before your eyes by the end of the month.
Since this project is entirely open to anyone and everyone, I want to establish a few ground rules to keep things from getting out of hand while allowing space for creative license and expression.
1) Anyone and everyone may participate.
2) You may submit one paragraph of 200 words or less at a time. But, you cannot submit paragraphs back to back. You have to let someone else post a paragraph before you can submit another one.
3) Paragraphs can be submitted through the “comment/leave a comment” section at the end of this post. Once you submit a comment, it will go to me for moderation. I will make an effort to moderate in a timely fashion. If this becomes an issue, perhaps we’ll switch to another method of submission.*
4) Endeavor to use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling within creative license.
5) No explicit content such as that which would be banned/blocked by wordpress.com. So, avoid overly graphic scenes of violence, sex, drug usage, etc etc. As moderator, I will block posts which deviate from this rule.
6) Try to maintain and build upon pre-existing content. The goal is to create a unified whole when all is said and done. A story which reads as a single unit, not a mishmash, if possible. Keep a believable number of characters. Don’t overdo it with the plot twists. Rules of plot apply: the story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. And, if you’re feeling ambitious, try to maintain a consistent tone.
7) Have fun.
*Want to comment on the progress of “working title” without submitting content? Since the “comment” function of this post is being used for novel-content only, comments can be posted on The Modern Manuscript’s Facebook page or on ModManuscript Twitter. Link buttons can be found on the right-hand side of the screen in the “Meet Michelle” box.
And so it begins. . . .
It was a quiet evening on Chantilly Lane. The children had long since returned home from school. Even Mr. John Harridy, known for pulling into his drive and slamming his car door with a decisive thud every night at midnight, was snoring peacefully under his flannel sheets. The manicured lawns of Chantilly Lane sat chilling under a blanket of fresh snow, which made the cookie-cutter houses appear near identical in the faint winter moonlight. There was no sign, no warning that the lives of the people on Chantilly Lane would never be the same.