As most of y'all are probably aware, we here on AW are adding a novel component to our existing short fiction challenge. This new component will kick off Nov 1, 2011.
This here is the sign-up booth for that challenge.
What sort of challenge are we talking?
Basically, the challenge is for you to write, polish, edit and begin querying a novel within a certain time period. The exact length of that time period is up to you.
Originally, we thought of making this a yearlong challenge. But not everybody is able to write, edit and polish a novel in 12 months. And for some, 12 months may be too long for just one novel. So, the scheduling ball for this is in your court. Sit down, sketch out a plan. Does that plan see you having a novel ready to rock in eighteen months? No problem. Sign up for the challenge, and tell us you plan to do it in eighteen months. Or can you see yourself having a novel at sellable status in 6 months? Again, no worries. Sign up.
Perhaps you've got several manuscripts lying around, neglected. How about signing up for the challenge, but adapting it to getting those manuscripts polished and perky rather than working on new material?
What if you're the type of person who needs to work on several projects at once? Sounds great. Sign up for the challenge.
And yes, you can do both the short fiction challenge and the novel challenge if you want to.
Once the novel challenge kicks off we'll start check-in threads at the beginning of each month, and nudge them weekly, so you can update us with your progress, and draw motivation from the progress of others. The short fiction challenge is already in progress, and will continue to remain so.
But, you ask, what if i fail? What if i set goals but can't reach them? Won't that be humiliating? I don't want to crush my creative spirit!
We're an understanding bunch here. We realize that life gets in the way of even the best laid plans, that sometimes, for various and numerous (and sometimes hard to explain or pinpoint) reasons, we're unable to write. We're not going to point the finger at you, accuse you of not being a real writer. More than likely, we'll offer you hugs and kind words. And we're sure you'll do the same for us.
One of the great things about participating in a challenge like this is the community aspect. We're not struggling on alone. There are other like-minded people who we can draw encouragement from, commiserate with, congratulate, or just hang out with.
For an example of how successful a challenge like this can be, take a look at the threads relating to the short fiction challenge. Not only have many short fiction sales resulted, but peeps have solidified their writing habits, become more resilient to rejection, improved their skill set one hundred fold. Some of us haven't been able to keep up with that challenge, for one reason or another, but we still hang out with the rest of the crew. It's that community spirit, peeps.
Could the novel challenge do the same for you?
Finally, why Nov 1 as the kick-off date? Doesn't that compete with NaNoWriMo? Not really. We're thinking our challenge will act as a complement to Nano. How many manuscripts get written in November, do you think? And how many of those get written and then find a home in the bottom of someone's drawer, or the deep recesses of their hard drive, only ever to see the light of day when the writer has an attack of the wistful? A great many, I'd wager. So, if you're doing Nano this year, why not consider doing this challenge as well? Write the first draft in November and then spend some time editing and rewriting and polishing that manuscript until it's ready to dazzle the publishing world.
If you like the idea, but don't think you'll be able to start in November, that's not a problem. You can start whenever you're able, as the challenge will be continuous and ongoing.
Sign up now, and help us take over the writing world, one story at a time.