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Thread: The Novel Challenge Sign-Up Booth--it's never too late to join!

  1. #1
    Doing the Space Operatic Izz's Avatar
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    The Novel Challenge Sign-Up Booth--it's never too late to join!

    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.
    Last edited by Izz; 09-15-2011 at 12:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Publish or Die Trying MattJ's Avatar
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    Count me in. I'm already outlining my novel.
    Matt

    http://wayofthewriter.blogspot.com/

    “Be a lamp unto yourself. Work out your liberation with diligence.” Buddha


  3. #3
    Scribbling Scribe Velcro's Avatar
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    Is it ok to sign up if you think you'll be done before November 1? At least done with the first draft of the novel?

    If so, count me in!
    The devil's in the details...

  4. #4
    Re-NaNoing AnnieColleen's Avatar
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    I'm in! I have half an outline for this year's NaNo; new outline strategy this time. I'll shoot for the year and see what happens...
    Under the patronage of Murphy the Muse

    When writing a novel that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: "House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day."
    ~Neil Gaiman

  5. #5
    looking at the stars Spiral's Avatar
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    I'm definitely in for this.

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW faerydancer's Avatar
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    I'm in, though I hope to be done with the first draft of my novel by Nov. 1. This will be great for kicking my butt into gear for tackling revisions then starting a new manuscript.
    Brenda Stokes Barron
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  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW
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    I'm very conflicted. I have already started a novel. I kind of want to have finished it and submitted by December this year. And I want to write and submit 4 novels next year. One a quarter.

    So I'm not really sure I qualify to be part of the challenge or not...

  8. #8
    Re-NaNoing AnnieColleen's Avatar
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    I don't see why not. You have a plan and a timeline...that qualifies.
    Under the patronage of Murphy the Muse

    When writing a novel that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: "House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day."
    ~Neil Gaiman

  9. #9
    Recovering Academic jazzman99's Avatar
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    I'm in. By November 1 I should have my first novel up on Kindle, and I've already got a pretty clear idea for my second. It'll be called A Death in Haven and my goal is a complete draft of no fewer than 75K words by december 31. Book it.
    Please pick up "Resistance Front" for the Kindle at Amazon: http://amzn.to/rxKzKs . 99 cents, 30+ stories (including my "Peripheral"), and the proceeds benefit The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

    Now available on the Kindle: My crime novel Five Million Dollars and the Green-Eyed Girl

    Read my work: "The Penthouse View" (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Jan/Feb 2012);"Infamous" (The First Line, Fall 2011); "Disaster Girl" (essay, Phati'tude 9/11 10th anniversary issue); "Dead Connections" (AW Speculative Fiction anthology)

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  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW Fabor's Avatar
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    I'm working on my first novel. This sounds like a great idea. Please, count me in also. Good writing to all.
    Preparing to epublish: Howard and The Crystal of Jehd.

  11. #11
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    I'm in. Though the details about what exactly I'll be writing and submitting are still a little fuzzy. But that's what October is for. PLANNING.

    _________
    A.G.C.

    Touch: A Trilogy - AVAILABLE NOW!
    "The 'Touch' trilogy is a masterclass in world-building, tells a fascinating story with economy and intelligence, and does so with fine, pared-down prose." - Eric Brown, author of The Fall of Tartarus

    "I loved this novella series. Brooding, earthy, whispering to us with a delicious mood of creeping dread while filling the heart with a pure sense of wonder." - Charles de Lint, author of The Onion Girl

    A.G. Carpenter
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  12. #12
    Doing the Space Operatic Izz's Avatar
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    Welcome along, everybody!

    Quote Originally Posted by Velcro View Post
    Is it ok to sign up if you think you'll be done before November 1? At least done with the first draft of the novel?

    If so, count me in!
    Consider yourself counted in!

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowFox View Post
    I'm very conflicted. I have already started a novel. I kind of want to have finished it and submitted by December this year. And I want to write and submit 4 novels next year. One a quarter.

    So I'm not really sure I qualify to be part of the challenge or not...
    You sure do qualify. And, seeing as it's an ongoing challenge, as soon as you finish one novel you can sign up for the next.

    This is less about anybody else setting a specific time period for you than it is about you setting specific time periods for yourself. Whatever challenges you, personally, in other words.

    Write on, peeps!

  13. #13
    Lost in the Land of Giants Tienci's Avatar
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    I'm definitely in--this November will be my 6th NaNo and I have an idea what project I'll be working on.
    It's something new definitely for November but after editing/polishing (which I'm imagining to be complete within 6-8 months), I will need to work on 4 out of 5 of the previous NNWM projects still waiting on additions and revisions!
    "Will you won't you will you won't you, will you join the dance?"

  14. #14
    reaching for the sun Bushrat's Avatar
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    Okaaay ... I thought it meant to be submitting one while writing the next one I'll just be twisting the rules that way - there's last years NaNoNovel that I need to edit and push out into the big, mean world next year (oh, you wanted deadlines, eh? Hm ... say by December 15, 2012 "Thin Ice" will be hitting agents' in-boxes - well, the synopsis, anyway). So that'll be my Sub 1.

    And the Write 1 I've barely started but hope to finish in about a year. Which is probably delusional but hey, there's always hope. Finished, edited, polished and ready to go out by ... hm ... December 15, 2012, also. A two for one kinda deal. Oh god.

  15. #15
    Most Unbecoming of an AW Moderator zanzjan's Avatar
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    I'm about a third of the way through the second draft of a novel; since apparently I'm supposed to spend less time thinking (and, um, less time on the computer [me bad]) punting on that until Nov. or Dec. might be just what I need.

    -Suzanne
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  16. #16
    Benefactor Member alexshvartsman's Avatar
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    I'm theoretically interested in this but I also realize that I don't know a *first thing* about writing a novel. I've been concentrating on short fiction, (both by writing it and by reading about the craft) but have completely ignored longer fiction thus far.

    Are there any must-read books on the subject that might help me get started? Something that would help me through the outlining/character development process. What do you all suggest?

  17. #17
    writing soapdish's Avatar
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    I'm in. I've been planning like a mad woman.
    And by came an angel who had a bright key,
    And he opened the coffins and set them all free. -- "The Chimney Sweeper" -- William Blake

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin izumi's Avatar
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    I'm in. I've already been planning for this year's NaNoWriMo.

  19. #19
    Not as sweet as you think Aggy B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexshvartsman View Post
    I'm theoretically interested in this but I also realize that I don't know a *first thing* about writing a novel. I've been concentrating on short fiction, (both by writing it and by reading about the craft) but have completely ignored longer fiction thus far.

    Are there any must-read books on the subject that might help me get started? Something that would help me through the outlining/character development process. What do you all suggest?
    You might check out Sid Field's books about screenwriting. Or Save The Cat by Blake Snyder. The key ingredient with a novel (for me, at least) is the structure and I most of what I learned about structure came from screenplays. (This may be because of their shorter length and the fact you can watch the final result in two hours. It's easier to see the practical application of the method.)

    James MacDonald's advice/how-to on outlining with index cards is pretty spiffy as well.

    Just a thought.
    _________
    A.G.C.

    Touch: A Trilogy - AVAILABLE NOW!
    "The 'Touch' trilogy is a masterclass in world-building, tells a fascinating story with economy and intelligence, and does so with fine, pared-down prose." - Eric Brown, author of The Fall of Tartarus

    "I loved this novella series. Brooding, earthy, whispering to us with a delicious mood of creeping dread while filling the heart with a pure sense of wonder." - Charles de Lint, author of The Onion Girl

    A.G. Carpenter
    @Aggy_C

  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW sammyjwebb's Avatar
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    Bring it on! Been itching to get into my new world this year. Can't wait for W1S1/NaNoWriMo kick my butt in gear land to begin.
    - Sam

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  21. #21
    Reads more than she writes. AW Moderator Smish's Avatar
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    I'm in. I'm going to be ambitious, and shoot for nine months -- agented in twelve.

    What? It could happen.
    Revision is where you earn your money - and if you haven't made any money yet, revision is where you pay your dues. Sara Zarr

  22. #22
    I'll be dropping from the Write1Sub1 Weekly challenge to Monthly next year, just so I have more time to work on my novels. They've been sitting in the corner glaring at me while my short stories have gotten all the attention this year!
    Milo James Fowler
    in medias res

  23. #23
    Doing the Space Operatic Izz's Avatar
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    Awesome stuff, peeps!

    Quote Originally Posted by alexshvartsman View Post
    I'm theoretically interested in this but I also realize that I don't know a *first thing* about writing a novel. I've been concentrating on short fiction, (both by writing it and by reading about the craft) but have completely ignored longer fiction thus far.

    Are there any must-read books on the subject that might help me get started? Something that would help me through the outlining/character development process. What do you all suggest?
    Alex, my advice is: Read lots, write lots.

    I've never been one for how-to-novel books, myself. Though, if i were to recommend anything, i'd recommend the Learn Writing with Uncle Jim threads in the Novels subforum. The first one is stickied, plus there's an index stickied as well. The second one is here. Uncle Jim does recommend some books to read, also.

  24. #24
    Something or other swachski's Avatar
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    Sign me up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angie View Post
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  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW sammyjwebb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexshvartsman View Post
    I'm theoretically interested in this but I also realize that I don't know a *first thing* about writing a novel. I've been concentrating on short fiction, (both by writing it and by reading about the craft) but have completely ignored longer fiction thus far.

    Are there any must-read books on the subject that might help me get started? Something that would help me through the outlining/character development process. What do you all suggest?
    Also - if you go over to the NaNo site there are some resources and suggestions there also
    - Sam

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