We're still a little over a month away from November and NaNoWriMo - or what non-NaNoers call "insanity." The basics of National Novel Writing Month aren't difficult to explain, even to the uninitiated; you commit to writing 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. You may not start writing before 1:00 am November 1, though you may do outlines, character sketches, and such before hand.
50,000 words. It is, surprisingly, not as hard as it sounds, since that number comes out to about 1,667 words per day when divided by 30 days. Still, I failed my first attempt in 2008, mainly due to the fact that I rushed into the fray at the last minute because it seemed like a good idea at the time. They say you can do NaNo without a plot and without a purpose, but I fail to see the logistics of that; I'm sure it works for some, but I have to go in with a storyline to sail through the month on. I believe I ended 2008 with about 17,000 words, which is extremely pitiful when compared to that 50,000 I was striving for.
2009 was much better. I did not, as several of my friends were crazy enough to do, reach 100k in two weeks, but I did manage to finish out the month with 62,000 words of my novel The Soldier's Cross; I completed it in the following months and it is, of course, being published by the Christian publishing house Ambassador-Emerald this October. So this year I'm returning to NaNo with The White Sail's Shaking, a sea-novel set in the United States' First Barbary War. My sister, Jenny, and my sister-in-law, Deb, are both doing NaNo as well this year, so we're spending most of our spare time getting ready for November 1. For Deb that means doing an outline and ironing out plot problems; for Jenny it means putting together a list of chapters and collecting massive amounts of books; for me it's a combination of all of those and completing my work in progress, Wordcrafter. I should be finishing the last chapter of that a few days before November. No rest for the weary.