NaNoWriMo 2011 Edition

I’m doing it again. After a year off, I decided to do NaNoWriMo again. (For those not in the know, that strange word stands for National Novel Writing Month.) I decided to challenge my students, and so far have about 21 signed up to participate. They have chosen word counts ranging from 3,000 to the full 50,000 like me. I have an idea so do they. We have plans! We have inspiration! We are… INSANE!

This will be my sixth year participating out of the last seven. I’ve only “won” twice by completing the word count goal of 50,000. My 2008 win was Andy Squared, the novel that is due out next year through Bold Strokes Books. I had completely rewritten the novel and finished it during that month. Of course that doesn’t take into account all the editing in the following years, but at least the story was finally fully out. No pun intended.

My novel this year will be centered on Aaron. He is disfigured from a dog attack when he was nine years old. Now sixteen, he decides he wants to overcome his fear of dogs by volunteering at an animal shelter. Like my other books, Aaron is gay, but his being gay is not at the center of the story. Yes there will likely be a small romance, but it is not the focus. The focus is overcoming his fear of dogs and living a full, carefree life like he had before the attack. I think too many YA LGBT books that are out there focus on the process of coming out and the reactions from peers and family. While that does happen with Andy in my first novel, I didn’t want a repeat in this new, as yet untitled work.

That aside, is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo? If you want to check it out, head over to www.nanowrimo.org¬†for more information. I’ll be only participating on the Young Writer’s Program site: http://ywp.nanowrimo.org