I have participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) since 2006. So this November, 2023, will be my 18th NaNoWriMo.
Holy Wow. That’s a lot of novels.
No, really, it is. I have nine (yes, 9) unfinished novels. And they are really good novels. Eight are related to existing series. (The standalone is 2021’s Super Sekrit Steampunk novel.)
So I came to the conclusion that I really, really, REALLY need to finish these novels. And I really, really need to spend my NaNoWriMo November writing time to achieve this goal rather than starting more new novels.
Which means I need to be a NaNoWriMo Rebel. I am taking this opportunity to declare that I will be beginning my NaNoWriMo Rebellion in November 2023.
Seeds of the Rebellion
What is a NaNoWriMo Rebel? Like I explained in 2022, it is someone who bucks the NaNoWriMo tradition of writing 50,000 words of a brand new novel during November. In 2022, I wrote a series of short stories (also unfinished, so I need to get on that), which did not quite make me a NaNo Rebel, because I wrote new words. This year, however, I will really be a rebel.
I’m going to be editing a novel. Which means I will be deleting words. And, as this novel — for some unknown reason — is 154,000 words, I will be deleting a lot of words. A lot of words. Oh, and the story is not actually finished!
Actually, I think I know why this novel is so long. For NaNoWriMo 2006, it ended up being 52,000 words. Then in 2011-2012, I “edited” the novel, knowing it had not been completed. I think I simply did not actually edit or rewrite, but just added notes and ideas. So November 2023 NaNo is going to be a very different sort of challenge.
The Rebellious Novel
It seems, I’ve never mentioned this novel by its title on this website before. I wrote the novel in 2006. I started this website and blog in 2013. My first NaNoWriMo while writing this blog was 2013, when I wrote the book that eventually became Where Destiny Plays.
So you might be wondering what this mysterious 2006 book is…
I titled it Radicalizing Lizzie, a title my husband — aka Misterotica — despises. (I happen to love the title. You can comment below if you like it or not.) The “elevator pitch” (as we say in the biz) is:
Set in Victorian England during the passage of the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882, young Elizabeth Stephens learns a lot more than politics from her fiancé’s circle of friends.
Okay, I admit I don’t like that pitch. It does not truly convey the bonkers sexcapades and feminist historical discourse central to this novel. But blurbs are marketing tools, and I have to delete around 70,000 words before I can even begin to think about marketing!
As is my tradition, behold the (fake) 2023 NaNoWriMo cover:
For the eagle eye historians among you, the background image is indeed from Charles Booth’s famous map of London, i.e., the Maps Descriptive of London Poverty from Booth’s Inquiry into Life and Labour in London (1886-1903). When I get this book published, I would love to include this map on the “real” cover as I used the map and Booth’s research for Radicalizing Lizzie.
Fomenting the Rebellion
I’m going to admit right here, right now, that I have no idea how I am going to proceed with NaNoWriMo 2023. Just read everything, I guess? Then make edits as needed? But how will I keep track of my word count?
Seriously, this November is going to be a very different challenge. Still, I hope to come out a winner! Wish me luck!