That Thing I NaNoWriMo’d This Year (Hint: Not a Novel)
Posted on December 3, 2014
Each year in November, people all over the world participate in the time-honored tradition of writing an entire book in one month. These artistic endeavors immediately go on to win National Book Awards and sell many, many copies.
HAHA J/K HAHAHA. Most of these books never see the light of day, and the ones that amount to anything are rewritten heavily over the course of many more months. I’ve never actually written a novel at all, nevermind in one month, but I do love me some deadlines. So I use the month of November to write one long-form project that has been percolating for a while but for whatever reason, I haven’t yet gotten to. This year, that took the form of a play.
I wrote the first five pages immediately for Script Tease, then procrastinated until about November 18th before writing 70 more pages of a play called “The Uh-Oh E-Mail.” I’m currently adding in a few more scenes and rewriting the most offensive of the exposition dump truck dialogue, then I’ll send if out to a few writers who understand how to give constructive first draft notes rather than just say something like “ew this is bad you wasted a month STAHP.”
I actually really like the first pass, as on-the-nose and rushed as many parts of it feel. It let me pull in some of my thoughts and feels about working in a nonprofit, something I thankfully no longer do. The inciting incident of the play involves the four main characters all finding out each other’s salaries and unsurprisingly, conflict ensues. Like it does when you find out your office enemy makes more than you for the same job.
The plan is to rewrite during December, send it out to another group of readers in January, then rewrite through the first part of 2015 before submitting to some festivals and opportunities.
That’s my NaNoWriMo non-novel playwriting story for this year! I definitely wouldn’t have written 5 pages a day all through a holiday weekend on my own, so for that I am thankful to this horrifying acronym of a month.