November is National Novel Writing Month
(or NaNoWriMo for short), and I'm going to be participating this year. If you're unfamiliar with this, it's basically the same concept as 24-hour-comic day: The idea here is to write a 50,000-word novel between November 1 and November 30, and (like doing a 24-hour comic) it's designed to help people get over that "I'll do it someday" mentality.
Looking around the official NaNoWriMo website, it seems like a lot of people just do this for fun or bragging rights, writing fan-fiction or other stories that they don't really expect to publish. My goal for the month, however, is to create a first draft of a publishable novel (although you need 50,000 words to "win" NaNoWriMo, I'm hoping to hit closer to 75,000). When the month is up, I'll keep working on it, revising it, and hopefully be done polishing it sometime next spring/summer at which point I'll start looking for an agent.
More than anything, though, I'm hoping I'll find this a satisfying experience from a creative standpoint. While I love making comics, my interest right now lies mainly in longer-form stories, and it's a huge time commitment to write and draw an entire graphic novel--plus, they're difficult to edit if you think up new/better ideas midway through. So I hope writing the novel helps scratch that itch for writing long stories, and that in turn will free me up to do a lot of shorter comics instead.
I don't necessarily want to give away too much about my novel just yet, but I will say that I'll be writing a detective story called "The Guilty Punch Hardest" and it's set here in my hometown of Pittsburgh. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I'm sure I'll be posting progress updates as the month unfolds, so consider this a heads-up as to what I'm talking about. If it gets too annoying, well, November is just 30 days long.
So: This is my public declaration of intent to do this thing. Hopefully by talking about it here, I'll feel more accountable and that'll help me reach my goal. If you're doing NaNoWriMo this year too, post your user name in the comments (mine is patlewis) and I'll add you as a friend. Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted.