August 20th, 2010

post image: confused chimpSchool starts again soon. Yes, whether you're ready to face it or not: summer is just about over. That means three things: 1) morning traffic is about to get worse; 2) Christmas decorations will start appearing in stores; and 3) NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is short for Naughty Nobles Wrinkling Mozzarella. (Wait. Wait. No it doesn't. I got it wrong again. Last year I was under the impression it stood for Naturally Nomadic Writhing Monsters. Let's try this again.)

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It's where you write a novel of at least 50,000 words, start to finish, during the thirty days of November. While thousands upon thousands of people enter, and a surprisingly large percentage of them win, it's generally understood amongst the NaNo population that (at best) you wind up with nothing more than a first draft.

So What Is PerBoWriQua?

For me, last year, I took the opportunity to simply add 50,000 words to a manuscript-in-process (technically not legal according to strict NaNo terms). To my everlasting surprise, I added 50,000 words with a week to spare. In that final week, I wrote another 14,000. That, added to my starting point, got me to 95,000 words total.

But I still wasn't finished with the novel. Not even the first draft. (A second reason I didn't really win last year.) So I was sad that NaNo was over because I wasn't ready for it to be over. I decided that to really do this right would take something like three months: a month of planning, a month of first-drafting, and a month of polishing.

In other words, a quarter.

And since, unlike NaNo, I wouldn't have an entire planet to share this with, it would really be a personal challenge.

And not everyone wants to write novels. Some of us like writing non-fiction too.

Hence, PerBoWriQua: the Personal Book Writing Quarter.

So When Is PerBoWriQua?

When I first thought of this idea, I wanted to wrap it around NaNoWriQua. October would be the planning, research, outlining, synopsisizing month, November would be the write-the-first-draft-like-mad month. December would be the rewrite and polishing stage. This seemed like a more reasonable timeline and plan for creating something fully finished. True, it doesn't take into account the "sit on it and then come back to it and see what you think about it" period (which, as we all know can last from a few weeks to a few years). But it still seemed like a good plan.

"There Is One Small Problem!"

As much as I liked this plan, I had an ever so slight issue with it. I'm ready to start writing now. I've already done my research and planning for the current project. I can't wait two or more months to try it out. Further, I think it would actually be better if PerBoWriQua ended at the same time as NaNo. Therefore, PerBoWriQua 2010 is now officially: September, October, and November.

If you'd like to take part in this with me, just leave a comment below. We can informally track our progress here. Unless I get one hundred thousand participants, and then I might just create a separate website.


« Previous Post . . . Next Post »

6 Responses to “PerBoWriQua”

  1. Texas Deb says:

    I dunno, Charlie, PerBoWriQua sounds a little bit like something you'd spray on your tomato plants to keep the hornworms at bay. At any rate, I am supposing if you were to stick strictly to the Per in PerBoWriQua a body could start their own quarter whenever they were ready? Si o no?

    • Charlie says:

      Technically, yes. The "Per" really does mean do it when you're ready. But people also tend to stay motivated when they have others to rely upon, hence the "let's do it all alone but together" approach.

      For me the "Per" is less about being strictly personal and more about the informalness of it (as opposed to something large and rigorous like NaNo).

  2. Jason says:

    I'm ready to PBWQ!

  3. Jason says:

    I'm ready! Where did my previous comment go? Did Charlie mark it as spam?

  4. Charlie says:

    I didn't, but Akismet did. No idea why. Unless PBWQ is some evil keyword we don't know about.

  5. [...] years ago I came up with the idea of the "Personal Book Writing Quarter". Last year I made a second attempt which ended with a fizzle almost as quickly as it began. Given [...]