Blog Your Novel Month
After creating this blog entry about Dean Alfar and how he "blogged his novel" Salamanca in 30 days, during the 2004 version of NaNoWriMo, that's when it hit me. Why not make a great thing of it. And it's a great idea, actually. Writing in public will make us feel less alone while writing our Great Blank Novel. (Fill in the Blank with your respective Citizenship). I, myself, feel that the solitary nature of my chosen profession has hindered me from writing that first novel (need not be "great"; I’ll settle with "bestseller").
So here's the concept. I'm aware that this has already been done within the context of NaNoWriMo, but my idea is to do this thing as a separate event since it merits its own month of the year. We will make this coming October -- to give us ample time to prepare, and to spread the word -- Blog Your Novel Month or BlogYoNoMo (pronounced blog-yoh-noh-mow, but we are not too anal about the name so you can pronounce it however you want). Sounds great, huh? So far, here are the guidelines that I came up with (feel free to give suggestions but I still have the last say, of course):
1. The event will start on October 1, 12 AM(MN) US New York/Eastern time, that would be October 1, 12 PM(NN) in the Philippines, and will end on October 31, 12 AM(MN) US New York/Eastern, or October 31, 12 PM(NN) in the Philippines. (Check the World Time Server's time converter for your respective local times.)
2. You may blog your novel here at WriteLit.com, or on your own blog, be it a free blog or a blog set up on a paid host. You may or may not enable posting of comments. It's all up to you depending on whether you feel comfortable others saying something about your work while you are writing it. For this purpose, I’m creating a new content type here at WriteLit.com called blogyonomo-no-comment and blogyonomo-with-comment. You may also choose your default blog, of course, with its default “comments enabled” setting.
3. Before the start of the event, you will announce at WriteLit.com the URL or web address of where you are going to blog your BlogYoNoMo novel, e.g. mynovel.blogspot.com or mysite.com/myblog/mynovel, etc. If you are going to use the blogyonomo content types, just indicate your account page, e.g. writelit.com/user/myusername.
4. You may write in any language: English, Tagalog, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, Chinese, Cebuano, Bikol, etc.
5. At the end of the event, on October 31, you will post the URL or web address of your final blog entry at WriteLit.com. You have the option of not publishing the last chapter or final two chapters of your novel, so as not to spoil it for your readers when your great novel finally sees print, especially if you are employing a surprise ending.
6. You will display your work for at least a month. After that, you may or may not delete your "blogged novel."
Is BlogYoNoMo affiliated with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)?
No. BlogYoNoMo was just inspired by NanoWriMo. However, the timing of BlogYoNoMo is significant, since it actually complements NaNoWriMo. You may, for example, revise or finish writing unfinished novels during NaNoWriMo (in November).
Who will own the rights to the novel after I finish writing it?
You own all rights.
Since I am publishing my work online, does it mean that I won't be able to send it to a publisher anymore?
By and large, publishing online means that you've only used your Internet Rights to your work, so that means the First Printing Rights is still available. If a particular publisher still rejects your novel because it has been published online (emphasis on the phrase “has been” because remember that you have the option to delete your blog), I'm pretty sure there are many publishers who would want to publish your work -- assuming it's good -- because it makes great marketing sense actually. Bands and other artists are actually doing this now -- letting people download or view digital version of their works to great results. A great example is the British band Arctic Monkeys who grew a large following when they allowed their music to be downloaded for free online. And closer to home is the debut fantasy novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow. The novel was released online and for free the same day that it went on sale in bookstores. The result? The first printing was sold out ahead of schedule, and the book is now in its sixth printing, as free downloads (to date 650,000) racheted up print sales. What I'm saying is that if you blog your novel, you are already ahead of the pack since publicizing one's work is already a quarter of the battle -- the other parts are writing a first draft, revising it, and then having it published.
Moreover, the version of the novel that others will see will actually be your first draft. And I'm sure it will be largely different from your final work. Those who have read your first draft will alert those who don't usually go online to your work. In other words, we're expecting word of mouth to push your work to the bestseller list! (Hopefully).
Can I start on my novel, even before the start of BlogYoNoMo?
Of course, you can. That's the whole point of BlogYoNoMo -- to force you to write!