50,000 Words. One Month. No Problem.

By Alyssa Kropp

How difficult could this be? Girded by my VWP seminar in May, and inspired by my fellow veterans’ writings, I will find out this November along with many other aspiring novelists during National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org). Anyone else curious and a tad crazy? I am looking for some writing buddies, whether virtual or in the DC Metro area.

The Army’s made made me a bit of a planner- I am not very good at ‘winging it’, but Chris Baty, NaNoWriMo’s founder, would claim that no preparation is the best preparation. But for those of us who may lose sleep fearing writer’s block on Day 1, he has published No Plot? No Problem! – available in hard copy and Kindle editions on Amazon. This, combined with your dog-eared VWP text Writing War: A Guide to Telling Your Own Story, some good friends, a sense of adventure, and a bit of craziness, will get you at the very least the start of a novel, new writing friends, and stories about writing for 30 days straight.

If you have a few characters roaming around in the nether regions of your mind, give them a story to plant themselves in. Read up on NaNoWriMo, create an account and join the NoVA region forum (or the one in your area). VWP alum and friends interested in connecting as veterans, may then find my profile “mizzadventure” to become writing buddies (or send me an email to my gmail address mizzadventure). We can then plan on a few regular ‘write-ins’ for camaradarie and support, and plan a kick-off session on November 1st.

Alyssa Kropp is an Army Lieutenant Colonel on active duty in the Pentagon. She took part in the Veterans Writing Project’s seminars in the Summer of 2012.