Friday, October 1, 2010

In Vein of NaNoWriMo

So I had signed up for NaNoWriMo this year, but I am not exactly sure if I would be able to follow through on the time line that is set up for the month. I would really love to buckle down and kill myself to complete NaNoWriMo, but trying it and knowing that I wouldn't have the time to finish might be worse than not finishing if I had the time to start.

Do any NaNoWriMo Alumni have some advice for a newbie? Any time line or planning ideas? Do you use any method of pre-planning that helps you write straight through the month without being hindered? I'd like you to share your experiences.

Also, please do not forget about my blogfest, which will be going down on October 11th. I have 9 particpants currently, and I would like to snag around 15. Just spread the word around and help me make this possible. It'll be a fun, I promise. Here's the link: Hook, Line & Sinker Blogfest. You can find the badge there, too.

For those who have forgotten, here's the theme of the blogfest:

1) Post 1000 or fewer words that come right from the first pages of your manuscript. Please don't cheat. Not that any of you fine bloggers would. But the goal is to see if you have a hook and to share it with the other participants. We'd like to see what is selling your character and world right from the beginning.

2) If you go slightly over 1000 words, you will not be penalized. If you do go over, please note the word count for courtesy.

3) On the day of the fest, please visit the entries, comment with advice or praise, and have fun!

Until then, much Peace and Writing Love!



  1. While NaNoWriMo is a month of madness, less sleep, obsession over word count and things like that, I've found it very fun. This is my third year taking part in a prep challenge, which helps writers prepare their ideas for the event.

    This year, the creator has given me permission to post the exercises on my blog. So, if you want some help with prep work, is where they will be posted. And on my other blog I'm posing my work for the challenge.

    The year I finished 50k in the month was when I just dedicated a lot of time to writing. I would try and write before going to bed and whenever I went to the coffeeshop for internet. The last weekend, I had a writer friend over and she was taking part in nanowrimo too. So we watched movies (Sweeney Todd, for example) and wrote together. Having comraderie, making the time to just sit down and type without worries of editing, that is what makes nano worth trying even if you don't make it.

    My first year I got a few thousand words and my second year, 14,000. I still say that many is better than none.

    Good luck!

  2. I've signed up for it too and I have the same worries as you. I'll keep popping over here to see where you're up to, Justin. HA! I don't even know the rules as I haven't read them.

    I'm off to read you Hook, Like & Sinker info.

    Have a great weekend.

  3. It's my first year too :) So far my plan is just to have a general outline of what I want in each chapter and I've created a schedule on how many words to write depending on the day (factoring in work, social stuff, and TV shows :p. So some days I won't write at all and others I have to write 4000+ words.

    Good luck! It'll be fun sleepless times :)

  4. This is my 3rd year doing nano and my 2nd being ML for my area. That adds an extra crunch to my month. Today is the start of my prepring for Nano series on my blog My Writing Journey . I think you'll already know most of what I'm posting, but check it out anyway.

    I've done something different every year planning wise. The first year I signed up the day before--no planning! Last year I did a chapter outline, and this year I'm trying the snowflake method.

    My biggest advice? Go to some write-ins. There is something magical about a room full of people typing away. I wrote 4000-5000 words at each 2 hour write in.

    Good luck!

  5. This is my first year as well. I thought about it last year and felt very much the way you do. I hate to fail at anything and not completing the 50K in thirty days would be a huge failure for me. But it was also hard not answer that challenge, so I am this year.

    Participating in NaNoWriMo isn’t so we can produce perfection, or something that will go down in literary history, so don’t look at it that way. Yes, I know it’s hard because we live and breathe our WIP’s, trying to mold the character, setting, worlds, and plots into masterpieces. Nano offers us freedom from the limitations editing, or the dire need we feel to edit, puts on us as writers. And when we’ve all published something and our next book is in the editing stages and we get a note saying “Rewrite this 20K piece in a week or you’re not being published.” We can thumb our noses at them because we’ve already done something very similar during November. Smile.

    The point is to push the limits of what you think you’re capable of, to force yourself to write without editing or even looking back at what you’ve written, to craft in a way that is raw, exposing our flaws with our talent. That, in itself, is frightening. But to know that a hundred thousand other people in the US are doing the same thing, that’s invigorating.

    Plan if you must, but participate no matter what. I am taking an idea and a few characters into Nano, but not much else. You can guess it's urban fantasy, so there's no world building necessary, just knowing the city I will set the characters in. I will be writing early in the morning, like 5 am, and late into the evening, like midnight and I will be exhausted for it, but I’ll do it. And I won’t be alone in doing it.

    If I fail, I've tried and if I am successful, I'll know what I am truely capable of.


  6. Hi Justin. NaNoWrMo is so worthwhile. I did it last year and wrote 52,000 words which wasn't half bad. What I liked about it was that it created a firm focus. You keep telling yourself it's only for a month. Most days I managed to write - minimum 1,000, some days much, much more. Some things have to go - like blogging so much, but then it is helpful to blog about NaNo as so many bloggers participate.

    I'm not a 'pantser' as they call it - I like to have a plan of some sort, a bit of a chapter outline, know some of my main characters, but this year I've got nada yet - I'm trying to clear the decks of my other WIPs so I have open slather.

    No amount of planning prevents all the obstacles that come your way, but keep a sense of humour, or use your dark humour to add angst to your WIP. I highly recommend entering. You'll find it a helpful community of writers.

    I attended a Write In, but as I'm a bit of a loner, I found it annoying rather than helpful, but to each his/her own..:)

  7. I've done NaNo for two years so far, and I never struggled too much with it. The first year I LOVED my local writing group and got a lot of work done at the write-ins. The write-ins here didn't work so well for me.

    I use a calendar with daily word goals on it and if I'm behind, I don't let myself do anything social. The first year I stopped watching TV, which gave me more than enough free time.

  8. Nanowrimo. Cannot resist...the pull of it!


"Little by Little, One Goes Far." -- J.R.R Tolkien.

I believe this as a philosophy, from a man who saw war and setback, and conquered all to bring us the greatest fantasy series that has ever been published. Leave your little comment and I'll get back to you.