Wednesday, 19 October 2011

NaNoWriMo is coming!

For anyone who doesn't know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, although it might as well be International Novel Writing Month now, as people all over the world participate.

The aim is to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. It's a personal challenge, so there are no tangible rewards at the end of it, save a definite sense of achievement.

For anyone who's always thought, "One day I'll write a novel", NaNo is the opportunity to make that one day today.

For me, last year, NaNo was just what I needed to encourage me to write. I'm one of these people who is good at starting stories - even planning out all the details - and then not getting to the end. With the deadline, and the encouragement of everyone else doing the challenge with me, plus the great stats they give you so you can see your progress and whether you're at the word count you should be, it was the ideal challenge to keep me writing until I finished a book.

I did have to have everything planned out beforehand though, so I knew what direction I was heading in at any given time.

Is anyone doing NaNo this year? Or did so last year? Do you find it helps get your writing down on paper? Or do you find the idea of 50,000 words in a month a bit daunting? Do you plan it all out beforehand? Or let the story come to you as you're writing?

18 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

I don't do NaNo, but I'll be cheering my friends on from the sidelines.

Cherie Reich said...

This will be my third year participating in NaNo. I find it helps me have a goal--perhaps competing a bit with friend to reach 50,000 words--and just get the story out there. True, there's a lot of work at the end, but there's work at the end of every first draft. I do plot beforehand, though. I have an outline, character sketches, and some research done, or should be done, before NaNo. That way I can just write.

Christine Rains said...

I've been doing NaNo since 2003. Love it! It's such a creative rush. I didn't find the word count daunting before I had a baby, but now it's going to be a big challenge. I'm usually a pantser, but I'm going to try to outline first this year because of my limited time.

AmieSalmon said...

I wished I had the time to participate, but with uni, work and revisions of my book I don't think I can. One year I would love to though, be so interesting and exciting, to see where the month takes you.
I will be around though, cheering everyone on and offering words of encouragement.

The Golden Eagle said...

I'm planning to do NaNoWriMo. I did it last year, and had a lot of fun--I'm a bit more nervous about this year, since I don't have a set idea the way I did before, but I'm looking forward to November!

C D Meetens said...

Matthew: I'll be joining you at the sidelines this year, cheering everyone on.

Cherie: I agree that having friendly competition and encouragement really spurs you on to meet the word targets.

Christine: Hope the outlining helps you meet the word count. I'm in awe of you trying to do that much writing with a little one needing your attention too.

Amie: That's me too, this year. I can't fit it in, despite wanting to.

Eagle: I think I'd be nervous too if I didn't have an outline, but it might encourage lots of creativity to flow and give you a great story!

Candy Fite said...

This will be 2nd year to highly consider doing it, and then backing out as we get closer to the date. Again, this year, my fall is BUSY. Plus, I'm having a romping good time with Rachael Harrie's Campaigner Challenges! I know it'll end soon, but after, I need to settle back in with 2nd drafting my YA.

I wish all the best with NNWM!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I'm a huge NaNo failure (I think I made it five or six days), but I know many who have had great success with this route. Enjoy!

C D Meetens said...

Candy: I remember wondering whether to back out just before signing up last year. Once I'd signed up, I decided I was committed though :).

Caroline: It doesn't follow you'd fail if you tried again, and, really, there's no failing, as getting any writing done sounds like an achievement to me.

Theresa Milstein said...

Each year since I've known about it, I've never participated but I cheer my blogging friends from the sidelines.

Good luck!

tfwalsh said...

It's my first year, so I'm looking forward to it:)

Laura said...

I'ts my first year too - so excited! By the way, there's an award for you over at my place : http://dailydodo.blogspot.com
Lx

C D Meetens said...

Theresa: I'm with you this year. So, that's you, me, and Matthew signed up for the cheering from the sidelines :).

tfwalsh: Good luck! I loved doing it last year. I used to take myself off to a cafe on Sunday mornings and just write.

Laura: Good luck to you too! It's such a rush when the validator shows that you've met the 50,000 word target! Thanks so much for the award :).

Melissa Sugar said...

I did it 2007-2010 and it was a rush. I proved to myself that I can write everyday & I can churn out at least 1600 words per day. Nothing I have written during NaNo has ever been novel material, even after my many editing attempts. I love NaNo and the concept, but I am on the fence this year. I am not sure I want to take the time away from the editing/querying I am doing. I also just started a new book. I am the very early stages, but don't really want to shelf it for an entire month. Originally, I was going to pass on it this year, but the more I read and the closer it gets the more I find myself thinking about the pros rather than the cons of it for me.

LynNerd said...

I signed up for the first time! It's a great motivation for me to get that next novel draft written.

C D Meetens said...

Melissa: I've just read a book that was born during NaNo, and I loved it ("Anna and the French Kiss"), so you never know which NaNo year might bring novel material for you. However, I understand your dilemma. I'm currently in rewrites for one of my novels, and the characters are all in my head in the correct voices, etc. I'm not sure I want to rock that boat. Still, part of me really wants to take part and just do some writing.

Lyn: Congratulations on taking that first step, and good luck with getting your draft written :).

Trisha said...

I've done NaNo since 2002, on and off. I think I've got about 8 complete novels out of it. I'll have to do a tally sometime.

C D Meetens said...

Trisha: Wow! That's amazing. I think NaNo really does encourage you to write, and then keep on writing.

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