NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing

Who’s doing NaNoWriMo this year?

The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to ...
Are you ready for NaNoWriMo? | (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

November is nigh. It’s time to decide. Are you jumping into National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year?

Last year was my first shot at National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t get very far at 11,654 words, but I still found NaNo a valuable experience. As I mentioned in a previous post, last year’s NaNoWriMo really pushed me to look at my writing process and figure out this whole outlining of the novel business.

Outlining was one of those things I’d always suspected I should be doing but kept putting off because, well, I’m lazy. Luckily, my writing process has evolved a great deal since last November. Not only have I figured out that, yes, I do need to outline my novel, but I have also figured out how to go about constructing a decent outline.

I’m going into NaNo this year with a solid outline and will probably also have several character sketches, free-writes, and other schtuff prepared (thanks to my advanced novel writing course) so I can just get down to the business of writing.

I can’t write in a bubble. I need to actively engage myself in these outside writing activities — NaNo, writing courses, etc. — to keep myself writing. I need the challenge, and I need, need, need the deadlines. I do my best writing when I’m working at a deadline. I get shit done when I have assignments due. NaNoWriMo may not be useful for every writer, but I enjoy the challenge. Wanna be writing buddies this year?

What do you do to prepare for NaNoWriMo? Please comment below.

~Mandy Webster

18 thoughts on “Who’s doing NaNoWriMo this year?”

  1. Hey, thanks for the link. I’ll probably be doing NaNoWriMo, but instead of starting a new project I’ll be continuing my current major work, which still has at least 100,000 to go (my writing process is a serious word count multiplier – by the time I’m done I’ll have written 2 or 3 times the final length). So this time around I won’t be doing much prep work, just continuing from what I have. Earlier prep work included detailed character sketches, several plot synopsis of varying length, and a good bit more.

    1. That sounds great! I can’t believe how many years I’ve wasted trying to make myself believe I really don’t need to bother with character sketches and other “busy work.” I am now working to reform myself and stop being such a lazy writer so I can finish something for once!

  2. I probably will do Nano again this year because, quite frankly, it is addictive. However, even though Nano unlocked my ability to write and write, it has also encouraged me to be lazy in a different way. I just cannot do revision. I can easily write 100k words of a novel in a couple of months now (it has taken four NaNoWriMos to get to that work-rate), but I cannot get my brain into gear to re-write them. My first drafts always come out as readable works of fiction so it is easy to think they’re done, when I know they are so far from done. I think I need to do a course on how to do revision because reading all the self-help books isn’t working. I know I should make sure every paragraph counts, that every chapter follows a story arc and has conflict, that every character is necessary and has a solid 3D background. I know to restrict adverbs and use strong verbs instead, I know to match my descriptions to my characters and make sure my dialogue is authentic. I just can’t seem to put any of it into practice! When I am faced with a 300 page manuscript, a pile of post-it notes and some highlighters I end up polishing the grammar and checking for continuity and nothing else. LOL. Anyway, sorry for the ramble…. Good luck with Nano this year. I shall be there too, making yet another novel to languish on my laptop incomplete! 🙂

    1. I envy your ability to knock out so many words in such a short time. I am the opposite… don’t you think if writing is something I love to do so much that I would just sit and do it all the time instead of worrying about whether the dishes or done or checking to see if anyone has said anything interesting on Facebook yet?

      I do know how you feel about revising though. When I look at the stuff I have finished, I can’t seem to find anything wrong with it. Worse yet, I try to get other people to read it and criticize it, and all I ever get is, “Oh, this is so good.” Which is nice, but so unhelpful!! What I need is a tough writing workshop where I have access to a team of experienced writing peers who will go at my work like a pack of word wolves who haven’t eaten in months. Tear it up! 😉

      1. I was lucky enough to have the first chapter of my most finished novel properly critiqued by someone, but it was a mixed experience. I learned some really great things but also I got frustrated because they were American and they corrected every single English spelling and terminology I had used. It seemed so petty and pointless (you’d think they might have guessed I’m a Brit by the third correction) that I’m nervous about going through the experience again. I don’t mind criticism but I guess it’s getting them to focus on the right bits. Or maybe they were right and I should write for an American audience… The main problem I have with a writer’s group though is offering critique in return. I don’t feel qualified to comment as my grammar is awful and my experience as a writer is pretty limited!

        Gotta love that displacement activity like checking Facebook (mine rarely goes as far as housework!). There are programmes out there you can use that disable your internet until you actually reboot your machine. Great for helping you with discipline!

  3. Pingback: Joe Hinojosa

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