Tuesday, October 27, 2009

National Novel Writing Month - You in?

I've been seeing this - NaNoWriMo - out on the blogosphere lately and until tonight I had no idea what it stood for. But alas, I have become educated and now know that it stands for the National Novel Writing Month, which takes place Nov 1-30. According to the website:
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Wowzers! If I recall, I remember a few folks talking about this last year, but they were already way to into it and I was way too lazy to get involved. But this year? Now that could be cool, as you all know I'm thinking about starting a new novel anyway. AND the more I think about it, I actually wrote the first draft of BS in two months (65k) and that was with a lot of days of doing nuttin'.

Reading through the website, the 10 steps to success are pretty amusing. Take #4 for example:
4) Begin procrastinating by reading through all the great advice and funny stories in the forums. Post some stories and questions of your own. Get excited. Get nervous. Try to rope someone else into doing this with you. Eat lots of chocolate and stockpile noveling rewards.

But most of all, it's #10 that's my favorite:
10) Win or lose, you rock for even trying.

The rules of NaNo seem pretty basic too. I especially like this one, "Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times." See, basic. I can handle that.

So, what's my game plan you ask? Well, according to the guidelines you have to start from scratch, BUT you can have your outline and character sketches already developed, which is a very, very good thing. Without these steps done, my confidence in completing even 25,000 would be bleak. So that's where I'm starting. Over the next few days I'll finish outlining LIP GLOSS & LIES and get ready to write. Wait, first I need to sign up...

Now, what about you? You in? C'mon, it'll be fun...

Oh, I'll also add that I just saw they have a "word war" widget where you can compete with up to 5 authors and it'll keep track of everyone's word count on your blog. How cool is that?

9 comments:

Bane of Anubis said...

Word war widget -- priceless :)... nah, I couldn't do this... I'm not a competitive drinker, much less a competitive writer. Good luck, though, to you brave souls who venture into the vortex of insanity (and I'm guessing LT could pump out about 100k in the given time :).

Steph Damore said...

I hear ya Bane. I'm not thinking of it as competition as much as I am motivation! It's hard to back out when you have a team of other fearless writers.

DebraLSchubert said...

Best of luck w/NaMo!! I'm signed up, but I'm in the middle of a novel. So, doubt I'll do it.

BTW: Stop by my place. I've left some blog bling for you. ;-)

VR Barkowski said...

If you have issues with an internal editor (as I do), it's hard not to buy into the possibility that NaNo is the answer. One month to sketch out the bones of the story, eleven months to edit.

Steph Damore said...

Thanks for the award Debra!!! I'm the bomb?! You're absolutely fan-flippin'-tastic and bomb-erific (and really nice, too).

Steph Damore said...

Hi VR, welcome to the blog and I must say, I like the way you think. I write from an outline so I already have a detailed sketch of my next novel - BUT writing without editing is always a toughie. This whole NaNo thing is new to me, but I'm going to give it my best shot and see how well I do.

J.J. Bennett said...

I'm in! But I'm going to try to finish my WIP. I have about that much left. There's my goal...Novemeber 30th!

Steph Damore said...

That's awesome Jen! I say it doesn't matter if you're starting a new novel or trying to finish one. My goal with NaNo is just to write, and write well I might add.

I joined my local NaNo group yesterday and I was surprised to read a lot of the discussion board chat. It seems that the contest's mindset is to write, who cares if it's crap, just get it out there. I'm not sure I totally agree with that. My region is all about making it fun with dares ("I dare you to add a magical gnome in chapter 3") and write-ins, but it doesn't look like they take it serious enough. I mean, I get it, NaNo is encouraging EVERYONE to write the novel that's inside of them and be creative, so I shouldn't be offended, and I'm not really, I just think you should have higher standards for yourself. 50,000 words of crap won't do you much good in the long run.

So, I guess my point is that I'm all in for NaNo, but I'm not writing crap and thinking of this as something fun to "just do", I'm writing an amazing first draft. Come Sunday morning I'll be ready to write.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I signed up for NaNo, but chickened out. I started writing my novel last week instead and am going for an average of 3 pages a day. November is just too hectic for me to churn out 6+ pages a day!

And I agree with you Stephanie (feels like I'm talking to myself!)- I don't really agree with the philosophy of churning out a novel of crap. But I think NaNo is a great motivator!