T Nation

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)


#1

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

I know we have a lot of long-winded gasbags... err... I mean, eloquent posters on this site. I am thinking of taking the plunge and doing this, so I was curious to see if anyone else might give it a whirl.

Basic concept is to start and complete a 50,000 word novel in the month of November, starting midnight November 1st and close out the end of the day November 30th. Works out to about 1,667 words per day. From what I've read, it sounds like an interesting experience and forces you to get into the writer's mindset. Does it mean you will be crafting the next great American novel? Probably not, but I think the experience of putting yourself throughout is what is truly worthwhile. I am guessing the moment of writing epiphany may come around day 10 or so... at least that's what I'm hoping for.

Kuz


#2

Crap! I've been thinking about writing a novel for years. Lots of idea in my head; I just need the right mental lazative to get it them out.


#3

Well, give it a shot! It's not like people expect Pulitzer Prize caliber work out of this... but it might be just what you need to push you into getting a large 50,000 word rough draft down that you can refine later.


#4

I'm planning to participate. For anyone interested in NaNoWriMo, I recommend "No Plot? No Problem!" by Chris Baty. Even if you don't do the November thing, Baty has a lot of good advice about getting started and keeping it moving.

The goal of 50k words in a month pretty much forces you to write every day. I know I can do 4,500 not-totally-sucky words in a day when I have to, but that's unusual. Doing over 1500 every day for a month is tough. It's much easier when there's a group of folks doing the same thing.


#5

Definitely interesting stuff, thanks Kuz. Are y'all signing up at the site there, or just doing it informally?

I don't know how I never heard of this thing before. I played around with the "contest of the month" in Writer's Digest a while back (yep, I had a subscription. Actually, I should probably renew), but those were nothing major.


#6

[quote]Minotaur wrote:
Definitely interesting stuff, thanks Kuz. Are y'all signing up at the site there, or just doing it informally?
quote]

I am going to formally do it - anything to put a little more heat on me to complete this project is a good thing. If I did it informally.... ehh, I might do it, I might not. I think I've seen where someone (maybe the same people) are also looking to do some kind of blogging equivalent, doing the novel via blog postings.


#7

The first step...self-editing.

:wink: Sorry, couldn't help it.

I think I'll need to "officialize" it too. They said 50,000 words is about 175 pages. That sounds intimidating in 30 days, but then again...screw it. The more I read through that site, the more stoked I'm getting.


#8

Remember: It's a first draft, no one's going to see it, and when in doubt: write it down. Don't think, that comes later.
If you honestly can't think of anything, just keep writing blah blah blah until you do to keep your hand moving.
And, yes, you should be doing it the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper.


#9

Whhhhhaaaaaat???? With a pen and paper? LOL No f-ing way, man! I would go nuts if I tried that. My thoughts flow a lot more cleanly when I type. Why would you think pen and paper is better?


#10

"I'm planning to participate. For anyone interested in NaNoWriMo, I recommend "No Plot? No Problem!" by Chris Baty. Even if you don't do the November thing, Baty has a lot of good advice about getting started and keeping it moving."

Agreed, good book.


#11

Try it out and see. I made the switch and never looked back.


#12

I had planned to do this, but with three classes this semester, plus learning Latin, I just don't have time. Maybe next year.


#13

Kuz,

Maybe we start a writing group here too. We can all share a paragraph or two about our lives or in reference to training. Poetry is a great love of mine too even though I'm new to it. At Barnes and Noble, there are always book lovers gathering to share sample writings and in cafes, there are open microphone poets.

Do you know of any online writing groups?

Thanks.


#14

Neal Stephenson wrote his Baroque Cycle, all 2700 pages of it, entirely by hand. He did it that way in an effort to purposely slow himself down. A lot of authors work that way exclusively.

However, for NaNoWriMo, I wouldn't recommend pen and paper unless you can write faster than you type. Doing it "the old fashioned way" is great, but the idea here is to generate a lot of content quickly. Most people can type a lot faster than they can write by hand.


#15

I am by far the worst at proofreading my own stuff. The daily total of 1,700 or so words is very manageable. It's keeping that pace, and dodging the inevitable writer's block, for the full month that's the key.