July 13, 2020, 06:40:40 PM

Author Topic: nanowrimo  (Read 4885 times)

Offline ChrisMB

nanowrimo
« on: March 20, 2011, 03:16:52 AM »
I don't know if this would be the proper place for this. If it isn't would someone please kindly either move it or inform me so I may correct my error?

But on topic, does anyone here participate in nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month)?
I had heard about it last December, and just registered for the event earlier in the week. I know that November is a long way off, but as this is a community of people who are writers by trade and passion, I was wondering if anyone here ever heard of it or participated before. And if so, would you like to do it again?

Offline Autumn2May

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Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2011, 03:36:19 AM »
I do! :)  Well I did last year. :)  That's what got me started in writing.  It's lots of fun, but it's a lot of work.  I would suggest trying it, as it's a great way to get your ideas flowing and getting in the habit of writing every day.  My NaNo name is Jellen123. :)

Offline MTMaenpaa

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2011, 04:12:17 AM »
I've been aware of NaNoWriMo for several years, but this past year was the first I actually participated in.  I highly recommend it for any number of reasons, but namely that it helped me to discipline myself while writing.  And I got the better part of a draft out of the deal.

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Offline missoularedhead

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2011, 05:07:14 AM »
I know a lot of folks who do it every year, and I did it last year as a sort of final push to finish my dissertation (yeah, I know, not a novel, but it IS book length!).  It does work well as a way to get you writing regularly.  And a bunch of people on twitter post word counts and do work sprints together.

Work sprints are where you write for a certain amount of time, then check in via twitter or FB or other social media, and say what you got done. It keeps you accountable, and is a great 'you can do it' motivator!
"Well behaved women rarely make history" ~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Offline Overlord

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2011, 05:20:14 AM »
I have done it twice and failed twice, lol... Once I did about 25,000 and the other time about 22,000 - something seems to come up for me annoying. Hopefully though... this year.... (I have said that the last two years...) :P
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Offline Tiffany Kysis Tackett

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2011, 06:15:25 PM »
I've done NaNo three years and nailed it all three.  Last year I was the representative for NaNo at the local university, and I have been asked to be a Municipal Liaison for this upcoming November.  It's a load of fun, and if you go to write-ins in your region, you meet all sorts of cool people!

The same people run another event called Script Frenzy which is in April (it's coming up!) where you write 100 pages of a script in 30 days (approximately 20k words).  It can be a movie, tv show, short films, a play, short plays, radio show, or comic book.  I also ML for Script Frenzy (will be 3rd year participating, 2nd as a ML).

It's a blast.  Definitely do NaNo next year, and if you feel like it, give the Screnzy a whirl!

Offline The Mad Hatter

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 12:13:03 AM »
I don't know if this would be the proper place for this. If it isn't would someone please kindly either move it or inform me so I may correct my error?

But on topic, does anyone here participate in nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month)?
I had heard about it last December, and just registered for the event earlier in the week. I know that November is a long way off, but as this is a community of people who are writers by trade and passion, I was wondering if anyone here ever heard of it or participated before. And if so, would you like to do it again?
Yes, no, maybe, possibly?

Let me guess, that's no help, right? I'd better explain.

I've taken part in Nanowrimo 4 or 5 times now, and never once completed it. It's been a frustrating experience in many ways. Damned frustrating. But...

I'm 2/3 of the way towards finishing one of my Nanowrimo novels, one of my 'failures' that didn't get finished during Nano. It's been sitting there, in the back of my head, bugging me for years. And all the while it's been bugging me, little bits and pieces have been falling into place. And I've been learning. I've been doing a lot of writing. On my blog, I've been writing an average of one non-fiction article per day for the last two years. Add that to work on my novel, posting here, and other places, and I'm churning out around 4000 words per day, every day.

It's been a learning experience. Nanowrimo was an essential part of that learning experience. Taking part in the community, and in the community message boards over at Live Journal helped me with ideas, concepts, plots, background, research, character, and everything else that's part of a novel.

So do it. Try to finish, but don't beat up on yourself if you don't. Most people don't in their first year, just like most people don't make an NHL/NBA/MLB/NFL or their country's Olympic team the first time they try out either. Consider it practice.

Oh, and cheat. Start your planning now. What will you write about? Make notes. Draw maps. Work out the culture. Be as ready as you can be for the start. For that matter, write a couple practice short stories set in the culture/background to make sure that you are familiar with it, possibly even using the main characters, set a few a bit prior to the events you plan to write about.

Wayne aka The Mad Hatter

Offline Tiffany Kysis Tackett

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 04:11:02 AM »
Oh, and cheat. Start your planning now. What will you write about? Make notes. Draw maps. Work out the culture. Be as ready as you can be for the start. For that matter, write a couple practice short stories set in the culture/background to make sure that you are familiar with it, possibly even using the main characters, set a few a bit prior to the events you plan to write about.

The most awesome part about NaNoWriMo?  Planning ahead isn't actually cheating.  Using the wordcount from all of your preparation is, but drawing all those maps, doing a plot outline, character bios, and random short stories to get a feel for the world is actually recommended by many of the higher ups, and is definitely approved in the region I'm working in.

But yeah, NaNo = great practice in writing more per day, sticking with a project, and making that first move to getting a book completed.

Offline MTMaenpaa

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 04:14:37 AM »
Oh, and cheat. Start your planning now. What will you write about? Make notes. Draw maps. Work out the culture. Be as ready as you can be for the start. For that matter, write a couple practice short stories set in the culture/background to make sure that you are familiar with it, possibly even using the main characters, set a few a bit prior to the events you plan to write about.

The most awesome part about NaNoWriMo?  Planning ahead isn't actually cheating.  Using the wordcount from all of your preparation is, but drawing all those maps, doing a plot outline, character bios, and random short stories to get a feel for the world is actually recommended by many of the higher ups, and is definitely approved in the region I'm working in.

But yeah, NaNo = great practice in writing more per day, sticking with a project, and making that first move to getting a book completed.

Planning is definitely encouraged in the SF and Chicago chapters.  Outlining, character notes, etc... can all help you with your finished project.  The only thing that doesn't count is re-writing a draft.  So long as the entire work is new and original, the only things that count will still be the words in the draft.  My plan for this upcoming November is to write the second book in my Western, which is also encouragement to finish the first book in time to do some planning.
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Offline The Mad Hatter

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011, 05:50:29 AM »
Planning is definitely encouraged in the SF and Chicago chapters.  Outlining, character notes, etc... can all help you with your finished project.  The only thing that doesn't count is re-writing a draft.  So long as the entire work is new and original, the only things that count will still be the words in the draft.  My plan for this upcoming November is to write the second book in my Western, which is also encouragement to finish the first book in time to do some planning.

Which is why I didn't take part in the last Nanowrimo. I signed up, but... The only thing I wanted to work on was the novel I'd started four years before, and already had 5K words written. Which isn't allowed. So I called author Shirley Meier, and asked her if she'd look at it. She read it, and came back with a half a dozen questions.

It's really funny. Most people when they want their writing looked at want answers. I find questions far more useful myself. And Shirley is a pro. She asks really tough questions. I had to sit back and really think about them. A couple of them told me that my part of my concept was aimed 90 degrees from where it needed to go. Another one had me so severely puzzled that I had to ask her what she meant. She had to walk to through it, at which point it seemed so obvious that I wondered why I hadn't seen it from the start.

But the killer part was when she called the main character (who didn't have a name at this point) 'the young warrior'. She'd noticed something that I'd unconsciously written in. And it was a very important point, which changed my visualization of the character's background (which you don't get to find out about, because he has amnesia).

But none of this would have been possible if I hadn't have managed the 5K words at Nano 4 years ago. The basic vision was there. I just wasn't skilled enough at the time to make it work. I am now, and the first book is nearly finished.

Thank god for Nanowrimo. It gave me a chunk of experience to build on.

Wayne aka The Mad Hatter

Offline AlexEatsBooks

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2011, 05:49:03 PM »
Embarrassingly I've tried and failed 4 times - granted, I've not really taken it as seriously as I really should... maybe this year? lol, I'll hopefully have more time on my hands :D
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Offline The Mad Hatter

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 05:19:20 AM »
Embarrassingly I've tried and failed 4 times - granted, I've not really taken it as seriously as I really should... maybe this year? lol, I'll hopefully have more time on my hands :D

As I said, failing four times gave me the tools to make this one work. Practice makes perfect as mom used to say (she used to drive me crazy saying it too).

Wayne aka The Mad Hatter

Offline Overlord

Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2011, 11:13:23 AM »
Maybe this year we will have a mini-group and give each other some support :) closer to the time I'll make our own board :D
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Offline Autumn2May

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Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2011, 01:28:16 PM »
Maybe this year we will have a mini-group and give each other some support :) closer to the time I'll make our own board :D

Excellent I idea!  I was thinking the same thing. :)  NaNo usually starts up in October when people start prepping their outlines and such.  Maybe you could add a section to the Writer's Corner around then?

Offline WizardofWestmarch

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Re: nanowrimo
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2011, 04:20:23 AM »
Wow I fail at forum searching, just noticed this thread.

Started doing NaNo in 2003, failed in 03 and 04, took a hiatus due to real life sucking, started back up in 2008 after my life had settled back down and now living in Denver. Won 2008, 2009, 2010.

If you have a hard time finishing longer works, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It has helped improve my discipline outside of NaNo as well as generally getting me refocused in mastering the art of telling an awesome story. Hell last year I pulled off 75k. My goal was 100, but still 75 is an epic run in 30 days. Mind you I spent about 6 weeks in preparation before hand, which if you are a planner is highly recommended =-)
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