It’s over! Did you make it? Did you try? Do you know what I’m talking about? I’m referring to National Writing Month, also known by those in the secret society of writers as NanoWriMo. For those that aren’t familiar, it’s the one month each year where authors are challenged to write 50,000 words. Generally speaking, it doesn’t matter what you write, or how good the result, the idea is just to get writers into the mindset of writing on a regular basis.
For most doing NanoWriMo it’s a challenging proposition. Mainly because most doing so are balancing a day job and “a life” which often includes significant others and sometimes younglings who still need to be fed and cared for even in the month of November. Plus there is the whole start to the holiday thing, which can eat into the time available when you are locked in a chair writing away.
To all those who tried and succeeded…Congratulations. To all those who tried and fell short, well good for you for making the attempt…and there is always next year. Also, keep in mind that Scrivener (a great program for writing) has special discounts: 50% to all those who win, and 20% off for everyone else.
As for me, I wasn’t “officially” doing NanoWriMo as I was already 13,000 words into my current work in progress when November rolled around and technically you are supposed to start a new project. But my yesterday word count was 63,580 so I did actually write 50,000 words this month, but I do this full time so that’s not all that unusual. (I try to shoot for 2,000 words a day). What makes these 50,000 words important is they are “finished” as opposed to just brain dumping. Now that’s not to say that there won’t be editing when the book is all done, but they also aren’t stream of consciousness that is indicative of most NanoWriMo results. I’ve already been over them several times during the writing and they are at the 90% completed stage that I produce during my first draft.
So although I’ve not updated much recently, progress is continuing. As with any of my writing I won’t know until it’s done whether it will die on the table or live on – but that’s why I write “full series” before publishing anything.
That’s my update…how did others fare?
I admire your patience and dedication to quality in the pursuit of writing “full series” before publishing.
No nano for me. I was also into a novel already. With this one I’m taking my time. I took an online course that helped me produce a rough outline, and I am going back to read and edit the prior day’s writing. This has helped me remember what has been said and gives me time to think on whether I like the direction they took. I am also going to work with at least one alpha reader (made possible, more so, because I’m polishing as I go). The goal with this is to get a feel early on about potential hangups. There is a risk of someone else’s opinion ruining my enthusiasm, but if I agree with their criticism, then it could save me a lot of time. All of this is a much different approach to first drafts that I’ve written via nanowrimo. Those were all rewritten or trunked, so here’s hoping this works out better.
It’s a technique that really works for me. I’ve already made quite a few adjustments in book 1 because of stuff from book2. To be honest, I don’t know how people do it the other way around. Having something locked in would seriously hinder my final result.
It’s an interesting approach having your alpha reader following as you go. Let me know how it works out for you. I don’t like anyone seeing anything until it is “all done” – there is only one chance for that first impression.
This year was my second time trying nano, but it was my first time winning it (last time i didn’t even make it to 15,000). I mostly used nano as encouragement to get off my butt and start writing this novel. I’ve had this idea for quite a while, but was never very motivated to actually start writing it. Now, 50,214 words later and only about halfway through the story, I don’t see myself stopping until this is finished! (after finishing it and doing tons and tons of editing, I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but hopefully at that point I’ll have a clue)
Indeed, that is exactly the purpose – get you dedicated to putting your butt in the seat and not being distracted by other activities. Congrats on the win – and good for you that you are encouraged to keep it up util it is done.
This is the first year I’ve done this so it was a challenge for me to see if I could write that much in the time allotted. It may all be stream of consciousness but I did *need* to do a brain dump to get things that were cluttering my head up out and on to the screen. Maybe that is the point of the first “effort” – to clear the clutter?
It took me 14 days to do 50,000 words which has left me feeling somewhat astonished. NaNoWriMo has been an amazing experience for me and one that I would recommend to anyone.
My brain feels empty (yay!) but it is now identifying where the strands of the story will come from and where it will go. The next thing is to get that story into shape…
Wow, that is really impressive – well done. I often find that setting the book aside for a week or so before doing the editing really helps, FWIW.
I fared okay ish for the first half of the month, trailing behind a little but not too badly, before stumbling in a major way on a scene (partly because I failed to establish something properly in a rushed earlier scene) and ended up taking up crochet to distract myself/ make Christmas presents for family. But I do at least know where I’m going next in my writing.
Well that is something…and it sounds like you were productive on other fronts. Stumbling on a scene is one of the things that Nano is supposed to help you with. Often it’s not getting the right words but getting something down that you can fix with editing.
About the same here. I was 50k into an expected 100k draft, and it came out at 101k by the end of last week. I switched over into editing mode instead of continuing along with another project.
That’s great. Some hate editing, but I actually like it as it means that the book is getting that much closer to the final product.
Saw this linked from twitter this morning and it made my day. It is really encouraging to see published authors recognize the work of NaNo; it gives those of us struggling some validation.
I am very excited to be victorious this year. Word count is usually no problem for me; one year I easily hit 100k for Nano. But…that was before I had a full time job and was working on my Masters. This year I knew it would be a real challenge. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do what I love while still juggling ‘real life,’ and I made it under the wire! I’m not quite done, but all that’s waiting is a final battle scene before I’m happy.
Even more important, I learned to really prioritize, and to organize my writing. I think this one might actually make it after the revision process!
(Re: Alice Lelper: I only got through NaNo because I hid all of my crochet hooks and REFUSED to buy yarn. Not an easy decision!)
Thanks for responding – yours is an excellent example of why NaNo is a good thing – setting priorities and writing despite real-life. It never goes away and as most authors have to balance a day job and writing it’s a good trait to learn.
I didn’t participate in NaNo per se. For me, with the way things worked out, it was actually OctoRiMo (October was my big month). I kept ~2,000 words per day in October and completed the second book of my trilogy (The Peregrine Prophecy). And, like you Michael, I was already into it when October 1 rolled around (final book came in around 93,500 words).
The launch on Amazon is December 14 – fingers crossed for a good one 🙂
That’s great Darren – I hope it goes well.