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Author Topic: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?  (Read 4317 times)

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Daniel Hatadi

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Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« on: October 18, 2006, 01:59:58 AM »

Stephen Blackmoore challenged me to join this insane collection of writing maniacs, and I just couldn't say no when he put up a bottle of 12 yr old Springbank as the 'prize'.

From 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. Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Anyone else interested in this? I'll add you as a writing buddy if you are. You can read more here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/modules/cjaycontent/index.php?id=2 and here's a link to my NaNoWriMo profile: http://www.nanowrimo.org/userinfo.php?uid=138805. I'm sure my username will be a great surprise to everyone. :)

It's a nice way to kick myself in the arse. I'm cheating a little and using a novel I only started recently (about 5K words in, so I'll only count 'new' words). With the pressure already on, I've come up with a few major plot points and general background that would have taken a lot longer to get together without the motivation. I do have the fear that forcing that many words a day could result in lower quality writing, but that's what a first draft is for. This way, I've got plenty of material to beat into submission.

Might be a nice way to give yourself a kick in the writing behind. Who's up for it?

P.S: Can I say 'arse' here?

Brenda B.

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2006, 09:43:38 AM »

I haven't, but members of a class I attended once, did. They were exhausted afterward. It wasn't a salable book in that format, but they felt that had the core of something that could be worked on to get to that point. Only problem was right afterward they never wanted to see the thing again. I haven't followed up to see if they ever did go back to it, I know none of them has submitted anything at this point, one year later.

FWIW
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Joyce S

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2006, 08:06:40 PM »

I'm decided to do the NaNoWriMo. I added you as a buddy; thanks for the invitation.

I expect to have 50,000 words of dreck, but at least it will be 50,000 words more than I've got 'on paper' now! I've been kicking around this set of characters and rough plot points for a few years.

NaNoWriMo gives us permission to turn off our editor brain and just let it pour out. The first draft can be crap, right?

Did you get Chris Baty's No Plot? No Problem! book?

Joyce S
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Daniel Hatadi

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2006, 11:12:03 PM »

Good on you, Joyce! Unfortunately, I have no idea what your username is. The web page shows you the buddies you add, but there doesn't seem to be a way to find the ones that have added you.

I'm already having trouble sleeping: plot ideas, characters, scenes, they're all floating around in my head. How do I silence these voices?!?!?! :)

P.S: For those that don't want to have a bar of it (and you're sane, I tell you), it's still worth heading over to my profile page just to play with the virtual book on screen. You can grab the corner and drag it across, just like real paper! Very nifty.

Here's that profile again: http://www.nanowrimo.org/userinfo.php?uid=138805
« Last Edit: October 18, 2006, 11:14:33 PM by Daniel Hatadi »
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Daniel Hatadi

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2006, 01:34:14 AM »

And no, I don't have Chris Baty's book, but I may just grab a copy tonight.

linda

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2006, 08:00:10 PM »

Dang...

Daniel your profile page drove me nuts.  I couldn't get the page to fully turn back.  And, being the type of person who saves her books, I felt like I couldn't close the danged thing until I did get it closed right.  I know, I know ... it wouldn't have wrinkled your page, but it still seemed kind of insulting to you.

It is a cool site, though.  I thought about doing NaNoWriMo this time and then got caught up in completely redoing my plot.  It's nowhere near ready to go and I don't want to get burnt out on it before I even start the serious writing.

Can I just hang around and cheer you and Joyce on?  I promise to cheer REALLY, REALLY LOUD.

Good luck to both of you,

Linda
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Kathy Wendorff

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2006, 08:47:25 PM »

I've never done the official NaNoWriMo, but I did a similar writing challenge with a Sisters in Crime online group during the month of February, which was a better month for us. This won't affect you in Australia, Daniel, but November is NOT a great "drop everything and write" month for the average American woman, due to the start of the holiday season. One of the other writers reported that "No Plot! No Problem!" has a lot of 'coping with Thanksgiving while writing,' information, suggesting "...locking myself in my bedroom and telling all my visitors that I'm writing a family history and need quiet. "

Now THERE is a strategy devised by a man.  "Gee, honey/mom, that was a great meal you just spent 4 hours preparing, and now I'm going to lock myself in my bedroom and leave you to clean up. And if any of the grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews or cousins ask where I am, just entertain them and tell them I'm writing a family history."

For some reason, I don't think it would work as well for the average woman.

Anyway , the February version of NaNoWriMo worked great for me -- I got a ton written, and none of it any worse than my usual lousy first draft. It really taught me to ignore that infernal internal editor, and quit wasting time with irrelevant research and side issues.

The people who got the most out of the month seemed to be those who had an outline and knew where they wanted to go. I'm not sure how well it went for the seat-of-their-pants writers -- they tended to bog down or have to trash a lot later. But hey, it's only a month out of your life, and at worst, you'll find out what doesn't work for you. At best, you'll have a rough draft of a novel or chunk thereof. So I'd recommend it for anyone.

Unless you're hosting Thanksgiving at your house.

Kathy W.
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Joyce S

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2006, 09:07:03 PM »


Anyway , the February version of NaNoWriMo worked great for me -- I got a ton written, and none of it any worse than my usual lousy first draft. It really taught me to ignore that infernal internal editor, and quit wasting time with irrelevant research and side issues.

But February is TWO WHOLE DAYS shorter! I agree, however, about the November commitments of the typical American woman and you didn't even mention those women who get all their Christmas shopping done in November, egads. But, since I won't be able to travel to visit family this year, my only commitments (besides that stuff I do to pay the mortgage and keep the electricity on--you know, the job) is keep the cat dish reasonably full and the litter pan semi-clean.

Joyce
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Daniel Hatadi

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2006, 11:30:41 PM »

Linda, it's all in the wrist. Keep on cheering, we can use any help we can get! I'll be blogging infrequently about my month, but I'll probably stop in here every so often, too. I mean, writing's 10% writing, 90% procrastination.

Kathy, we may not have Thanksgiving, but both my mother and grandmother's birthday are in November. And there's a good chance my sister might produce offspring towards the end of the month. But yes, I have no idea why November was the month chosen. I would have gone for something like May or September.

Oh, and I bought Baty's book. I'm about half way through as it's a quick read. Not sure if it has decent tips on actual writing, but it does have plenty of fun ideas to do with the specifics of writng a novel in a month. I'd say it's worth getting hold of, but I don't see it being any kind of long term reference.

linda

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2006, 08:12:28 PM »

Daniel, I'll learn to flick my wrist.  And I'll be happy to cheer y'all on with lots of encouragement.

Kathy W.  - February?  A month without a lot of activities going on?  Oh, I like that.  I like that a lot.  Maybe I should just do my own NaNoWriMo when I'm ready?

Linda
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Angie

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2006, 02:54:21 AM »

I'm in.  I already emailed you about this, Daniel.  The "buddy" thing didn't make any sense to me until Stephen B. explained it to me.  I can totally relate to the plotting at all times thing, too.  I have this horrible feeling that if I don't have a solid outline/basic plot that I'll end up spending the month running off on tangents.  I'm not a hardcore outliner, so this is a little challenging.  And that's before the whole "write 50k in 30 days."
 :-\ 
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Kathy Wendorff

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2006, 07:46:01 AM »


Kathy W.  - February?  A month without a lot of activities going on?  Oh, I like that.  I like that a lot.  Maybe I should just do my own NaNoWriMo when I'm ready?

Linda

Sure, why not?

Or,  if there are enough MWF people interested, you could run your own little support group here -- report weekly totals, share triumphs and roadblocks, suggestions, that sort of thing. That's basically what my Sisters in Crime group did. Maybe Bob could add a conference for it, come January, or you could just start a thread in Chat or Writing Advice.

If people are interested, I'd be happy to go back and check the ground rules, etc. my SinC group used. Remind me in January.

Meanwhile, cheers and waving flags to the November NaNoWriMo writers!

Kathy W.
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Janet Koch

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2006, 03:37:55 PM »

Speaking of NaNoWriMo:

http://www.willwriteforchocolate.com/


Janet

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2006, 06:24:15 PM »

LOL, Janet. Now that's my kind of NaNo prep!  I'm working on outlining stuff, but I'm not-so-guido with getting it nailed down.  I've still got a little time, though.  I have a feeling chocolate (and coffee!) shopping will happen first, though. ;)
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Joyce S

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Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2006, 07:02:43 PM »

I will be the redhead in the cartoon. With help from another NaNoWriMo'er, I now have a source for chocolate-covered expresso beans here in Georgia.

My outlining so far is limited to a few notes in a 3x5 notebook I carry with me all the time--nothing formal, just things I didn't want to forget, like the awesome name that came to me out of the blue for the antagonist. I've done a teeny bit of research and will do a bit more before 11/1, but Baty recommends no more than one week, maximum, to research. That and the two 'magna cartas' he recommends will be it for me.

Will it work out so I get a 50K or more draft in 30 days? We'll see at the end of November.

I'm after the adventure!  :)

Joyce
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