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NaNoWriMo 2017 (WRITE!)

MagellMagell Sphinx!Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
edited November 6 in The Writer's Block
We're just under a month away from the glorious time known as NaNoWriMo and as somebody who has failed many times to complete this task I am well qualified to write this OP. The month leading up to nano is a great time to get some preparation in for your writing.

Maybe this is your first time here and in that case Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words over the month of November which will give you most of a rough draft of a novel. https://nanowrimo.org/ is the official site for nano and lets you sign up and get a cool thing to put in your signature that shows your progress.

You may be thinking that 50k words is a lot, and it might be, but really it's just 1666 words a day. The bigger secret is that it's just way to focus on writing and get it to become an everyday habit that you keep going. In fact you can set your own goal and hit that. Some people do way more, some do less it's all about getting writing done for yourself. If you want to write a bunch of short stories or essays instead that's fine. If you're working on a novel, but you also do blog posts you can count those words to. Maybe you've already started a novel, you can just keep working on that and count your new words. It's just a fun contest and a great way to get motivated to write by being held accountable to something by other people.

Some might say a lot of the advice I just gave in the last paragraph is cheating. I don't care and they're probably right. But I've got lots more cheating advice. As a traditionally seat of the pants writer I can tell you that preparation is key for Nano. First you're going to need to have a playlist ready. I do generally like the same play list every day, but a couple hours long one so you won't necessarily be repeating it daily. Also you're going to want to know what you're going to be drinking when you're writing. Got to have the right kind of mentality for the mood you are writing at that point in the book.

Oh, wait for serious preparation there are several good things to have handy when writing your nano book. Number 1 is a list of names for people, places, and things. Nothing can kill a good writing groove faster than having to name something and trying to come up with one off the top of your head. This is especially important in genre fiction where you can just call somebody Eric or Sarah and call it good. An outline of some kind is probably a good idea as well, but that depends on your writing style. I'd also recommend writing up bios for your main characters and places on index cards. Remember to add any major changes as you write.

Remember when I said you'd be held accountable? Well that's because we often get into a chat room and do sprints and help each other write. We have an IRC channel, but that's the old shit so I started a Discord room for Nano instead that this link should take you to. https://discord.gg/xKjWkWF I'm going to try and be in there daily.

So there are 29 days of prep left to get work done. I'm going to be in the discord tomorrow morning at like 9 brainstorming ideas if anybody is interested.

Magell on

Posts

  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    I'll add different challenges to prep with at least weekly, maybe more often if I can think of some quick daily ones and depending on how active this thread gets. I know the forum has been pretty quiet lately, but Nano can hopefully bring it back.

  • UseR2006UseR2006 MelbourneRegistered User regular
    I'll be doing NanoWrimo this year as well, first time here in the Writers section of PA forums though so. (usually around in the G&T sections)
    Hopefully i'll be able to draw on a few people here to help make it to the winners circle again!

    "I know you've been online. I know you've seen the memes. There are lots of people that don't have that voice, that makes them ask themselves if what they make is shit or not." WuTl0qM.png
    steam_sig.png


  • mildlymorbidmildlymorbid Registered User regular
    This will also be a first for me. I didn't even know NaNoWriMo was a thing, until I saw UseR talking about it in chat.

    Probably not gonna make it to 50k, and ain't doing a novel, but I'm hoping this will get me to at least write period.

    Steam
    3DS: 1908-2926-7428
  • GyralGyral Registered User regular
    I always want to do NaNoWriMo, but then I see the 50k target and NOPE right out. Don't get me wrong - it's not a bad thing for other people, but for me its different than my own process. I tend to write a chapter and then go back and read/edit before moving on. So, a good month for me is 30k because of the edit runs. For me to hit 50k would basically have me writing with the purpose of putting off the edit/clean ups for a later date. I can usually get 1-3k written a day, so that's not out of the possibility.

    I just got #2 published (with four more in the editing stages) so maybe I'll be ready to jump back in by the end of the month and at least check my numbers for fun (like auditing a class).

    With all that said, good luck to you all. I'm rooting for you.

    APOF_banner.png
  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    Nano is now only a week away, and after my initial planning ive done nothing. Today im going to try and get bios done for my main characters. Always imporant to get physical traits down so they remain consistent.

    Gyral
  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    I'm here for this, after being absent for years!

    Hi guys!

    After thinking I should really start planning something for the past three weeks, I'm finally dedicating some time to trying to figure out exactly what I want to write this year. Right now, I'm thinking I may go fairly loose for this year: decide on a general theme, pin down a solid arc, and just start running and figure out the details along the way.

    Gokai_zpsdvyiviz0.png
    Magell
  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    Nano starts Wednesday so that's pretty soon. From 5 PM to 6 PM EST I'm going to be running sprints in the discord.

    If you don't know what that entails a sprint is a way to focus your energy on the writing. For ten minutes straight you just write. After the time is up I'll say to stop and then we all post our word counts to see who is the fastest. Although that part isn't important, but it's a fun competition. After the writing time we'll do five minutes off then do another sprint. So an hour of sprints will get you 40 straight minutes of writing.

    Sprints are going to be something I'll be running regularly in the discord when there are people who want to do them. I don't have a ton of free time Wednesday so that will work then, sorry for all the non-East Coast people that the time will probably not work for. Anybody can feel free to run sprints though, you don't need me to lead them. I have Thursday off so I'll probably spend a lot of time in discord and writing throughout the day.

    Remember to set goals for yourself and have rewards for yourself. Too much writing can burn you out early in the month.

    VanityPants
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I've been wanting to do NaNoWriMo for many many years at this point and I never have. This year I am finally going to give it a shot. I'm scared.

    I'm terrible at outlining and terrible at coming up with stories and I can spell words and turn them into sentences and that's just about it. I guess there's technically no requirement that the thing I write be interesting for someone else to read, so I'm thinking of starting with some sort of stream of consciousness type thing and seeing where it takes me. My attention span is balls, so it probably won't be very coherent, but again I guess that's not a rule. I'm just going to try to get through it. >>

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn

    VanityPants
  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    @Magell Is there an official TWB Discord? I only know of our tiny one!

    @Ceres Being scared is totally normal -- you should absolutely join us for NaNo!

    I think that's the hardest part of doing NaNo the first time, though. It's really hard to get past that initial idea that what you're writing needs to somehow be... Special, or perfect, or right? It's super easy to look at your favorite finished book and see the gulf between what you're doing and what that is.

    I remember my first NaNo, I printed out a bunch of quotes (pulled from the NaNoWriMo Author Letters) about how the most important thing is to just keep writing, and how no first draft is perfect, and the books that we read and love are the result of constant editing and revision.

    And it's really, really true! And even if you end up with a book that's far from perfect and you never want to bother editing it (I have a few of those), you still learn a lot along the way.

    More than any of that, NaNoWriMo is like a big, month-long party for writers! It's just really fun to take part in.

    Gokai_zpsdvyiviz0.png
    Magellceres
  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    Magell Is there an official TWB Discord? I only know of our tiny one!

    Ceres Being scared is totally normal -- you should absolutely join us for NaNo!

    I think that's the hardest part of doing NaNo the first time, though. It's really hard to get past that initial idea that what you're writing needs to somehow be... Special, or perfect, or right? It's super easy to look at your favorite finished book and see the gulf between what you're doing and what that is.

    I remember my first NaNo, I printed out a bunch of quotes (pulled from the NaNoWriMo Author Letters) about how the most important thing is to just keep writing, and how no first draft is perfect, and the books that we read and love are the result of constant editing and revision.

    And it's really, really true! And even if you end up with a book that's far from perfect and you never want to bother editing it (I have a few of those), you still learn a lot along the way.

    More than any of that, NaNoWriMo is like a big, month-long party for writers! It's just really fun to take part in.

    https://discordapp.com/invite/xKjWkWF should take you there

  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    edited October 31
    I keep telling myself, i'm going to be serious this year, I have been getting distracted the past few years, somewhere around the ~20k mark, I start getting annoyed with myself, because I tend to be 5 to 10k behind, and then I get frustrated because the story took me to a place I didn't need it, or want it to go, and oh my god, what the fuck is this, it is horrible, i'm horrible, why am I doing this to myself. I should, just aaaargh.... And then I start tearing up pages and crumbling them and throwing them in the trashcan, even though Obviously I write on a computer and I just wasted perfectly good sheets of notebook paper that had nothing written on them...

    That said, this is the year I get back in the groove, I like my idea, I like my general outline. though like always, I have nothing connecting the beats I think are important to hit. The good news is I got a week of evening scientific measurements to do mid november, which basically require user input every 6 minutes. which leaves me with 6 minutes of idle to time to sprint...

    Amaryl on
  • EmperorSethEmperorSeth Registered User regular
    I'm not going to apologize for totally failing last year. As my signature suggests, that was the election's fault. I will apologize, however, for failing in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. No real excuses there, especially since I succeeded every year I attempted before that.

    I'm hoping to reverse my fortunes this time. I have a half-outline and major characters figured out, so I'm only pants bits and pieces. I hope that will improve my odds. We'll see, though.

    You know what? Nanowrimo's cancelled on account of the world is stupid.
  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    How's everyone's first day going so far?!

    I managed to enter November with very little idea of what I actually want to write, but... We'll see where that goes. Midnight ticked over and I jotted down a couple hundred words before sleep, so I'm trying to make sense of where to take it all so I can jump back in after work.

    Gokai_zpsdvyiviz0.png
  • GyralGyral Registered User regular
    I was already working on something before November, so I'm using NaNoWriMo to write what I call "dump copy" - stuff that I write as it comes to me to be slotted in at later point in the process (conversations, descriptions). So far, almost 1K, but its a different experience for me (which is for the best because I like to write non-series stuff differently anyway). Feels like a sprint rather than the slower, laborious sculpting process I usually employ.

    APOF_banner.png
  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    How's everyone's first day going so far?!

    I managed to enter November with very little idea of what I actually want to write, but... We'll see where that goes. Midnight ticked over and I jotted down a couple hundred words before sleep, so I'm trying to make sense of where to take it all so I can jump back in after work.

    I'm at work! But goal is to get the daily 2,000 once I get home from work. I have an outline all ready. It is a stupid outline and I want to change it so very much, but I am repressing that inner editor until it's all on paper.

    camo_sig2.png
    PSN: AuthorFrost
    mageofstorm.png
  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    I wrote nothing because i hung out with my girlfriend, brother, and his wife. Thankfully i have tomorrow off so i can catch up.

  • NorgothNorgoth Registered User regular
    Doing this for the first time this year. I've always thought about it but never started, but after reading the excellent Paperbacks From Hell (an excellent book about the history of 70 and 80's horror novels), I realised that this was a good excuse to just right the trashiest horror novel you could think off.

    Missed the first but did 3400 words today. Feels good. I'm cheating a little, running with the basic concept "what if horoscopes were real, but are talking about something scary" and then doing twelve short story's, one per zodiac. Just finished the first one, Scorpio (because that's November 1st), about obviously, giant scorpions.

  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    Pretty slow going today, but I haven't been writing in a while, so I'm not too bummed by it. Just need to get all the gears going and past the introduction stuff of the story and then I should be good to go. I hope.

  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    I'm ahead of schedule by a whole 100 words... time to rest on my laurels. That's how this works right?

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    After completing NaNoWriMo in 13-15, I don't think I've written more than a word or two in the last couple of years. Emperor Seth sure had it right over why last year was a bust.

    Going in by the seat of my pants this year, I've got about 5.2k for two days of writing, now I'm nattering over when the shiney is going to wear off and I'm going to have to bear down and _work_ to get the rest out.

    @ceres One of the most useful things that NaNoWriMo can help you with, is that a big part of writing is needing to get in the habit of just sitting down and writing. It really doesn't matter if you don't make 50k in a month, if by the end, you've gotten into the habit of sitting down and putting 100, 200, 700, whatever, words to paper every day. Back when I was writing, my personal goal was everyday, 250 words at least. Doing that many on a daily basis, once you get in the swing of things, is trivial, and it adds up. November just requires scaling that up and focusing a little more.

    Magellceres
  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    The best part of Nano is just using it to develop the rhythm of writing everyday. Sure the goal of a novel at the end is great, but I've "failed" twice before and those both ended up being completed rough drafts that I can rewrite eventually.

  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    Two days in a row without power is really killing me considering i was already behind.

  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    I had a bit of a headstart after attempting and failing this a few times but this year I'm on track to complete my personal goal. Aiming for 1k words a day with my 20k headstart to leave me with a good 50k at the end I can finish up and polish off. So far so good, added 6k words. I have a huge outline I've been working on for a long time, I just have to actually write those bits. I am using scrivener to manage everything and that has worked out well thus far.

    Getting into the habit and consistently writing for just a week has been really great.

    Me on Twitch!
    Dohaeris210 on PSN / SniperGuy710 on Xbone Live
    Me on Steam
    Destiny 2 PC Guild
  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Whoops I haven't even started because I spent the past five days playing a limited even in a mobile game.

    Only 12K behind, no big. Three day weekend ahead is where I'll make up for lost ground.

    camo_sig2.png
    PSN: AuthorFrost
    mageofstorm.png
  • GyralGyral Registered User regular
    Thought I was gonna get ahead this past weekend until I was informed of In-law birthday duties, which pretty much wiped out one day. Still on track, though.

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  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    20,662 words in about 3-4 days.

    I'm above par now.

    camo_sig2.png
    PSN: AuthorFrost
    mageofstorm.png
    Gyral
  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    I had a pretty productive weekend, I did the laundry, I ironed the laundry, including my T-shirts and Socks, I cleaned the kitchen, I cleaned the bathroom, including the really nitty gritty stuff. Then It was on to the toilet, Which coincidentally decided to get clogged earlier in the morning, so that was a nice surprise, that I dealt with. Then it was my rooms turn, where I decided it was finally time to dust of the bookcase since I hadn't done that since last year november, and man, that's a lot of dust that accumulates. Taking every book out, dusting it off, then dusting the bookcase itself, then putting the books back, was a well spent two hours. The hallway was clean in like no-time, thanks hallway.

    Then on sunday my roommate came home and asked me if I had company coming over. So I told him the truth. "No, I'm writing."

    I feel like i'm bad at this guys.

  • GyralGyral Registered User regular
    So, I've be on pace at 2k a day. So, I'm roughly at 24k right now. But I can see the inevitable wall in the distance where I'm gonna grind down to my usual 500+ a day as I try to write the connective tissue and fill in the finer details. I may have to limp towards the finish line on this.

    APOF_banner.png
  • CheeselikerCheeseliker Registered User regular
    I've been doing well by just separating each day as its own "chunk" so I don't have to stare at 20 pages of text scrolling down before getting to an open spot. Been using calmlywriter, it's working well. I love typewriter sounds.

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