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NaNoWriMo!

Altamont

The Bard of the Beasts
Who here is excited for this year's National Novel Writing Month?

I know I am :) It's my first year, but I have an inkling of a book that might actually be very fun to do.

So who else is planning on participating?
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
My first Nanowrimo year was 2007. I've won it three times, but ... 2007 was still the best. Completely original story I had only started really thinking about two days before November, hit the goalpost with two days to spare ... and was able to wrap up the plotlines by the 30th. My 2008 and 2009 novels did have their moments and ultimately did hit the mark as well, but just weren't as overall fun.

I distinctly remember back in '07 some Nanowrimo vet made a graph that charted out the progress of the average Nanowrimo user. Something like 60-70% of users who lost Nano were because they never actually wrote anything, and a good 80% of those who got at least halfway ultimately made it to win.
 

M. LeRenard

Is not French
That's weird. I was just thinking about this yesterday, wondering if I'd do it again. My problem is that if I start something like this, I feel honor-bound to complete it, no matter what else is going on.
I suppose if I get a great idea, I'll participate again. It really is a lot of work, but it's satisfying as all hell to win... so it's conflicting, you know?
 

Poetigress

Panthera tigris libris
I'm skipping it this year, for several reasons. First, I don't have a solid novel idea, and I learned all too well last year how brutal it is to do 50K of novellas/short stories instead. By the time I hit the finish line, I'd vowed I would never do NaNo for shorter projects again. Second, if things work out, I might be spending the fall doing the last rewrite of an already-completed novel to get it ready for publication next year. And third, I've signed up for The Sketchbook Project for the first time, which I'll need to complete by the end of the year. So I think I'll stay busy enough with creative stuff during November without NaNo. :)
 
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quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
Still deciding. I want to (though I'll possibly be a bad girl and write the second half of my 2009 novel instead of a new idea - I seem to only be able to write that novel under pressure), but my laptop kicked the bucket this summer and doing NaNo without being able to go to the meetups is so much less satisfying. So I'll see what I end up doing.
 

sunandshadow

Impractical Fantasy Animal
Although I love reading the nanoisms thread on the nanowrimo forums, I failed NaNo the first two years I participated (Both times I felt burned out and unhappy by the middle of week 2; I just cannot handle the pace or writing every single day). Last year I did not participate, and although I felt bad about not joining in, I didn't feel as miserable as I had when I quit the previous two years.
 
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TakeWalker

Guest
Though I have all my notes from last year, I'm probably not going to end up participating, and for the same reasons as last year (travel for Thanksgiving).

Either that, or I'll try and JUST DO IT and probably not win. :B
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
Well, you know what they say: If you can write 2,000 words on a daily basis, you can plan for five days off.
 
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TakeWalker

Guest
I WILL WRITE TEN MEELLEEON WORDS A DAY AND WIN FIVE TIMES >:V
 

Gavrill

ladies~
I WILL WRITE TEN MEELLEEON WORDS A DAY AND WIN FIVE TIMES >:V

But will it be a story or you just writing "derp" ten million times? Either way it is art.

I'm out, I've got to write something, but NaNoWriMo will be unforgiving to my amateurish writing.
 

Poetigress

Panthera tigris libris
Well, you know what they say: If you can write 2,000 words on a daily basis, you can plan for five days off.

*nods* I don't know how many days of travel you have, Take, but I always planned for Thanksgiving off, and pushed myself enough in the first week or so (when momentum is high) so that I had enough of a lead to absorb another couple days off in case I wasn't feeling well or something.

One thing that helped me was to figure out which days I could reasonably do more and which I could do less, and instead of sticking to the, what is it, 1300 a day or whatever it is if you break it up evenly, I planned the whole thing out with different word goals for different days (I used a calculator and a calendar, but a spreadsheet probably would be easier for those who know how to do that sort of thing). I tend to write less on weekends, a moderate amount on weekday afternoons, and a lot more on my weekdays off, so my daily goals varied from 1000 on a Saturday when I was working to 3000 on a Friday off. I think the variation helped me more than shooting for the same amount each day.

Chris Baty suggests in No Plot? No Problem! (there's probably something on the website about it, too) that before NaNo, at the end of each day for a week, write down what you did that day hour by hour, and see how much time you spend daily on things you can do without or cut back on just for a month (Internet/IM/whatever, TV, reading, etc.). I never did that, but I'm sure I'd be surprised how much time I waste--er, spend--online if I actually kept track like that. ;)
 

M. LeRenard

Is not French
I bum-rushed the first 10000 words really quickly, and then started doing the 1300 words a day minimum, took a few days off just to take a break, and then bum-rushed the ending and finished a little early. There are lots of methods, most of which involve taking a sizable break in between. But no matter what you do, there will be many miserable days where you just don't freaking want to write. I think the key to success is just being able to write on those days, and to meet your goal no matter how shitty you feel.
 
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TakeWalker

Guest
*nods* I don't know how many days of travel you have, Take, but I always planned for Thanksgiving off, and pushed myself enough in the first week or so (when momentum is high) so that I had enough of a lead to absorb another couple days off in case I wasn't feeling well or something.

My other problem is the possibility that I may be working in November for, like, the first time ever. :B It's not certain at this point, but it could happen.
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
Speaking of rushes, in 2009 I fell significantly behind. I managed to cram in 10,000 words on Nov.30th and just edged over the finish line . . . but plotwise, I really burned out.
 

ScottyDM

Bites when Provoked
I'll possibly be a bad girl and write the second half of my 2009 novel instead of a new idea...
Weeee! I am a NaNo Pirate.

Screw the official rules. The only rules I follow are to write 50,000 words of original content. What it belongs to is irrelevant.


I'm out, I've got to write something, but NaNoWriMo will be unforgiving to my amateurish writing.
Untrue. NaNo thrives on a amateurish writing.

S~
 

Altamont

The Bard of the Beasts
I'm looking forward to it if only so that it will actually give me a time limit to write something, which will hopefully spark my creative juices. I have a rough idea of it so far, but I'm not sure how satirical I want it to be...
 

Pliio8

Has No Compassion
I'm thinking I may go along with it. I dunno, I kinda fail when I'm feeling on a deadline.
 

Willow

FAF's #1 Terrorist
I might. I thought about doing it last year, but couldn't think of what to write.

It isn't for another two months so I have time.
 

GraemeLion

Member
Nah. It's not for me. I aim for around 70,000 words in novels for the furry genre. 50,000 is just too short for me.
 

ScottyDM

Bites when Provoked
IMO the true value of NaNoWriMo is that it motivates people to write something.

How many feel they have a novel in them, but are too busy to write, or don't know where to start? Well, NaNo is a way actually do something. In all likelihood it won't be great, but at least you wrote some words. In fact, the structure of NaNo is such that what find you've created at the end of November is very likely junk. NaNo is all about getting the words that have been floating around in your head, into some tangible form--be it marks on paper or bits in a computer file. Once you have your words, you can always whip them into shape come December.

Reasons not to do NaNo:
  • You have no interest in writing.
  • Your agent or editor is leaning on you to finish final edits for an existing novel under contract, and the due date is in November or shortly after.
  • You've written several novels and already have a writing/editing process in place that works, and NaNo would interfere with that.
  • You don't like being told when to jump or how high.

Reasons to do NaNo:
  • You're the type who works well when given a deadline.
  • You've never written a lengthy work before, and since NaNo demands nothing beyond a word count you figure this might be the time to give it a shot.
  • You've been kinda lazy the last few months so maybe a good swift kick to produce something is just what you need.
  • My gawd! Is 50,000 words in one month even possible? For me? Might be fun to try.
  • You might enjoy attending local write-ins and socializing with other writers.

The official NaNo rules state that you must work on a novel, and that it must be a new effort, that you can't pre-write before November, and NO EDITING!

Screw that. I am a NaNo Pirate (theme song to follow). As a NaNo Pirate, the rules aren't really rules, but more like guidelines. The only thing that counts for me is to attempt to create 50,000 new words. As a NaNo Pirate the following activities are permissible:
  • A collection of short stories instead of a novel? Sure!
  • Working on non-fiction instead of a novel? Why not!
  • More chapters for my already existing over-sized novel? You betcha!
  • Hopping from one half-finished novel to the next during November? No problemo!
  • Editing an existing novel? Errrrm... well that might be a problem because if my edits remove words, then my precious word count goes down. So I guess no editing during NaNo.
  • Start writing on your NaNo project before November 1st? Hey, as long as you don't count those words, it's fair. Being a NaNo Pirate doesn't mean you're a cheat.

Anyway, there is no rule that your novel must be 50,000 words, that you must stop writing it after November 30th, or that you must write in English. You're under no obligation to show it to anyone after you're done.

Personally, I do NaNo for the socialization and to kick start my word count for the next year. One of the things I do that's "wrong" is, one of my goals is for most of my words to be usable once NaNo is over. If I end up with a reasonable percentage of usable (70% or more), then I figure I "won". I did 29,242 words for 2009 and about 80% are usable.


SPECIAL NOTE

NaNoWriMo and Anthrofiction Network's contest have a schedule conflict. NaNo will be throughout the month of November. AFN's winter quarter writing period will be October 8th through December 7th. So if you want to participate in both you'll either have to write something for the contest in the three weeks before NaNo, or in the one week after NaNo. Or be a NaNo Pirate like me and write your first draft during NaNo and count it toward your "novel" word count.

And this coming quarter may be a problem. In past winter quarter's I've had fairly straightforward themes. It was often easy to pull a rough chapter from your NaNo effort and bend it around to be a short story and to fit the theme. But this winter the planned theme will probably not fit anything anyone is doing for NaNo.

Without giving too much away, the theme will involve finding an existing work in the public domain, and creating a mashup of it. I'll need a link to the original (many of these older works are published as full text on Google Books, and other places). And I'll determine if your mashup is both recognizable, and different.

One possible strategy to blend AFN and NaNo is to see what the exact theme is on October 8th, then use that as a NaNo challenge* and incorporate your entry into your NaNo effort. Then come December 1st do a copy/paste of that chapter to a fresh file and take the 1st week of December to whip it into shape.


NaNo is about creating fresh content. I urge y'all to go for it!

S~

* A NaNo challenge is a random something you'll incorporate into your NaNo project. For example last year I accepted the challenge to include a bloodhound by the name of Calamity Jane.
 
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