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Thread: NaNoNriMo 2012

  1. #1

    NaNoNriMo 2012

    Last night Karen Mahoney (who you should recognise from around these parts) asked on Twitter if anyone was doing NaNoWriMo this year?

    I replied: "Yes. And I'm terrified. [I was actually going to post on the KS forum about it ]

    So here goes:

    1. I think NaNoWriMo is probably a terrible way to write a novel. It's a ridiculous amount of pressure, it's about word counts with no thought to content or quality.

    2. It's not even, as far as I can work out, a good way to go about setting up a writing practice. The 100 Club (one hundred words a day, every day for one hundred days - Karen shared it on here a while back, you should be able to find it) feels a lot more sustainable and I completed it within a few tries. I've started NaNoWriMo about seven times and never gotten very far.

    3. If NaNoWriMo is good for anything, it's probably as an organisational exercise - how to accomplish something ridiculously hard, in a short period of time, with limited resources.

    So that's what I'm going to try.

    The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. Broken evenly, that means 1,666 words a day (roughly), though I think it's a good idea to get ahead of that as early as possible. A problem with NaNoWriMo is that it has to happen around your life. I have a full time day job and a fair few extracurricular commitments, so there are going to be days where I'm not going to be able to write much. Maybe days where I can't write at all.

    At first I was planning to count words. Write 600 words, three times a day, coming out about 150 words ahead each day. Then I thought about how that could happen. Sitting in the car before work, frantically tapping on my phone, becoming late and stressed as I try to write another 300 stupid words that don't really mean anything and now my boss is calling...

    So instead I'm going to count time. 25 minute lots (the Pomodoro Technique). I can plan for time. Try for four a day, keep going with them if I can when I'm still going, but fit them in around my schedule. Won't count words at all. Will just work out when I can fit in 25 minutes and go. And if I'm on a roll, and can spare 25 minutes after that, I'll get up, take a five minute break, and then get back to it.

    I've also got everything set up so that I can write anywhere.

    I'm writing in the Notesy app on my phone and iPad, and they're synced through Dropbox with Scrivener on the Mac at home. I also have Scrivener backing up to Dropbox and Notesy backing up to Notational Velocity on the Mac, in case anything catastrophic happens.

    I'll probably end up checking word counts every now and then, but I'm going to try not to until at least a week in. I'm also going to record the number of 25 minute sessions I complete each day. At least one a day, hopefully four.

    Anyone else doing it?

    N

  2. #2
    Chiseler beamish's Avatar
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    Good luck brother, I too need to start blocking writing time but I don't think I'll be failing this again. While my quality is typically shit I need to focus more on developing my voice than jamming a series of words out, that has worked a couple times but I, personally, need to develop more right now. I'll post content counts though, so I have some sort of accountability.

    That said, I know you can do it and I want to read whatever you make!

  3. #3
    Moderator Karen Mahoney's Avatar
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    Re: NaNoNriMo 2012

    Nick, I am so proud of you for taking another stab at this! ('Stab' is probably the right word, because you'll feel like stabbing something by the end of the month. Maybe even stabbing yourself... IN THE EYE. )

    Okay, so... I'm not a NaNo expert at all. At. All. Seriously, I don't want to set myself up as that if I start giving out advice... (hey, maybe you should stab me, too??)

    I have signed up for NaNo, all official-like, only twice in the last 5 years. I've never 'won' (stupid term) NaNoWriMo officially.

    Here is my NaNo history:

    2007 = Agreed to do an unofficial version of it with two friends. We aimed for 30K and blogged our progress. I ended up writing the first 56,000 words of a novel that eventually became my first ever published novel 3 years later. Sort of wish I'd signed up so I could be one of the NaNoWriMo success stories!

    2008 = By this point in time, the 2007 project hadn't sold to any publishers (although I did have an agent now), so... all inspired... I signed up for NaNo and....... dropped out about a week in. heh.

    2009 = The 2007 project had sold! Woo! So... all inspired... I decided to learn from 2008's 'failure' (hate that word, too) and NOT sign up on the NaNo site. Decided I would write quietly by myself and try for the 50K on my own. Result? Crashed and burned, baby.

    2010 = Didn't bother with it at all. I hate NaNo and all it stands for. Am in denial that The Iron Witch (soon to be published at that point) ever started as an unofficial NaNoWriMo book.

    2011 = Decide that maybe NaNo doesn't suck after all. Sign up officially on the site, full of excitement and positive energy. Write sort of consistently through a very difficult personal time. Final word count: 28,000 (give or take).

    2012 = Not signing up but I just can't let the damn thing go! What's wrong with me? I think I just want to prove I can do it again, and that 2007 wasn't a fluke. This year I am unofficially NaNoing with a couple of writer friends on Twitter. Because there are three of us, and we think we're really clever, we are calling it #NaNoTriMo and all aiming for the full 50K.

    So, there you have it. My sad story.

    Nick, if you want someone to cheer you on - I am totally here for you! I'll be flailing along beside you, crying into my coffee and wondering what the hell I was thinking of. However. I do have a book under deadline for mid-December that is nowhere near finished, so I have a pretty good incentive. Yeah, I'm officially cheating by writing something that's already part written, but that's why I'm not registering on the site as a participant. I don't need no stinking rules!!

    Let's do this thing.

    Kaz

  4. #4
    Rock and roll! More soon, but I'm at least 20 % excited (so 80 % terrified).

  5. #5
    Right Guy paul brian deberry's Avatar
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    Re: NaNoNriMo 2012

    I'll be giving it another go (7th time is the charm.)

    http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/particip...-brian-deberry
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  6. #6
    Moderator Karen Mahoney's Avatar
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    Re: NaNoNriMo 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by paul brian deberry View Post
    I'll be giving it another go (7th time is the charm.)

    http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/particip...-brian-deberry
    Wow, 7th time... Go for it!!

    Post to this thread any time you want some support, or just to let us know how you're doing.

    Kaz

  7. #7
    Greg Rucka, who writes awesome novels (and comics) has replied to a question about NaNoWriMo/novel writing here:

    http://ruckawriter.tumblr.com/post/3...ng-advice-ymmv

    Recommended reading. Technically I think the outlining is against the NaNoWriMo rules (or rather outlining ahead of time is against the rules), but stuff that, I think I'll do it AND include it in my word count (I'll just start outlining on 1 Nov).

    Link found via KS's Twitter (which if you're not reading, you should): https://twitter.com/kellysue/statuse...23816074829824

    N

  8. #8
    Moderator Karen Mahoney's Avatar
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    Re: NaNoNriMo 2012

    Nick is right: listen to Greg Rucka! Yeah, I love his comics, but I love his novels EVEN MORE. He's an absolutely brilliant novelist. Anyone who wants to learn to write suspense, conflict, wonderful characterization, etc. etc. should read all of his books.

    Kaz

  9. #9
    Hard Boiled SidekicksRevenge's Avatar
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    Re: NaNoNriMo 2012

    I've had a few years worth of false starts and bad stops (I have the "be your own harshest editor" bit down probably a smidge too well). We'll see if I can commit to one of my half-formed ideas in time for this November.
    Funnybook of the Week - I read 'em, I rank 'em. Based on nothing more than my personal enjoyment.

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  10. #10
    Moderator Karen Mahoney's Avatar
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    Re: NaNoNriMo 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by SidekicksRevenge View Post
    I've had a few years worth of false starts and bad stops (I have the "be your own harshest editor" bit down probably a smidge too well). We'll see if I can commit to one of my half-formed ideas in time for this November.
    Oh, yeah... I know what you mean about the internal editor thing. You gotta switch that off for something like NaNo, but it's so tough. I hope you give it a try. Why not set a smaller goal (30K = 4 pages a day) and check in here on the forum? You could do an unofficial version!

    Kaz

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