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Author Topic: NaNoWriMo 2019  (Read 629 times)

Jenett

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NaNoWriMo 2019
« on: October 29, 2019, 12:24:22 pm »
Anyone else on here doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what's your project? What are you excited about? What are you nervous about?

If you've done NaNo before, what helps you with it? Any advice for other people?

(For those not familiar, NaNoWrimo is National Novel Writing Month in which people attempt to write 50,000 words on a project. Classic mode is 'start a novel on page 1, write 50K on the same project' but lots of people are rebels and write non-fiction, multiple projects, short stories, etc.)
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Jenett

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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2019, 12:33:28 pm »
Anyone else on here doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what's your project? What are you excited about? What are you nervous about?

If you've done NaNo before, what helps you with it? Any advice for other people?

As you might guess by the 'else' in my post, I'm doing this, again! I won on classic mode last year, and I'm hoping to do so again this year.

I'm working on a standalone in my 1920s romances with magic series, which is set a bit earlier (probably around 1910ish), with an arranged-marriage-turns-love-match trope, via investigation of art forgery. The main characters have turned up as secondary characters in two previous books (one of which is out, one of which will be out sometime early 2020), so I'm looking forward to spending more time with both of them.

I do my initial drafting via 4theWords, a gamification writing site, and they always do a big event for NaNo (and again for Camp Nano in the spring), and I find the quests fairly highly motivating. I've spent the last week or two clearing out existing quests so I have space for new ones, and sometime between now and Friday I need to actually outline the book.

My biggest advice is figure out what works for your writing and do more of that, within reason (Repetitive strain injuries are not your friend. Nor is forgetting to eat and sleep...)

Challenges this year:I'm about 9 chapters away from finishing the current book in progress, which I'd been aiming to have done by NaNo Time, so I'll be doing a bit of both until I get that draft done. Whee! Nothing like a challenge. And of course, we've got Samhain things going on this weekend.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2019, 03:25:28 pm »
Anyone else on here doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what's your project? What are you excited about? What are you nervous about?

If you've done NaNo before, what helps you with it? Any advice for other people?



I will be participating again (this will be my 13th year, and my 12th win *grin).  This year I will be exploring both the struggles of mental illness (highly influenced by my own experiences) and the creative angst of being a writer.  My novel will be the journal entries of someone who uses writing prompts they find online (like the ones you see on pinterest or floating around Facebook...anything that includes the lines "This would make a great book...") to escape their actual life.  But of course, just because you have that great idea doesn't mean that the actual writing of it turns out how you planned!

What helps me is to have a very specific word count goal per day.  For me it's 2000 words.  I will try to write over, if I can, but I also know that if I at least hit 2k words a day that gives me five days off, so if stuff comes up (like Samhain, we are doing a Day of the Dead ritual to celebrate on November 2nd and I will probably be home a total of like 2 hours, and will need to eat lunch in that time too..might not have time to write lol).  From having done it so many years, I know that when I'm on a roll, I can knock out that 2k words in an hour or so...keeping that in mind helps me not feel like it's so much. 

I also keep reminding myself that, for this specific project, words on page are more valuable than them being good words.  I often am not a big editor of my work.  I am a discovery writer, so I may have a broad idea of where my story is going (or I might not...), but I never outline and I am not so great at going back to edit stuff either, so my other writing projects (blogs and short stories) are almost entirely "Sit and write...done, now post" which means I tend to agonize over words and content MUCH more (since I know I won't be doing extensive edits).  With NaNo, it becomes my personal challenge just to keep writing, keep typing out those words, and if they aren't so great, or if I can't figure out how to end a scene, I either just drop in a *** and move on to another, or I put in a (insert whatever I can't write) not and move on ((both things I never do in my other writing)).
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2019, 06:13:27 pm »
My biggest advice is figure out what works for your writing and do more of that, within reason (Repetitive strain injuries are not your friend. Nor is forgetting to eat and sleep...)

The main reason why I don't do NaNo; it's not my groove. That said, I have a steady writing rhythm year-round. This November I'm going to be editing/posting part 7 of the Fanfic That Ate My Brain, and writing part 8, which will put that series at well over 100K words. I'm very proud of myself.

Also, thanks for reminding me to put your books on my Amazon list. They sound fascinating.

Jenett

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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2019, 07:01:17 pm »
What helps me is to have a very specific word count goal per day.  For me it's 2000 words.  I will try to write over, if I can, but I also know that if I at least hit 2k words a day that gives me five days off, so if stuff comes up (like Samhain, we are doing a Day of the Dead ritual to celebrate on November 2nd and I will probably be home a total of like 2 hours, and will need to eat lunch in that time too..might not have time to write lol).  From having done it so many years, I know that when I'm on a roll, I can knock out that 2k words in an hour or so...keeping that in mind helps me not feel like it's so much.

Having a plan is definitely key.

(Part of my plan is "Self, this goes better when you do not start writing until 9:30, and need to go to bed by 10." )

Quote
With NaNo, it becomes my personal challenge just to keep writing, keep typing out those words, and if they aren't so great, or if I can't figure out how to end a scene, I either just drop in a *** and move on to another, or I put in a (insert whatever I can't write) not and move on ((both things I never do in my other writing)).

I find pushing myself helps me figure out what I can actually do when I'm a bit more organised about the prep work, too, which is a really useful habit.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2019, 07:05:51 pm »
The main reason why I don't do NaNo; it's not my groove. That said, I have a steady writing rhythm year-round. This November I'm going to be editing/posting part 7 of the Fanfic That Ate My Brain, and writing part 8, which will put that series at well over 100K words. I'm very proud of myself.

Yay, progress! And yeah, figuring out what works is the most important part.

Quote
Also, thanks for reminding me to put your books on my Amazon list. They sound fascinating.

Darkhawk deserves a great deal of credit for being my awesome editor, vastly improving things. (Both taming my commas, which we expected, and telling me to put in more words periodically, which is not the part we expected, and probably makes most people reading this laugh. More words are not generally the thing I need.)

Not highlighted in the blurbs, but there is a lot of Pagan stuff in the background: the magical community is not majority Christian (though that's certainly in the mix). Most notable along that line is Magician's Hoard, which has an Anglo-Egyptian hero who's a Hathor and Djehuty devotee. In the book I am finishing up, I am thoroughly letting my Classics geek self out.
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Starlight

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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2019, 04:30:56 am »
Anyone else on here doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what's your project? What are you excited about? What are you nervous about?

If you've done NaNo before, what helps you with it? Any advice for other people?

(For those not familiar, NaNoWrimo is National Novel Writing Month in which people attempt to write 50,000 words on a project. Classic mode is 'start a novel on page 1, write 50K on the same project' but lots of people are rebels and write non-fiction, multiple projects, short stories, etc.)

Yes! I'm doing NaNo after a hiatus of several years.

What am I excited about? Hmmm. I'm planning to write as much as I can of a sequel to a gothic story I did for CampNaNo 2008. (I can't believe that's how old the first story is! Where does time go?! :shock:)

What am I nervous about? That I will have nothing to write. That the muse has fled. Or that I have lost all the writing skills I once possessed.

What's keeping me going is two ideas.

The first is a quote by a writer called Roy T. Bennett from his book, The Light in the Heart: "The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying."

The second is from an interview between Neil Gaiman and Tim Ferris. Neil Gaiman was describing his writing process. He said that he gives himself two choices when he sits down to write. He can sit down and write, or he can sit down and do nothing. But he is not allowed to do anything else.

I'm giving that a go.

I'm going into NaNo as a rebel. I'm not aiming for 50K words this year because I prefer writing longhand. My goal is to create a regular writing habit and, ideally, my diy NaNo tracker will have an unbroken chain of circles for each day I sit in my writing space, Gaiman-style. :)
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2019, 09:16:48 pm »
Anyone else on here doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what's your project? What are you excited about? What are you nervous about?

If you've done NaNo before, what helps you with it? Any advice for other people?

This will be year number 13 for me and I have no idea what I'm going to work on this year.  There are several possibilities, but I may just pants the whole thing this year.  My schedule is packed this year with non-Nano things, so my biggest concern is finding the time and spoons for it.  New this year, my local library system is opening space for NaNo Write-ins, so I may be spending more time than usual at the library.

Lots of good advice up-thread.  Planning is good if you have time and energy, but if you don't, write it anyway. Even if you don't come out with a usable novel, it's a great way to develop a regular writing habit if you don't already have one. 

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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2019, 02:04:46 am »
Anyone else on here doing NaNoWriMo this year?

Yes, because I can't not, I guess. I've attempted Nano every year since 2007 with the exception of 2010, so that makes this my...uh. *counts* This will be my 12th attempt! And hopefully 3rd win.

If so, what's your project? What are you excited about? What are you nervous about?

1. An as-of-yet untitled GameLit/LitRPG piece that I'll be publishing under a pen name.

2. Excited about finally getting this story out; it's been bugging me for over a year now. Also excited about going to kickoff this weekend in the town over -- I changed regions from Vancouver to "the rest of BC" and it'll be nice to drive to write-ins that aren't in the heart of downtown.

3. Nervous about my complete lack of preparation. Also the site redesign for Nano has made me...less excited for the whole thing.

If you've done NaNo before, what helps you with it? Any advice for other people?

I'm a pantser at heart but what helps me actually winning Nano is plotting out my work beforehand. What also helps is to be really clear about why I'm doing Nano.

Being clear about why I'm doing it (for fun? stress release? to jumpstart me to write a publishable book? the social aspect?) helps me figure out how best to prep for it.

If I'm doing it for fun or stress release or the social aspect, I'm more likely to pants a vague idea, go to write-ins, and/or not be bothered when my word count stays very low.

If I'm doing it to actually get a story out that I want to publish...more prep, more planning, less getting caught up in social stuff, and trying to get higher word counts right off the bat so that when I inevitably need to stop and ponder for a few days, I've got a buffer.

This year I also tried food prep for the first time, so we'll see how that goes. I didn't get as much done as I wanted to, but I do have some chili, hutspot, and oatmeal in the freezer, so it should help.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2019, 02:42:50 pm »
Anyone else on here doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what's your project? What are you excited about? What are you nervous about?

I am picking up In The Seed again (which I worked on last year's Nano) (as Jenett knows because I sent her two chapters yesterday), in the hope of making the long-neglected manuscript restart, as I've ignored it for like half a year.

I mostly am worried that I can't pick up the threads again because I've ignored it for half a year but actually I think rereading it means I've gathered more threads together in one hand than I had writing it and am being efficient about weaving.

I am rather peeved that Nano has lost all my buddies though. :P
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2019, 09:47:17 am »
I am picking up In The Seed again (which I worked on last year's Nano) (as Jenett knows because I sent her two chapters yesterday), in the hope of making the long-neglected manuscript restart, as I've ignored it for like half a year.

I approve of this plan. As I have noted in email.

Quote
I mostly am worried that I can't pick up the threads again because I've ignored it for half a year but actually I think rereading it means I've gathered more threads together in one hand than I had writing it and am being efficient about weaving.

I think you are right about this, yes.

Quote
I am rather peeved that Nano has lost all my buddies though. :P

I am not thrilled with the new site. (I'm unsurprisingly Jenett over there.)

I went to a NaNoWriMo gathering at my local library on Saturday which was fun though the ratio of games to writing time was not entirely what I was hoping for. (I am not someone who does well with flash fiction prompts. I want to write the stuff I'm working on writing, damnit.) It was also not helped by the tech losing the chapter I'd written there, but I managed to write it again before Samhain ritual while it was still in my head.

(This book, thankfully going much better than the previous one, where the early chapters were like pulling teeth. Also the middle chapters.)
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2019, 02:14:12 pm »


I am rather peeved that Nano has lost all my buddies though. :P

I am really not liking the new site for NaNo.  I've already 'lost' my novel for this year once already (trying to update word count on day one).  I don't like the forums.  I don't like the look of the site.  I just don't like it lol
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2019, 06:21:52 pm »
I mostly am worried that I can't pick up the threads again because I've ignored it for half a year but actually I think rereading it means I've gathered more threads together in one hand than I had writing it and am being efficient about weaving.

I've found that writing works this way for me; it's a lot easier for me to write 8 parts of 10k-15k words each, than one long 100k piece. And taking a couple of months between sections to work on unrelated projects keeps me from getting too bogged down in my own narrative.

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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2019, 06:23:11 pm »
telling me to put in more words periodically, which is not the part we expected, and probably makes most people reading this laugh.

I've been getting progressively more curious about this. Is it a case of 'I know what I mean, but the readers need more descriptions'?

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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2019, 07:54:26 pm »
I've been getting progressively more curious about this. Is it a case of 'I know what I mean, but the readers need more descriptions'?

It has more reliably been a "You need two more chapters to wrap this plot up without feeling rushed.

(Adding more description is fairly straightforward. Adding more plot-supporting narrative is structural, and more work. On the other hand, much better book when I've done it.)
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