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Nanowrimo '14

Discussion in 'Author's Roundtable' started by imaginepageant, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    Anyone else out there participating in Nanowrimo this year?

    For those who have no idea what this foreign word means, it's short for National Novel Writing Month, a month-long writing adventure that occurs annually in November, in which the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel. It isn't a contest, just a personal challenge. It's a ton of fun, and super frustrating, but it's also one of the best writing exercises you could ever do.

    This will be my sixth Nanowrimo. I've failed to meet the 50,000-word mark only once, but I've failed to actually complete the novel beyond 50,000 words every year. (Thanks to hyper-planning one novel, I got within two scenes of finishing it in 50,000 words, but alas. So close yet so far.) That's become a more important goal to me than word count: to get to the end.

    I'm not yet sure what I'll be writing this year. I've been toying with the vague idea of taking a classic tale and putting a horror spin on it, but nothing concrete yet.
     
  2. Docta Corvina

    Docta Corvina Well-Known Member

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    Tempted to use this to get my actual for-reals, someday-to-be-published novel off the ground. I've done a lot of research and initial plot-line construction, but to actually get some mileage in the thing itself would be great. ARGH. Too many projects, so little time. :/
     
  3. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    I would advise against that. Doing Nanowrimo with something you've already devoted a lot of time to and investment in is dangerous; there's too much pressure to Get It Right, so it's difficult to just write wildly and with abandon, as you usually have to do during Nanowrimo.

    I continued my Skyrim fanfic for last year's (since I had no time to outline something new), and I spent way too much time on certain important scenes, because I already had so much invested in the story and couldn't bear just rushing through and not doing my grand plans justice. I ended up only writing 28k new words for it in November - which is great, but not the 50k I was aiming for!

    I suggest going with another idea you're less invested in, or something entirely new. The Adopt-a-Plot forum on the Nanowrimo website is always full of ideas!
     
  4. Docta Corvina

    Docta Corvina Well-Known Member

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    I see what you're saying, but for me it would be more about consciously setting aside that time to get something actually written. I've done research and initial planning, but haven't written really any of it yet. I guess I just feel like if I sit down and write 50,000 words, that's 50,000 words more than I would have had otherwise. Editing and whatnot can surely follow, but I need to buckle down and get something done. I'd force myself to just write and not agonize - yet.

    I dunno. I'm not settled on it yet, but it's something I've been thinking about. Thanks for the advice, in any case! :) I'll keep it in mind.
     
  5. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    Nanowrimo is definitely a great tool for building a writing routine, so it will help you there. However, if you're like me and you spend basically every free minute in November writing, you will want a break come December, and that break can very easily turn into not writing for the next couple of months, which will completely kill the writing routine you built in November.

    If you go with your already-developed project, I have a few more suggestions.

    You could aim for a lower word-count goal, or conversely give yourself a wider time frame in which to reach 50k; this will ease the pressure to write a lot in a little time, which in turn will ease the pressure to Get It Right, as you'll have more time to do so. Either way will still get you in the habit of writing every day, and still give you some good progress on your story.

    Or, don't write the story chronologically. If you have it fully outlined and you know what all of your scenes will be, focus on the easier ones for Nanowrimo and skip over the really important parts that you will agonize over, and go back to them in December when you have more time to devote to crafting them. At that point, you could continue setting goals for yourself so you don't lapse back into not writing; for instance, aim to finish one scene a week. That would give you enough time to Get It Right but not too much that you can allow yourself to procrastinate and slack off.
     
  6. imaginepageant

    imaginepageant Slytherin Alumni

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    In case anyone is wondering what in Oblivion this Nanowrimo thing is, or why you SHOULD TOTALLY DO IT, I wrote a thing.
     

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