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choppy
October 9th, 2003, 03:28 PM
Hi Guys,

I was just curious if anyone here is going to do National Novel Writing Month this year in November? (Otherwise known as NaNoWriMo.)

The basic idea behind this self challenge is that you try to write a 50 000 word novel in the period of one month. The idea being that the time constraint forces you to turn off your internal editor and just write. There's lots of encouragement and it's a great exercise for all writers.

I did it last year and finished, although the piece was a little weak and incoherent. This year with a little planning, I'm hoping that I'll be able to flush out a better story.

Here's the link:
NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org/)

Cheers! :cool:

Rocket Sheep
October 11th, 2003, 07:21 PM
I've looked. But I have an incredibly busy two months writing to do anyway.

Speed writing challenges are about the only way I get novels started these days. I usually join a Book In A Week and write about 25,00-30,000 words which churns out a one-dimensional outline and a main character that I can work on for the next 6 months.

Good luck with it. It is a great idea. Committing to writing anything is a great idea.

drw
October 11th, 2003, 09:50 PM
Soooo tempted. Soooo afraid :p


The idea of working on the project makes me feel all warm and fuzzy - the implications of working on the project vs my relationship with my wife makes me all cold and frigid. What to do, what to do :P

Grats on finishing last year Choppy, and Good Luck on this year!
Is your story from last year available for download anywhere? I would like to take a look at a 50k word in a month novel :P.

DRW

choppy
October 12th, 2003, 02:35 PM
Is your story from last year available for download anywhere? I would like to take a look at a 50k word in a month novel :P.

It's not available right now. Basically it's filed in the "needs more work" pile somewhere in my hard drive. The story started out really well, but in order to make the challenge I allowed myself a lot of plot holes. Last year I didn't bother to do any planning though. I decided to go for it on day one and just started writing. Unfortunately with that approach, I tend to get about half way through and think, hey, this would work a whole lot better if ....

The commitment works out to about 1667 words per day, which for me takes on average about two hours. I tend to get ahead on weekends, and fall behind during the week. It is a pretty large committment. Although, once things get going they have a profile page that you can update day to day that has a bar graph that gets addictive as you go.

I wouldn't recommend sacrificing a personal relationship over it though.

Cephus
October 12th, 2003, 02:57 PM
I'm not, simply because I don't have the time to do anything like that and if I did, it would get in the way of my other writing projects which are much more important to me.

I'm not a fan of forced writing exercises to begin with though. I write when I have something to write and the rest of the time, I'm thinking about plots, characters and scenes to write later. In all honesty, I haven't spent a lot of time actually writing in the past couple months and have no idea when I might get back to it. I do have a couple dozen pages of scribbled notes ready when I do, but who knows when that might be?

choppy
October 31st, 2003, 02:48 PM
This thing starts tommorrow (November 1), if anyone is still interested.

Ouroboros
October 31st, 2003, 06:03 PM
I'm dithering over starting another novel (with the intention of finishing this one - honest). Recently I finished a short term security job which involved plenty of dead time which allowed me to hammer out potential novel plots and characterisations in my mind. I had a gaggle of ideas that slowly coalesced around one strong working class character that I want to use. Not starting a new contract until january (taking some R and R) so I am working up the guts to sit down and start typing.

I can't say that I am really enthused by the idea of mentally boxing myself in and rushing to a finish within four weeks ... It took me around that long to write only 20,000 words in college.

Assuming (dubiously) that fiction flows a little smoother than sociology doublespeak, I suppose it's possible. People obviously do manage it, and it might be a worthwhile exercise even if the finished result needs a year's polishing and revision, right? John F. Merz's book from 2001 was published, so they can't all be tripe (er... then again...?).

David Gemmell gave me some advice on writing about two years ago, which I never really heeded. He said the beginning phase of a successful writing stint was preceded by a long period which involved writing all the crap out of your system. Maybe it's time to sit down and start purging :)

mistri
November 1st, 2003, 08:39 AM
I'm going to be giving NaNo a go, but I fully expecting to fail (like I did last year). Yes, I'm a pessimist.

NaNo isn't just about 'writing crap'. It's about learning that you don't have to have a perfect first draft, because (for many writers) if you aim for perfection on the first go, you may never finish anything. If you let yourself go, allow yourself to have fun writing, and get the wordcount (or any wordcount at all) at least you have something to edit.

My NaNo project is a fantasy novel that I expect to be around 100,000 words long. I'm using NaNo just to get a first draft of the first 50,000 words. Afterwards I intend to finish it, edit it, then finally submit it. Many people use NaNo just to have fun, and there's nothing wrong with that either.

So have fun and write crap! At least crap can be edited - an empty page can't.

(sidenote - I don't actually aim to write crap, but the point is that some writers (me included) struggle because they think they're writing crap whatever the real quality of their work is. If they allow themselves to think writing crap is okay (when they're probably doing much better than crap) then they can break through blocks they might otherwise have had.)

mistri
November 11th, 2003, 06:02 PM
So did anyone else give NaNoWriMo a go in the end?

I'm still going - at 24,000 words at the moment (all in the last eleven days!). And no, it's not crap, I'd say it stands up to the quality of my usual first drafts. What Nanowrimo has taught me is discipline - how to write a little every day. After all, 1667 words a day (or more if you can get them), isn't that much if you can force yourself to stay at the computer for a couple of hours. Saying that, once NaNo is done, I think I'll give myself a break before diving into the second half of my WIP, it does get quite tiring when you're working full-time as well.

Off to write some more before bedtime!

speculative-one
December 4th, 2003, 03:56 PM
I found this site through a recommendation on the Nano forums. I finished with a little over 50k words, and I'm taking a break this week from my novel. I'll get started again this weekend on it though, and write about 1k words per day each day until next summer, when I should be able to start a final edit. That is, unless I get ambitious...

-spec1