Do You NaNo?

November is coming. And November mean NaNoWriMo...or to those of you newer to authorial circles: National Novel Writing Month. It's a sort of "compete against yourself" contest where authors try to write 50,000 words in one month. That's about 200 pages, at least the way I set margins and line spacing. This requires a per-day average of a little over 1600 words, but really, it's more, because I don't know anybody who writes every day of the week.

I have never yet in my 5 years of writing fiction tackled NaNo. Every year, it comes around and I think, "I'd really LIKE to do it this year, but..." This year, I am going to kick myself in the tush and do it. Why? Because the fact is, every project I've got on my hard drive right now is published in some form or another. (Two of them will be self published in the next couple of weeks in order to fulfill rewards for my Kickstarter campaign, and all my completed Windrider and Curse Bearer stuff is not out on the market.) I need to get the third Windrider book into the publishing meat grinder, and since life has been keeping me from writing ANYTHING on it for the past month, I've decided, it's NaNo for me. No excuses.

Now, the trouble is, this probably means I'm going to have to do the thing I've been dreading doing for a long time now...get up early. I'm finding my new work schedule doesn't make evening writing very feasible, so at least for November, my plan is to get up at 5 am (booooo, hisssss), write for an hour to 90 minutes, get ready for work, and start the other part of my day.

1600 words in an hour to 90 minutes is an insane goal for me, and I imagine I will be making up some of that on Saturdays. But I have to do it. The four novels currently banging on the inside of my skull demand it.

How about you, writers? Are you going to jump into the crazy, flood stage river known as NaNo? I'll let you know how I do...and I hope the result will be to say Windrider III is done and ready for editing.


  1. For me, the biggest trick is making writing a habit. Same time every day, same length of time, limited distractions. The lady at Pretentious Title who talked about writing 10k words a day had a couple of main tips:

    When you sit down to write, first write a short blow by blow outline of the scene you're going to write right then. This ensures that you write exactly what you mean to write, and you don't waste words wandering around.

    Ponder it until it's a "candy bar" moment, like one of those parts you've been dying to write for the entire book. If you're excited about a scene, it'll flow much easier. If you're not excited about it, then your reader sure won't be. Cut it or change it until you are.

    My first Nano, I didn't know those tips and it dragged. My second one, I did those tips and wrote 2k words every night. It was a total breeze. (And I was combining word counts from two separate stories, too!) I highly recommend it.

  2. I've done NaNo the last two years, and I'm already signed up to do it again this year. Woo-hoo! I'm MaryRuth on the site. Look me up - I'd love to follow your progress and see how your first time goes! : )

  3. We can do it together this year! It's probably best we don't live too close in this instance though because I think if we attended any of the write ins together we'd like to get nothing done. :) For real though, we'll have to keep on each other with the goal of swapping those sloppy copies come December. Wouldn't it be nice to swap some real meant and potatoes for a change?

  4. Becky, are you still an ACFW member? You could join us on Novel Track

    Novel Track provides support and accountability to help us meet our goals. I won't be NaNoing because I have a big editing project I'm working on right now, but I usually set a writing or editing goal of some level just so I maintain my forward momentum.

    1. Kristen, honestly, I am not still a member of ACFW. The past couple years, I just haven't been able to free up the cash for the dues, and since I made very little use of ACFW's services (shame on me) while I was a member, I decided it wasn't money well spent at the moment. I may rejoin in the future, but honestly, book sales will dictate that.


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