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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » National Novel Writing Month 2005, aka NaNoWriMo (Page 1)

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Author Topic: National Novel Writing Month 2005, aka NaNoWriMo
franc li
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I ran a search and there are threads going back to 2002 on this. Weird.

Quid was mentioning in the "stuck" thread that it takes 5-10 novels to learn to write a novel, so why not get out and do it now? I know, you love your ideas and characters you have now so much, you can't bear the idea of blowing them on a warm-up novel.

My first novel was an autobiographical account. This time I am going to write a techno-thriller disaster novel. I mean, what's the worst thing that can happen? I do well, I sell it, and I'm stuck in that genre for the rest of my career. The worst thing that can happen is that I'm 20% closer to my goal of learning how to write a novel.

How I worked NaNoWriMo last year: I prepared an ouline of 25 chapters, so I could work on one chapter at day. I did my writing in the morning, but after doing an hour of housework. If I didn't do the housework first, a fog of procrastination would stymie the writing.

While the 50,000 word goal is 1666... words a day, I shot for 2000 a day so I would have some breathing room and be able to take at least one day a week off.

I was so happy when I printed my "winner" certificate at the end of the month.


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quidscribis
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Of course I'm doing it. My username there is the same as it is here.

Last year was a complete bust for me - my husband was in Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims, and we didn't have a microwave, so the only way he could get enough sleep AND eat enough that it didn't kill him was for me to get up and make him brekkie. At 4:15 every a. m. I was toast.

The year before, I didn't have internet, but I managed to write 195 pages (about 47,500 words) in October.

This year, last July, I wrote 210 pages in one week, and another 70 some pages in the next week and a half. Well over 50K.

In other words, theoretically, it shouldn't be a problem.

My goal for NaNoWriMo is 150K or more. Because yes, I'm that insane.

To prepare, I plot. Detailed plots - with assistance of aforementioned hubby. He's the king of plotting - makes my stale stuff come to incredible life. With that in place, it's the best way for me to sit down and churn something out. I plan to have 3 novels plotted before November begins so that I can (in theory) just crank out the pages.

And no, I have no job and no children. Just a husband and a cat. And yes, I'm insane. I think I mentioned that already.


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Beth
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I'm in again this year. This will be my 5th time. Maybe I'll get it right this time.

I try to do 1666/day but I end up doing 4k or 5k then taking a few days off. Last year I finished about 2 hours before midnight, which is cutting it a little closer than I like.

I plan a lot before I begin, but always feel free to scrap the plan and write something different.

It's fun.


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JmariC
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I will be particpating, though I doubt I'll take it this year.

My plan is to work on my 'no editor' writing. I hope to create a large series of words with no real plot, a lot of random stuff and plenty of stream of conciousness (which I can't spell when at work, because it's a bad word).
All in all, I'm taking the Douglas Adams approach to this NaNo.


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mikemunsil
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I'll be in for the first time this year.
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MaryRobinette
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I'm planning on doing it this year too.
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Survivor
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Oh, what the heck. Maybe I'll write a fan-fic based on Warhammer 40K or something.
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Christine
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Alas, I will not even be attempting to participate this year. I'll be taking November and December off almost entirely while I get used to being a new mom. But wish me luck in my goal of finishing my current novel by October 31st...I'm currently just over 40k and am hoping to completely wrap it up (about 100k). Early next year I'll hit revisions, after it's had a few months to settle.
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Robert Nowall
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The time it takes me to finish a novel has varied from novel to novel. Shortest: one week. Longest: five years. (Not including conception and gestation, just the actual writing.)
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Brinestone
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I work full time and am often busy in the evenings and on weekends, so I won't be doing it. But I do want to try the write-a-novel-in-a-month thing this March if I can.
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franc li
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I doubt I'll do NaNoEdMo again, so if you want to have a buddy on the March write-O-thon, keep me in mind Brinestone.
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Beth
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Hey, what was nanoedmo like? It's never quite the right thing for me but I'm curious about what you thought.
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Robyn_Hood
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I still haven't decided if I'm going to attempt NaNoWriMo this year. I haven't had single good story idea since June, let alone one I could expand to novel length. I've considered expanding my flash #2 story, "Garden Love", but I'm not sure it interests me enough.

If I don't write, I will again be offering my services as a writing buddy. Someone to nip at your heels, bounce ideas off and help you stay focused.

[This message has been edited by Robyn_Hood (edited September 16, 2005).]


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Brinestone
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franc li, I would love that! And if we feel our novels are worth salvaging after the mad write, maybe we could be edit buddies too.
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autumnmuse
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I'm not going to do it this year. Or rather, I'm not going to write a novel in November.

I would, however, like to write 50k, and still plan on joining up again. I did it last year under the same username I have here.

The reason I don't want to tackle a novel right now is that I am still learning the short story trade, and having a lot of fun with it.

Plus, I have about 4 or 5 stories that need to be written down, ranging in length from 5 to 20k. So I have material. It's just that none of it happens to be for a novel.


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Warbric
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I'm in, too. Same username over there as here.

I'm back and forth playing around with last year's product and, if I can get the inconsistencies in it somewhat ironed out before the end of this month, I should be able to start on its prequel this NaNo.

I plan to do much more advance groundwork in October for this go around, though -- plot outline, rough synopsis, characters' datasheets (I was just designing a new one when I logged in tonight, too). Not going to go by the seat of my pants this November. That was just too weird last year.

I still liked seeing all the Hatrackers' bars filling up like mad. It was pretty awesome to watch.


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Ahavah
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Good luck with new mommy-hood, Christine!

Although I am also a new mommy, I'm still going to try to do it this year. I'm not sure how that will work out, especially since I'm (mostly) no longer able to spend my days at home.

I've never attempted a novel. Ok, I have several times but gave up quite early in the game. I have no idea how to outline or anything. I am madly switching between various writing books that were recently mentioned here and research for the fledgling bit of idea I have. Hopefully I will finish all this by November and have a clearer concept for a novel.


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quidscribis
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For learning how to plot, I'll suggest the snowflake method at http://www.rsingermanson.com/html/the_snowflake.html

It's detailed and a fair bit of work, but if plotting helps you (it doesn't help everyone - for some, it kills the story) then it can hugely save you time when you sit down to write.


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cvgurau
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Last year around NaNoWriMo time, I gave up writing for a month and a half, hoping to gain some perspective on my craft. Whether or not I succeeded is up for debate.

I tried NaNoWriMo for the first and last time the year before that, and very nearly went insane. But then, I was starting a new idea from scratch; my mind was so overworked, I could smell the smoke.

This year, I plan to take it a little easier. Have the novel plotted by Nov. 1st, and sweat the small stuff after Nov. 30th. Just get from A to Z with as few bumps and inconsistencies as possible.

I wonder, in case I don't hit on an idea worth writing 50K+ about, can I write a series of short (and probably unrelated) stories? I seem to have so many buzzing around, nowadays.


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JmariC
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A series of unrelated stories is not far off from I'll be doing. For me the goal will be reaching (and hopefully exceeding) the word count, regardless of quality.

I'm hoping that when I'm done I may even have a couple of stories or even just a few good phrases and descriptions that can be harvested for other works.


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quidscribis
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Go to the NaNoWriMo site and look up in the rules. You're surely not the only one to ask that question, so it's likely to have been asked before. Failing that, pose it on the forum - it's what they're there for.
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franc li
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Beth- I think only 200 people finished NaNoEdMo. But not as many people joined either. I was excited about my novel- still am, but it's not nearly as exciting to edit as to write. I think the editing part of the brain is motivated by different things than the writing part of the brain. Putting in two hours a day of editing your own stuff is a lot harder than spending that same time being a writing fiend.

I did a lot more rewriting than editing, to be honest.


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thexmedic
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I have two friends visiting from England in November, plus I'm taking an advertising course that meets every Wednesday. Plus I suck at actually sitting down to write...

But screw it, it sounds like a lot of fun. If no voice of sanity talks me out of it then I may well at least attempt it.


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Beth
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www.nanowrimo.org
The FAQ page has a section adressing the "can I write a series of unrelated shorts." I think. If it isn't there, it will surely be one of the first questions posted on the support boards in the forums after October 1.

I don't actually remember what the official answer is. I don't think a series of unconnected shorts constitutes a novel, but since there aren't really any other requirements beyond the word count, I don't know if anyone actually cares.

thanks for the info, franc li! It seems like such a good idea - I've just always needed something more like a rewrite than an edit, and could never quite get into the time-based accounting. I just don't work by time.


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Beth
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OK, I looked it up. From the FAQ:

How do you define "novel?" Does fan fiction count? What if I want to write interconnected short stories rather than a novel? What if my story is largely autobiographical, or is based on a real person? Can I still write it in November?

We define a novel as "a lengthy work of fiction." Beyond that, we let you decide whether what you're writing falls under the heading of "novel." In short: If you believe you're writing a novel, we believe you're writing a novel too.


So if you think a series of unrelated shorts is a novel, go for it.


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Christine
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Honestly, I never would have considered asking about a bunch of unrelated shorts. If they're tied together, sure, but...Well, let me put it another way. I think it's great to get writing and if you're a short story writer and want to use NaNoWriMo to get your production level up in the field of short fiction then go for it. After all, no one's playing for money or anything other than personal pride. BUT, it's not a novel and it's not the same as writing a novel (or 50kwords of a novel) in a month. Novels are infinitely more complex and come with many more reasons, rationales, and tight spots that make good quitting points. Short stories provid equitting points too, but then you just start writing the next one. It's just not the same...
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SiliGurl
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I love doing the Nano... It's frustrating as all get out, but I enjoy the forced dedication and work ethic I have to have to even come close to 50k. This will be my 3rd year working it. I've "won" once, but have high hopes for this year...


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punahougirl84
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I plan to do NaNoWriMo this year, and continue as Maryland Liason if they still want me. Unless someone else is dying to do it!

Last year was my first attempt, and I finished over 51K words a bit early - talk about excited! I'm a procrastinator, so completing was a big deal for me. As additional motivation, I have promised myself to finish a couple of other projects first.

Christine - congrats on the new mommy thing! We did IVF to get our twins, now unexpectedly I'm pregnant the natural way (LOL!) - so will be doing the "pregnant mom getting time to herself at the computer" thing, unless I'm doing the "laptop in bed cause I'm on bedrest" thing ;-)

Looking forward to our Hatrack group again!

Lee


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Jaina
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Oh, man, you mean it's time to start thinking about that already? Well. Time flies when you're taking tests, I swear. I've got a novel in the very beginning stages of planning, and I'd love to have that motivation. Maybe I'll sign up, too.
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Beth
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Sign-ups are now open, though the site is crawling. Patience is required.
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Warbric
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Yeah, I've been getting a lot of connection refused errors and timing out, but I'm reactivated now.

Good luck to all the mad NANOs!


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Survivor
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Wait, you're supposed to sign up? Why?
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autumnmuse
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It's the idea that if you have a little accountability you're more likely to cross the finish line. When you sign up you get a word counter that shows how far along you are for everyone to see. It's good motivation. Kind of the whole point of Nano is group deadlines and people helping each other get it done.
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Warbric
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There's no Smilie for a belly laugh, Survivor, but I'd post one if there were.

[This message has been edited by Warbric (edited October 01, 2005).]


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MCameron
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Right now the "Sign-up Now" link leads to a 404 error. I hope that get the servers fixed soon.

*waits impatiently*

--Mel


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Survivor
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Belly laugh is like this

But I still don't get it. I mean, I'm aware that some very smart people have claimed this is the case for humans...but I can't help thinking they also claimed it for the benefit of humans.

It's all moot as long as their sign-in forms are overloaded, I suppose.


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Beth
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Yeah. They've disabled sign-ups until they can get some better servers going.

You also can't post to the forums unless you sign up; another aspect of the community thing.


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franc li
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I just realized I forgot to copy down that thread about getting published from the Chick lit forum. Drat. It was just a Q&A from a lady whose Nanowrimo work from 2003 had been published.
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quidscribis
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Signups and logins are enabled again.

Yay!


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MCameron
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yay indeed. I'm now signed up, with a username of theCrowsWife.

This should be interesting.

--Mel


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quidscribis
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We've got a thread going over there now at http://www.nanowrimo.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=1169&forum=171

Yay!


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franc li
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:bump: After all my enthusiasm, I probably am not going to be able to do this this year Well, we'll see.
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autumnmuse
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Earlier I said I was going to just write shorts and try to get 50k. Well, I changed my mind. I got a great idea for a novel, and I'm going to write that puppy, dosh garnit!
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NewsBys
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I'm in this year.
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AaronAndy
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I really want to do it this year. The problem is that I am currently 25,000 words into my current WIP, and I don't know if setting it aside for a month to write something else would be a good thing or not. I am also considering attempting to write the next 50,000 words of the same story as my NaNoWriMo entry, although that would likely cause a serious decrease in the quality of the work.

I guess I've got about a week to decide before starting time.


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Survivor
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Here's a question for y'all. I think I'd rather just do NaNoWriMo here rather than sign up at NaNoWriMo site. But am I missing the point or something?
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Beth
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Nanoers are strongly encouraged to miss the point if that's what works for them.
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Ahavah
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Beth's right. The only reason you need to sign up at the site is if you want to join in on the forums, or if you really want that pdf Winner's Certificate.


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abby
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Well, since I will be gone the last week of November, I think I will start a week early to get the full month. That means tommorrow. Good luck everyone!
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AaronAndy
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quote:
Nanoers are strongly encouraged to miss the point if that's what works for them.

That's the great thing about NaNoWriMo. There are no hard and fast rules, and even the rules that the website says are unbreakable (like not starting a week early) really are. You can do it however you want.

I officially signed up yesterday, using the same username as I have here. I still haven't decided what I'm going to write, although I've deceided against using my existing WIP as the starting point.


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