site stats
Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


It’s November and I’m excited. Why?


National Novel Writing Month ( This is my third year to participate and each year I’ve completed a bare bones novel, the second of which I will finish revising in December.


Why do I like National Novel Writing Month?


It’s an excuse to write something new, a story idea I’ve been excited about for a bit, or maybe a story that’s a departure. The first year I wrote what was supposed to be more action adventure, less romance, but it turned out to be the most romantic of all the books I’ve written. This year, after plotting a romantic suspense, I changed my mind. Now I’m writing my first historical. If I write it in a month and decide I don’t like it, what’s been lost? 30 days.


It’s an excuse to put writing first. Granted, November isn’t the best time for this, with the holidays around the corner, and you emerge in December in a kind of “What day is this?” fog, but you commit to the story, to the challenge, and everyone sees how important this is to you.


It feeds your competitive soul. You can add friends to your page on the NaNo website and track your progress against theirs. My friend Natalie kicks my butt every time, but I hold my own.


How do you survive NaNoWriMo?

1) Clear the decks. Reduce your outside commitments as much as possible. However, the first time I did NaNo, my dad and stepmom came for five days at Thanksgiving. I managed to win that one early, and that was stopping to clean house and entertain. I told them what I was doing and I got up early to do it, so I would still have time to visit. This year I think I have 2 night activities, not including my local chapter meeting.
2) Find your prime writing time. Mine is around 5 AM. No one’s up wanting the computer, no one’s emailing, no one’s calling. I write for an hour, sometimes two before work.
3) Plan it out. The only way I got through NaNo last year was that I’d plotted the story out at plotting bootcamp. Otherwise, I’d still be hung up on that book.
4) Break it down. 1,667 words a day is all you need. I find it so much easier to go by word count than page count, because every word is progress. Every word counts.
5) Remember this is a fast draft. Get it down. Perfect it later.
6) Join the community. Different regions have community gatherings, where local Nano-ers meet face to face. My community activity has all been online, but I enjoy setting up my page and adding friends and checking on their progress. I also download the WriMo Radio podcasts and listen to them on the way to work.


What do you say? Want to NaNo with me?

Labels: ,


At 10:15 AM, Blogger RK said...

I'm a NaNo virgin this year and nervous whether I can do it or not. So, yeah I'll NaNo with you and keep checking back for encouragement! :)

I'll also be posting weekly updates at the Texas Typos blog at

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Mary -

Great way to help writers get moving with NaNo. I've never tried this, but I write constantly so your advice is great for those who want to be productive Anytime.


At 10:53 AM, Blogger M. said...

Yay Nano! it's my fourth time out.
Where did you get those cool graphics?
I do rely on the energy and encouragment of the message boards so when their system is overloaded and I can't get in, it makes me antsy...

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

Good luck to you and the other Nano'ers. I've never tried it, but I may give it a shot to finish the book I started this summer!

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Karen said...

The idea of NaNo makes my tummy ache. 1600 words every day! Eek!

I just can't figure out where I'd find the time. I'm not an early riser (although I'm jealous of those of you who are) -- I'm a night owl. Unfortunately, if I stay up as long as I'd like to I can't haul the old fanny out in the morning for the day job.

Maybe someday, but not this year.

Good luck to all of you who NaNo!

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

I don't think any time spent writing is a loss, Mary. You don't know what the future will bring, or if something about that story will lead you down an entirely different road. Experimentation always sharpens the mind.

I have a whole folder full of story ideas that for one reason or another remain unwritten. Most don't seem to have enough plot for a full length novel. But now that shorter stories have a market at houses such as eHarlequin as well as epublishers like Samhain, I'm re-thinking these stories. And- Surprise- they do have enough plot for a shorter story! My favorites will require major changes, but the ideas are already there.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Merrillee said...

As with any writing style, NANO isn't for me. I was never good at BIAW either. I'm one of those writers who just has to stop and look for the right word or stop to do a little research as I write. So everyone has to do what works for them. Good luck all you NANO people.

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

I am doing NaNo this year too. I find it does help me focus and keep going, but I don't get involved in the forums and stuff.

NaNo is geared more to that crowd, but a lot of experienced and professional writers have also found it's very helpful to them. And I think one reason is that it gives them permission to go back and write like a shiny-faced newbie who is having a lot of fun.

So I'm all for it!

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

I think Nano is great to make you write without all the worries that go with writing (is this good enough? will it sell? etc etc)

Mary, I think it is so cool that you are trying a historical!!!!!

Good luck all.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger MaryF said...

RK, I felt overwhelmed the first time but I joined just to see if I could do it. I still love that book beyond reason ;)

Diane, I'm like you-always writing. But this gives me a deadline, doesn't let me fiddle around. I put writing first. Then when I meet my daily goal, I can play around.

M, I found the icons here:
They have a ton more! I've not delved into the message boards yet, but I do keep checking to see which writing buddy is kicking my butt. I know what you mean about having trouble logging in!

Mo, the timing usually didn't work out for me, but for the past 3 years, I made it work. This year, I even set aside my WIP so I could start this book!

At 4:03 PM, Blogger MaryF said...

Karen, I know what you mean about finding the time! The first year the story would wake me up, so I'd get up and write. Some days I'd have 1500 words before I went to work!

I think having the right story to work on is important, though. It has to be something you're excited about!

At 4:06 PM, Blogger MaryF said...

Delle, you're right. You learn something from everything you write! So you're working on one of your shorter stories for Nano? And absolutely - literary abandon is the tag line, and exactly what I feel when I pour the words onto the page. It's joyous.

Merrillee, Nano certainly isn't for everyone. And in last year's Nano book I had a bunch of bracketed things that I'm just now looking up as I revise it!

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Nicole said...

This is my first year for NaNo as well. I've always written contemporary stuff, but the words just started coming out on Nov. 1 - and they are set a loooooonnggg time ago. What is the plotting boot camp you're talking about? Sounds interesting....
Thanks for sharing, and Happy NaNo!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]