November is National Novel Writing Month. Last year I endeavored to tackle this mountain and had planned to do so again this year. However, as life has a way of throwing you a knuckle ball once in a while I will not be participating in NaNo. NaNo is free to join, and there are daily inspirations to keep you motivated. There are groups in local regions that sometimes meet at bookstores or cafes. There is a local St. Louis group, but as I’m not really participating this year I don’t think it would be fair to show up and distract the other writers. Most often it’s a write in. The writers show up, order their drinks or food, make a few quick introductions maybe discuss their story a bit then start writing. Last year there were two individuals with note pads and pens while everyone else had brought a laptop. It was great to get in on the beginning conversations last year as the designated leader had some questions to start the conversation. Everyone briefly made a short blurb about the book they intended to write. Many had their story planned out, some had index cards with notes, others had pages of scribbles, doodles and notes. I joined at the last minute last year. I had barely more than a vague idea. When I do NaNO again, I will plan and outline my story. The object of NaNo is to write a 50000 word book in 30 days. Many of my friends are participating and I met a bunch of cool people last year.
In that vein, I have asked several of my friends their thoughts about NaNo.
What are your thoughts on NaNo? Are you are participating in it ? Why, or why not?
Dominique WaterSinger-SpiritFingers Goodall responded:
NaNoWriMo is important for anyone who can see being a writer as something they’d love to do. It encourages discipline and allows people to learn something about deadlines. I am taking part in NaNo for the second year in a row as it’ll encourage me to work on something different to what I have going on now.
The benefits are amazing. You meet the best people about. NaNo writers are encouraging, friendly and less likely to see you as a threat than other writers.
Linda Bowers Bolton responded:
I tried NaNo in Aug with a writing partner. We did great for a few days and life took over. I signed up for Nov but now have found I will be doing edits for my book. So will I do any better this time? I don’t know. I’m working on a different MS than Aug. If nothing else I’ll have 2 erotica in the works. After Nano and edits for my novel I’ll need to start on another romance for MasterKoda. Busy Busy.
David ThinkParis Alvin also responded:
The best way to start is to start. You’re likely to have what you want to say, to do well before you write an outline for the story, AND PLEASE don’t be afraid to stray from the outline. There are no hard and fast rules any more than there are for most reality shows, just write.
(Oh wait: the rules I’ve heard “stated” for Survivor and likely works across the board are two. 1) You cannot hit someone. 2) You cannot conspire to split the money.)
In NaNoWriMo terms, I think that means you can’t keep someone else from doing their work and outright insulting it — everyone’s on a learning curve here AND that every one of you who write in this 30-day wild abandon are out for yourselves; in a Darth Vader tone to Boba Fett “NO COLLABORATIONS”
I also asked the question, ‘what do you intend to do with what you write during NaNO?”
The majority replied that they needed to get some discipline, improve their discipline or establish the habit of writing daily. Last year when I signed up for NaNO, that was my goal, to establish the daily habit as I had let it slip.
Most have an outline, or at least a basic outline. I think that would work much better than what I did last time – fly by the seat of my pants. Some people are adamant pantsers, but I ended up way off course when I did it that way.
The idea that they could publish wasn’t at the forefront of their minds. Most of them pointed out the need to edit what they will have written, before throwing it into an e-book.
If you’ve ever thought you wanted to be a writer, perhaps trying it out during NaNo would be a good fit for you. You may find you live it, or that you loathe it.
Write on my friends, write on!
Aurora Martinez is going to attempt NaNo for the first time. We’re here for you Aurora!!
That’s the biggest thing I think, is NaNO is such a wonderful community of writers that pull together and encourage each other.
check out my friends blogs:
Write on my friends, write on!