NANO Veteran David Alvin Shares His Experience

My NANOWRIMO Guest blogger today is David Alvin. David has been my guest  on here before. Today I get to chat with him about his NANO experience.

  • Are you a nano newbie? Seasoned veteran? Old timer? I’m not a newbie, this is my (counting on my fingers) NINTH year doing NaNo.

    2. Wow! Veteran!  My hat is off to you and other vets.  I have attempted four years now.  I won 2, dropped out last year and didn’t quite meet goal the   other  year. Have you finished and/or won nano in the past? And of those nine years, I’ve won — or at least fulfilled the 50,000 plus word requirement — eight of those years.

    3. Interesting that you state it that way.  Yeah, myself I finsihed the goal, but I  then set myself to editing those works. How do you prepare for nano? Showers of cold water, three times a week … seriously, the more reading and writing I already do, the more ideas I come up with even if they start with just a title — using this method, I’ve got plans for Nanos and others projects up to the early 2020s. Essentially, I approach Nano the way I approach most any other endeavor; who are some characters I feel have more of a story than has been told. This year for instance, it’s the wise men who visited Jesus (NOT in the manger, please reread the second chapter of Matthew), expanding a plausible backstory for them that I am doing.

    4. How many hours do you see that you wil be able to write each day? Three; one to just pound, pound, pound, pound on the keyboard or write out longhand — the entire novel pretty much won’t be in one place until December — and two to write and check myself as I’m doing so, for historical “accuracy” (this is the cusp of the Christian era, so I can and will fudge a bit). Sometimes all you end up seeing this draft is sounds, but not the language — I am only speaking gibberish.

    5. Tell me briefly your nano book idea, and what inspired it.We Have Seen His Star In The East“; it’s the story of the Magi traveling from their homelands to Beth-lehem (how I spell it in the story and how the King James Version of the Bible does as well) and integrates other traditions we have about them outside of Scripture. They are not all that they seem

    6. Do you have a routine or ritual that you go through before you begin writing? Prayer for a clear mind, click my heels two times (not three, for I don’t want to go home yet, I want to go there where my characters and record what’s happening — or has happened — or is going to happen, as the case may be), and change my password AGAIN. Custom demands it.

    7. What do you use for your writing? Word? Scrivener? Pen and paper? WordPerfect, pen and paper — it depends what material I have at hand.

    8. Do you find free writing during nano liberating or do you struggle to not edit as you go? Both.

    9. Do you write chronologically or when you hit a tight spot, do you jump to another scene and come back? I TRY to write chronologically, but I will admit when I’m feeling weak or an area needs more study, I will jump to another scene and write that out. Then I have to figure out how they either connect or write another scene to connect those.

    10. How long do you let it sit before you go back and edit and revise? A few weeks, perhaps a month (though I have manuscripts for other books that have sat for a year or two or FIVE — what can I say, it’s hard sometimes to go back to a story you don’t want to end? And other things do come up …)

    Thank you David for sharing your experience with NANOWRIMO!  Best of luck in your endeavors now get  to work!  

    If you’d like to look David up here are a few places he may be found. 


    Facebook link:

    for at least two more of my books, my 2010 nano winner “Refugees From The Emerald City” (Oz was real, but its author L. Frank Baum was the ultimate spin doctor, and other fantasy worlds are drawn into it)

    and one of my Bible book devotionals, “Unto The Brethren” detailing the New Testament book of Acts

    David Alvin  Delivery, Newspaper at The Minot Daily NewsStudied Education at Stetson UniversityLives in Minot, North Dakota
    Write on my friends, write on!