Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Month of Dangerous Writing

Yes, it's that time of year again!  The air is crisp (even here in San Diego- FINALLY), the are days shorter, and there's fun and madness everywhere-

IT'S NANOWRIMO TIME!!! *Cue a bunch of writers dressed in hammer pants dancing in sync*

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo (or just NaNo which is easier ;)), is a world wide event where crazy writers join forces and agree to write 50,000 words (about 170 pages for me) in the month of November.  

That is a hell of a lot of word slinging!

Why do we do it?  Hello?  "Crazy"?  ;)  But there are some great benefits too.

1) It really pushes you and challenges that don't kill you make you stronger.

2) You get to commune with other crazy writers through forums that are local or based on your genre- I have some great writer friends I met through NaNo a few years ago- locals I never would have known otherwise!

3) It will send that pesky internal editor to an early grave.  Or at least a month long vacation.  You need 1,667 words a day to hit the goal (and no- I don't recommend counting on doing huge counts later in the month to make up ;)- keep things as steady as you can!) At that pace you CANNOT edit.  

4) Awesome bragging rights.  Ok, so many folks will look at you and say, "You did what again?"  But deep inside they are filled with awe for your mad writer skills and determination!

So those are just a few reasons why you want to do this, here are a few tips:

1)  This is FUN- keep that in mind at all times.

2) Pretty sure the household can survive with less you for a month- make your family your support crew so they don't resent NaNo or forget who you are.

3) You will want a support crew-LOL.  Grab friends, family (see above) or new folks you meet on the forums- but don't do this alone!

4)  Check out other sites for planning and strategies- one of the best I think is Alexandra Sokoloff's blog :  http://www.screenwritingtricks.com/2014/10/nanowrimo-prep-whats-plan.html

5) Reward yourself!  Food and booze is fine, but you don't want to be drunk and trying to write, nor in a sugar coma.

6) Never, EVER, delete words in your WIP.  If you really hate some little devils, change the font to white.  You won't see them, but they will still be in your word count- trust me, around Thanksgiving time you will need them.

Ok- so what about you folks- anyone who has done NaNo have some more tips?  Questions newbies joining for the first year? 

Come join us!  Or at least check it out ;)

By the way- that blue block in the right corner of the blog?  That's a NaNo word war with me and some friends (yeah- I'm mandreas- hard to figure out, right?  ;)).  This will update our word counts as NaNo progresses- so come back often and see how we're doing!


  1. Find the best time of day for your creative muse and block it out everyday to write. I'm best in the morning, so I HAVE to do my word count before I even think about getting to my actual work work. I allow myself make up days on the weekend and have to tell my family, I'm not available until my word count is done. They understand or grumble behind my back. Either way it doesn't matter to me, as the word count war is all that I focus on. Right Marie :)

    1. LOL! Darn tooting it's all about the Word Wars! ;) Very true, I think a good habit it to get to the writing as you can, when you can!

      A few more days and it begins!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting- and being a word war buddy!

      Marie- at day job can't get on blogger

  2. I think I need all the help I can get. I now have a synopsis (really it's more like a back cover blurb). Plus I'm working on an outline. Very general and vague. Chapter One - Set up. Inspiring, isn't it? I'm especially fond of Chapter Nine - The Woman in His Bed. I have no idea who she is, what's she's like, or how she fits in, but there is going to be a woman!
    Thanks for the no delete tip. I'm terrible about editing what I wrote the day before before I begin the current day's work. Looks like that is a no no for NaNo.

    Counting down to Word Wars! Limbering up my fingers for some speed typing. Let the games begin.

    1. Hey, I've started a new NaNo with less! You have an outline, Sharon! I've started them with a character...and generally where they are ;). yeah NEVER delete anything. I usually read back part of what I did the session before just to get me back into the story- but I never actually edit and don't get rid of anything.

      Can't wait for the word wars to begin!

  3. I make sure all household chores are up to date by Oct 31. Laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, meals in freezer, a stack of Crockpot recipes available, friends and relative notified. Oh and don't forget ink and paper for your computer. For my writing, I like to have a list of three primary characters, what they want, a setting, and a story sentence. I've started with more and less, but find this is a comfortable start. After ten NaNoWriMos, I know now to get as far as I can ahead on my word count in the beginning while the passion for the story and my energy is revved up, that way if something happens I have a failsafe. If nothing happens I finish ahead of time. I never read more than the last line to get back into my story. I hope these tips help you. Good luck with NaNoWriMo 2014.

    Pat Marin

    1. Great tips, Pat! I especially like the doing as much as you can in the beginning- I've seen lots of folks coast through the start then have a few stumbles and never recover!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  4. I'd like to enter your word war. I have the very creative name of Jackie Allen

    1. Thanks Jackie! I'll email you but we have a word war on the RWASD chapter too-