Friday, October 23, 2015

NaNo season approaches!

Ah fall. The time of year when nights grow shorter, weather grows cooler (ok, not here in So.Cal…but in SOME places), and writers across the land think of what they will do for National Novel Writing Month- aka NaNoWriMo- aka NaNo.

For those of you who don’t know, NaNo is a month (November) when writers decide to announce to the cyberspace world their intention of completing 50,000 words in a new manuscript.

Now there are guidelines: It should be a new work and it should be a book. Not a collection of short stories- a book. Like they say if you think you’re writing a book, they will also. This year I’ll be a “NaNo rebel”- I’m going to be working on book three of my series (The Emerald Dragon) which is already at about 70,000 words. I’ll make an exact count when NaNo starts, so the only words I’ll be reporting in November are the new nano ones. (You can already see my lovely widget to the right of this post. ;))

There’s no cost, you just go to their site and sign up. Then you look for folks you know and add them to your “buddy” list so that you can egg each other on. There are local groups for most areas, so even if you don’t know someone- you can meet some like minded folks.

Why would thousands of people, for the most part semi-sane, choose to inflict 50,000 words upon themselves like that? Why do people run marathons? Climb mountains? To have the experience. NaNo is like Mt. Kilimanjaro for writers. And it’s a great learning tool. Most writers, even we seat of the pants type folks- have some inner censor going on when we write. Some little voice that makes us stop and question ourselves mid-chapter.

You can’t do that during NaNo. In pure self-defense you have to take that little voice, stick a gag in his mouth, and ship him off to Siberia. When you’re cranking out 50,000 words (page count of 170-200 pages depending on the writer) in one month- you are writing FAST. Some may be crap, some not. But you cannot slow down to edit or self-censor.

It also teaches you to write through any blocks that come your way. You just bowl right over them. So when you return to your more normal level of writing, you’re not the same person. You’re faster, leaner, and more stubborn.

My writing has morphed over the years- NaNo shows that I have done over 250,000 words with them. Have some of those words been crap? Heck yeah! But has it helped me along my writing path- YES!

So if you’re diving in this year, enjoy it for what it is, and buddy me-mandreas.

And most important- HAVE FUN!!!


  1. Woot! I added you.

    Yeah, I'm a rebel too. Me, I just want to get some serious words down on book 2. >_< Really, that would be nice...

    1. YAY!!! I'll go on and add you too :). We can do this!!!!

      Marie at day job can't log on

  2. Lordy, it's sign up time again? (Wracks brain on how I did it last year.) I'll be there, I'm sure. Whether I finish is another thing. Much going on in real life and last year almost killed my arms! I'll be your huckleberry.... I mean writing partner.

    1. LOL!!! Excellent! No killing your arms this time though, okay?