5 reasons everyone should do NaNoWriMo at least once.

I’m prepping for NaNoWriMo. To prep I used the snowflake method (after I’d already worked on an outline for a couple weeks), then I finished said outline. Now I’m percolating on that outline…as well as plotting book 2 in the series. Which is actually amazing for book 1, it’s revealing a lot about motivations of certain characters.

I was nervous that I wouldn’t be ready for November…but now I wish it was here so I could just get this thing going!

What are you doing to prep for NaNo?

Elena Linville's Tower of Winds

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We are now midway through October and thousands of writers across the world are frantically preparing for the biggest writing challenge of the year – the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. Since I had jumped into it head first last November, I read a lot of blog post and articles about NaNo on the web, and I realized that there are often opposite reactions to the event. Some like it, some don’t; some swear it’s the best thing that ever happened to them, while others think it’s worthless.

Personally, I think that if you think of yourself as a writer, even an aspiring or pre-published one, you should do NaNo at least once in your life. And below are the 5 most important reasons why you should do it.

  1. 50k words is an average a professional writer produces every month, not just in November.

Before I did my…

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RoW80 – First Week Check In

Well I’m one week into the first RoW I’ve actually started from the beginning.

As far as plotting/outlining.  I’m doing awesome.  I’ve figured out the final showdown.  I’ve figured out the resolution.  Sure, some of the details are fuzzy.  But I have a pretty good idea about where I want to go and the route I want to take.  So I’m pretty excited about that.  As in, I’m super excited.  I can’t stop talking about it.  I’m actually starting to feel sorry for my husband…he keeps changing the subject but after about 2.3 seconds I bring it right back.

My word count goal was 1000 words 3 days a week.  I didn’t do that.  I did write 3000 words, just not in 3 days…so I give myself a gold star for achieving that goal.  I definitely achieved the heart of the goal this week.

I’m doing great at not rereading/editing my work so far.  That’s definitely been the easiest goal thus far.

No flash fiction this last week, but that was an every other week goal.  So I need to pump one out this upcoming week.  Hopefully I find this prompt somewhat more inspiring than the last.  Although, if I was being honest, working with an uninspiring prompt would probably be very good for me.

This upcoming week might be a bit of a challenge.  I work the first half of the week and then my husband leaves town for the second, so I’ll have to carve writing time between work, sleep (which I don’t get nearly enough of as is), and taking care of the kids.  Hopefully my momentum at figuring out the final bit of my book can keep me going through this week!  I believe Hemingway wrote this quote: Write drunk, edit sober.  I’ve adopted that mantra…only I made it fit my life: Write exhausted to the point of delirium, edit rested.  I still haven’t done any editing, so I might have to amend the last bit…it might be more of: Write exhausted to the point of delirium, edit hopped up on caffeine.

Any suggestions on how to write when your energy tank is most assuredly less than optimal?

RoW80 – not so new (or improved) goals

After doing the last few weeks of RoW I’m excited to try again.  I’m working on my same project, so many of my goals are the same, but as I’ve been writing the past couple weeks I’ve nailed down some more structure elements, so I’m hoping to continue in that arena.

Goals:

1. I want to attempt NaNo this year.  I’m guessing with my obligations this will be too high of a word count for me.  However, I have a few things going for me.  What I am currently working on, which was originally going to be a rough draft, is turning out to be more of a fairly descriptive outline.  It needs a tone of fleshing out to become anything near what I want it to be.  So if I can finish the final conflict/big showdown and the resolution by the end of the month…then I should have a fairly decent outline to work from during November.  Which also means that if I can complete NaNo I might have a pretty decent/fairly complete rough draft, and that’s exciting. We’ll see!

2.  That leads into my next goal…finish plotting the final conflict and resolution by the end of October.  In this stage I’m also hoping to address the major scenes, making sure there’s tension in each one and that all of them drive the plot forward.  Pretty much this is my attempt to become more of a plotter and less of a pantser.  I’ve been working on this plotting shindig for a couple weeks, and I’m pretty excited about how the story is coming together with just a touch more planning.

3.  During this round I’m shooting for ~1000 words three days a week.  Except for in November when I need to do WAAAYYYY more.  Again, I’m flexible on making that goal.  But I’ve already been talking about it with my husband, so he’ll be encouraging me, which always makes it easier in the goal accomplishing department.

4.  As with the last round, no rereading until this first outline is complete.  And then, no rereading of the rough draft as I turn the outline into a draft.  At least, not until it’s done.  I can do lots of editing once it’s done, but there’s no way I can finish it if I start editing during the writing process.

5.  I’d like to post one flash fiction every other week.  Except during November…all writing energy goes towards my draft.

So that about sums up what I am hoping to accomplish.  1) plot it out. 2) outline it up. 3) write it down. 4) push forward. 5) change it up.  Did I miss anything?  I should probably add a goal…remember to carve out time for family.  They’re pretty awesome and I should hang out with them.

RoW80 – First/Final

Well, this is my final check in of what was my first attempt at Round of Words in 80 days.  And I started it late.  And I didn’t meet all my goals.

My first goal was a specific word count every day.  Yeah, nope.  Didn’t happen.  Not that it was a lot of words everyday, it was just trying to get it in everyday that was brutal.  I work three 12s a week, and they are nightshifts…that is not so conducive for me and writing.  However, it looks like I’m going to be working that shift for the foreseeable future (like at least another year) so I better figure out how to write, work, mom (yes, that’s a verb), and survive (I’ll sneak a shower or sleep in at least once a week 🙂 ).  I changed my word count goal a couple weeks ago. It became more words a day, but not everyday.  And I did better…even if I didn’t hit that word count everyday.  I’m thinking for the upcoming round doing something similar, a few more words a day, but not everyday of the week.

My second goal was to not reread any of my current work.  Nailed it!  Yeah, it was a tad frustrating when I wanted to write some descriptions…did I already write that or just think it through? But for the most part, this goal was cake.  And it allowed me to keep my progress in actually working towards a completed first draft and not just spinning my wheels reworking stuff.

My third goal was to write one flash fiction a week.  Didn’t quite make this goal.  I did write a couple, so that’s good.  I’ll keep this goal in the upcoming round, it’s good for me to work on brevity, getting to the point (being conflict not just description), and thinking about something other than my current project.

All in all, I came to this round late, dipped my toes in the water, and decided to stick around for another go.  Here’s hoping I do slightly better this next round.  I’m also hoping to do NaNoWriMo this year…which means a lot more words a day.  So I need to get those word writing muscles in shape and October sounds like a good month for training 🙂

RoW80 – Feeling Good

Since my last check in, when I hadn’t accomplished a whole lot of tangible work, I’ve done a bit of writing.

1.  I didn’t count how many words I wrote, but I got a decent amount of writing done on my novel.  I also couldn’t sleep last night, but I refused to get out of bed to read/write.  So instead I thought a lot about my book.  I made a little bit of plot headway, but it definitely helped me untangle a few things that needed to be untangled.

2.  Still not reading my first draft.  Which, I’ve pretty much downgraded from first draft to detailed outline…

3.  Wrote a flash fiction, which (especially considering I haven’t done one in a couple weeks) was actually pretty decent.  I definitely struggle putting plot into a 100 word count piece.  I’m great for a description, but plot…well…maybe…or maybe I’ll just hint at a plot.  I felt there was more plot to this last one than most of my recent attempts.  So, improvement! I’ll take it.  But if you’re interested in reading it, here’s that post.

All right.  Hopefully I can maintain this slow steady progress towards my goal!

Triumph – Friday Fictioneers

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Triumph

Word count: 100

I am old.  I am weak.

Leathery wings rush past me; claws tangle my hair and pull my skirts. The smell of death and rot bring me to my knees.  The demons came at night. Soon my family, friends, and neighbors were dead. But they left me, the old woman. So they could torment me more.

But I have a secret.  I know how to bind them.

And I have.

And come morning, the sun will burn them to oblivion.

I am old.  But I am not as weak as they think I am.  And soon I will be alone.

Friday Fictioneers:  a story in 100 words prompted by a picture that Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts every Wednesday. Photo Credit: ©Dawn Q. Landau