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Nanowrimo 2013

edited July 2013 in Writing
I know this is a bit early but I have always wanted to do this challenge and this is the first year where I believe I will be able to do it. I'm so excited I have been starting the early prep stages now, mainly trawling the internet to find how other people prepare. So my questions for all of you are:

I have a novel I started and left a few years ago, I know this one really well and could restart it and blitz it in November, I have another I have always wanted to write, or I could try to think of something completely new and different. What is best for getting the most out of Nano?

What do you usually do to prepare?

Who is up for it this year?


  • You should have been doing Camp NaNoWriMo then FMN :P

    Yes, I will be doing it again. 5th year this time :)
  • I know, I really should have, but I just wasn't organised in time. I've had a total life overhaul these past few months and things are only starting to settle now, so I'm finally having some time to write.

    That is amazing, what do you tend to do with the finished works? Do you revise them straight away or do you leave them for months?
  • I usually still have a fair bit to do at the end of November, as I'm only half way through most of my novels with 50k.

    Last year I managed 71k during NaNo but I still needed to add another 20 or so...so I just carried on business as normal :)

    Might be go totally bonkers this year and try for 100k :D
  • Yeah 50k is quite short for a novel but I guess I naively assumed a first draft will amount to around about that. I will probably slow the pace but I'd like to finish the draft by Christmas. Especially if I choose to do the novel I've started several times before and keep coming back to. It would feel good to finally get that done.

    Haha I bet you could do it too, if I remember you ripped through the competition last year!
  • I work the other way round, start with too much, then delete :)

    I suck at padding later
  • Best of luck to you both!

    I'm hoping to attempt this in November too. I'm booked on a weekend stay during that month at the same venue where I did my Arvon course last year. The idea is that we arrive Friday, enjoy an evening meal and talk by a guest writer (TBC) and then shut ourselves away in our rooms until Sunday, only coming out for meals and to socialise, should we wish to.

    I'm going with a friend I made at Arvon so I'm really looking forward to it. I just have to come up with an idea for a novel before then, plan it, and be determined to stick to the schedule for the rest of November. Scary concept moving from flash and short stories to such a large project!
  • I have done it in the past and don't intend to again. I think it's worth trying at least once though as it works well for some people.
  • I've done it twice, and it is satisfying to have what is the basis for a book, on the 30th November. I only had a couple of characters and a basic story at the start, and just wrote.

    But writing that amount in what is left of my normal day was pretty difficult. I needed to find a whole day in the middle to write loads and get ahead of schedule. Make sure you have nothing else planned for November - then just write. No time to re-read or edit. Good luck to anyone taking the challenge.
  • Working up to it. It'll be my second year.
  • I was going to start a new thread for this, but I found this one and thought I might bring it back to life instead...

    I'm thinking of taking part this year, even though my usual output of words is only about 500/hour and I have no chance of finding more than 3 hours each day to write. My plan is to work up to it over the next month, by building up a daily word count so that I can get into a proper routine (and hopefully get a bit faster at typing!) ahead of the starting gun being fired on November 1st.

    I'm still undecided whether to actually sign up for the official site - do people find this helps? I can imagine it's good to see your progress bar stacking up as you go, but the prospect of all the discussion fora and pep talks and the like makes me tired just thinking about it. You don't *have* to get involved with that side of it, do you?

    All I need to do now is decide what I want to work on. I have an idea for a fairly traditional story, but I'm also tempted by something more complicated - a set of interconnected stories, each involving different characters but set in the same small town. I like the idea of the variety offered by the latter, but the stop-start nature of writing a series of short stories might not be suited to something like Nanowrimo, where I can imagine it's best to work on something where you can build a lot of momentum to carry you through to the end.
  • [quote=danfango]You don't *have* to get involved with that side of it, do you?[/quote]

    Yes, or a nano official comes round to your house and beats you with a broom handle.
  • You can always sign up for the site but not join in on any of the forums. If you do join and want to add me, it's running-out-of-ink. I'm still as enthusiastic at the prospect of this challenge as I was in June.

    The interconnected stories sound really cool, and I think it may help if you don't have to write from start to end, and can just write the story you are 'feeling' that day.
  • I usually only contribute to the local region forum, and that's because I meet them every week and am offsite friends with a few.

    Same as any site - get involved as much as you want.

    It can be useful, when you're flagging, to talk so same minded people. It's no different from TB to be honest, just different people.
  • Thanks for the insight, folks.

    I should probably clarify that it's not that I don't want to talk to people on a nano forum, it's just that I know myself well enough to be wary of any possible distraction! Glad to hear it's not compulsory.

    [quote=forget-me-not]The interconnected stories sound really cool, and I think it may help if you don't have to write from start to end, and can just write the story you are 'feeling' that day.[/quote]
    I'm coming around to that way of thinking. I'm planning to use Scrivener rather than Word, so I'd be writing individual scenes in isolation anyway. As long as I can get a fairly detailed plan together before I start, it shouldn't matter that the structure is a bit more fragmented than a typical novel.
  • For those taking part...the countdown has begun!

    The boards have been wiped - the beginning is nigh!

    One month to go folks! Just thirty-one days before we can tap away at those keyboards and scribble away in our notebooks...so the usual questions – Are you new to nano, or an old hand? Excited about the prospect of getting started, or nervously pulling hairs out trying to come up with a plot? Do you have any idea what genre you’ll be writing or are you going to wait for inspiration to strike just before day one?

    Wooooo, nano!
  • Yep, I'm doing nano next month but only if my friend is doing it .If not I'll have to give it a miss and focus on my uni work. Even if I did do it I doubt I would be able to reach 50K. Maybe a more reasonable target like 30 or 25?
  • I bought all the Nano books and new notepads to boot and have started my research. Can't wait!
  • I'm still a little daunted by the prospect of trying to fit all this into a single month, and my 'training' schedule for October has already slipped by a day. However, I'm determined to give it a good go. I need to track down the notepad I used when I was first thinking about this idea - I'm not sure how much of it will be any use but there were several character sketches, etc that might come in handy.

    I'd be really interested to know how much planning people tend to do for this - do you have a vague structure, a rigid framework, or something in-between? Or is it just a case of starting on the 1st and seeing where the muse takes you?
  • Bit of both, Dan.

    I usually have a vague idea in my head, throw in a chaotic starter scene and see where it takes me. I try to plan as I go along...if that makes sense. So I'm always revising the plan as the month goes on.
  • Nanowrimers tend to come in two groups, planners and pantsers (writing by the seat of your pants). I think this year I'll try to plan as much as possible in order to give myself the best chance of success but it's whatever you feel most comfortable with. I'm sure as long as you have a vague idea of plot and character, your intuition will take care of the rest, remembering that first drafts are never up to much.
  • I think I'm very much a planner - I find it extremely hard to keep motivated if I'm writing stuff I'm fairly sure will be deleted in the next edit. The stories that have really 'flowed' have tended to be the ones I've had in my head for days or weeks beforehand. If I just go where my writing takes me I'm fairly sure I'll run out of steam before the end of the first week.

    Anyway, I've signed up now. I'm Danfango on there, too, because I don't want to use up all my creativity before I've even started...
  • [quote=danfango]I find it extremely hard to keep motivated if I'm writing stuff I'm fairly sure will be deleted in the next edit.[/quote]

    My pantsing stuff generally comes out better than my planned stuff :P
  • Good Luck. I have to get through October first!
  • This will be my fifth year and normally I've a vague idea and then run with it and enjoy the process, though sometimes getting the word count done for the day is a real headache, especially when I've run out of ideas and plot after a week. I find it's a great way to try a new genre or run with an idea that doesn't really fit.
  • I had planned to do it but I will have to skip it this year, I fear. Just too busy.
  • Me and Loz (LM_Towton) will be doing nano again this year. We never finish but we get a nice amount of one of our WIPs done. This year we're going to be working in one of our newest WIPs :)
  • I'm a pantster - I have a rough idea of a couple of characters and a situation ... the first two times I made it, then I've had distractions for a couple of years and not really got off the ground - this year, who knows.

    KiPaMo is the Nano moniker. I don't usually get involved with the fora, or groups - I need all my spare time to write!
  • Heads up. Opportunity for the Romancers
  • Doing my second nano this year. I'm looking forward to it already :)

    Since I managed the 50k last year, I'm thinking of setting a 75k goal this year... *gulp*

    I'd say the forums are well worth it. Yes, they're a distraction, but I think they helped me to keep in the "NaNoWriMo world" in my head all month, which helped me to keep motivated. We have a chat room too, which is excellent for the much needed "word wars"!

    Like br, I mostly just used the local forums last year, but that's because I'm not very good at the Internet and the thought of chatting with loads of strangers weirded me out (TB is my first venture into big forums since the age of fifteen, I think. Not as scary as I thought!)

    Planning-wise, last year I worked on a novel I'd started at uni and having a plot outline already there really helped me to keep on task, so I'm trying to get a plot together for this year. Doesn't seem to be working yet though. I'm just writing loads of notes and not much else :(
  • I am trying to organise myself to see if I can have a go again this year. I didn't last year but if I can I have a couple of projects that need finishing so even if I just use it as an excuse to finish them I will be happy. :)
  • Earlier this year, I decided that I was going to give nano a go. However, life has thrown up a fair few trials and tribulations recently and I started to worry that I wouldn't be able to give it my all.

    I read a great article in Writing Magazine this month about alternatives to doing nano. It made me realise that I can still do a version of it, without beating myself up. That realisation has seen me, over the last three days (whilst my daughter's in nursery for 2.5 hours), downloading Scrivener, sussing out how to use it, putting together an outline for a story I'm genuinely excited about, and listing my characters, rough outline etc.

    Bare bones I know, but something to at least start working with, especially as I have a weekend retreat booked in November giving me time to explore it further with no interruptions. If I only get down one or two chapters, I'll be a happy girl.

    So, nano for me is a bite-sized version, but the motivation to start something and continue it afterwards - whether that takes weeks, months or years! It will be my first attempt at a novel (a fair leap from flash and short stories) but I'm willing to at least try - even if it is dismally bad and ends up in the bottom drawer. :-)

    Anyone else used nano as a springboard, rather than a marathon?
  • That's pretty much what I'm hoping for. I have my doubts I'll get to 50K, but just the upfront effort of planning something out and having that kind of focus on a single project will make it well worth taking part.
  • I'm doing it this year after not being in the right place he last few years.
    I am planning a series of short stories to publish on kindle so my 50k will hopefully be 3 short stories :)
    my oh has promised to do lots around the house etc so hopefully i'll be there at the finish line :)
  • It's a great way to motivate ourselves, even if we don't make it to the 50k.

    Wishing you all the very best of luck - whatever the goal!
  • That's my thoughts, Debby. I might not even sign up to it but just keep a total of how many words I do over the month. Having two projects already started I would like to try and get one finished. Health and work are very up and down, inrregular to say the least, so I shall have to work around those.

    I did do it the other year and reach about 35k I think which I was happy with. It just takes some organising.
  • i'm getting quite excited. I'm thinking about going to the preston pre launch party on saturday and will def be attending a few of the blackpool write in's :)
    good luck everyone who's mad enough to be doing it :)
  • :) The excitement is definitely starting to build - I've done a couple of blog posts for it if you fancy a read.
  • Good luck you lot, that's about two years worth of words for me.
  • will have a look BR, do you have a link to them ? :)
  • They’re heeeere... - http://stevenchapmanwriter.com/?p=1434 (about the NaNo haters and naysayers)

    Don't Panic - http://www.stevenchapmanwriter.com/?p=1439 (take a breath, you can do it!)
  • Has everyone signed up to the site yet? What are your usernames? Mine is running-out-of-ink, feel free to add.
  • I'm starting to worry about NaNo... I don't have a plot, my main character is passive and lazy, and I'm away galavanting around on hols for half of November. Eek!
  • The stress makes the deadlines easier! Panic writing isn't that bad once you get used to it :P
  • mines shellwblackpool on nano feel free to add me :)
    i can't wait to get started, i want it to be here already pllllease :)
  • I love panic writing when it comes to essays and other non-factual stuff, but stories... Guess I'll find out when I start! :)
  • we can do anything we put our minds to, however i know i'll kick into panic mode the last week lol
  • I'm planning on attempting Nano again this year too- still yet to make the 50k, but I always get something out of it! Can't believe November 1st is creeping up so soon.
  • [quote=Grimmy]Can't believe November 1st is creeping up so soon.[/quote]

    I know! In my head we're still stuck back in September.
  • i can't believe it starts tomorrow.
    fingers crossed to you all :)
  • I know, I'm so nervous and under prepared - I wish I had time to work on my characters more. Looking forward to it though, Edinburgh has a launch party on Sunday so I'm looking forward to going along and meeting some people in this new city.
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