Thursday, November 6, 2008

What's NaNoWriMo You Say?

So, are you wondering with the blue insignia is on the right? That’s what I’m spending this month doing.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The briefest way to explain it is – you type as fast as your little fingers can go and punch out a complete 50,000 word novel in a month.

Wow. Who can write that fast, right? Well, it’s not supposed to be perfect. In fact, you should shut off your internal editor for this month. “November is for writing. December is for editing.” I’ve heard that often in reference to NaNoWriMo.

That means, that even if you change your mind and decide not to use the last 3 pages of a scene – don’t delete it. You might change your mind later on and then wish you still had it. Some writers cut and paste it onto another document. I do when I’m not doing NaNo. I call it my ‘deleted lines’ document. During NaNo, however, I just put a box around it so it’ll still register in the daily word count. Because, after you’ve spent a couple hours writing a scene, you should get credit for it – during NaNoWriMo anyway.

On the official NaNo site at http://www.nanowrimo.org/ you don’t start a single word of your novel until Nov 1st. If you’ve completed your novel by Nov 30th, you receive a certificate and get to use the official NaNoWriMo logo. Last year, approx 79,000 adults participated.

There’s even a NaNoWriMo for kids at http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/ where over 15,000 youngsters participated last year. This year, my 10 yo son is trying it. He’s writing a novel entitled Island War: The Beginning. Should be interesting.

I don’t participate on the official site. I use a spinoff at http://community.eharlequin.com/forums/write-stuff/nanowrimo-2008 because all my eharlequin friends are there and some of them just need time to finish a novel or write a novella. At the end of the month, we don’t get anything for completing our own chosen goal except a pat on the back from Dee, our eharl host and the knowledge that we accomplished it. We still get the support and encouragement from our friends. And, we still have the accountability of reporting to our peers how much we typed/wrote during the day.

Charley’s Saint, a Contemporary Inspirational, was my 2007 NaNovel. It’s making the rounds now and has finaled in 2 contests.

This year, I’m attempting a Suspense for my NaNovel, entitled Translucent Trust. You can check my progress up on the top right. It's the counter under the NaNo logo. I would have more if I hadn’t lost the 2000 words I’d written on Day 2.

Yes, I said lost 2000 words. How? Because I thought I was doing a good job of multi-tasking and ended up deleting my progress because I assumed I’d saved it. Wrong!

The first rule of writing? Back up your work.

I was so excited to start my NaNovel, I forgot this important step. Then, I spent the whole of the next day looking for it and whining. So that was 2 lost days.

You can be sure I have my trusty little flash drive plugged in now. And, for the record, I actually like the part I rewrote better than the original. It was a blessing in disguise, after all.

So, if you’ve ever thought of writing, check out these 2 sites. It’s never too late to join us – you just might have to work harder depending on your goal.

I see that my lunch break is over, so it’s back to Hayley and Dylan running for their lives in Translucent Trust...

3 comments:

  1. Good luck!! I'm going to go check the unofficial site since it sounds more my speed. Especially since I had already begun my novel by the 1st. :)

    Thanks for the info.

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  2. PS. Did your review book come yet? Mine still hasn't shown up.

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  3. Hey Kelly - I'm glad you're going to try Nano. It's a very effective way to stay on course. I wish there was a website that did something like this all of the time because even though we have CP's, they don't expect us to check in every day. At least, mine don't.

    Wait a minute - eharl already has a thread like that it's here - http://community.eharlequin.com/forums/steeple-hill/general-discussions/ready-set-write-12

    I haven't got to it in ages and when I just checked, it has my goal as Apr 30th. Oops.

    But, this is the place to go for encouragement when there's no NaNo.

    About my TN book - no, not yet but, considering I'm in Canada, I prob won't get it until a week or 2 after yours. I'll keep you posted anyway just in case. :-)

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