Nanowrimo

Well that’s what it says I did. This is the third consecutive year I’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo and it was so much harder this time but the writing experience was much better.

I’d already decided (my only plan) that I wasn’t going to attempt a novel-length thing and had intended to write 30 short fiction drafts, but it didn’t turn out like that. I glided in and out of a novel-like thing with ‘interludes’ and a few short fiction drafts in between. Until I re-read it I won’t really know what I’m dealing with but I have lots of words to play with and … may even write some more before the end of the month.

How did I cope with it? Mind over matter, chocolate and fresh coffee mostly. Was it worth it? Oh yes. Will I do it again? Very likely.

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6 Comments

  1. Yay, well done…I am trailing behind you but hoping to get there.

    It’s my second year, and my experience has been different – this time I decided to use it to continue with my novel that I’ve been procrastinating for too long…

    I know lots of people are sniffy about nanowrimo but it’s been a very good experience for me. Not that I’ve produced anything like a novel either time…but it has just given me confidence about writing regularly and experience of building up a reasonable word count over a long haul.

    Coffee and chocolate – that’s what I need

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  2. I feel a little bit fraudulent each time I take part, imagining that out there are thousands of people who are writing something (more) meaningful than what I end up with! I’m impressed that over two years you’ve been able to focus on one novel. Really! Over the three years I’ve done this I’ve come out vaguely impressed with some surreal monologue and a little more impressed by my ability to write about nothing-in-particular in a sort-of-interesting way (no mean feat!). I think the sniffy naysayers (not met any this year, either I’ve not noticed any or they’ve kept out of my way) are missing the point. For those of us learning the craft of writing, it’s an invaluable learning process to put down words that we can play with afterwards. You will get there *passes over coffee and chocolate* and I bet you get a novel out of it too, even if it takes another year or two! Not sure if I will, but something good will come out of it.

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  3. Actually, this novel was the one I started at the end of A363….last year’s was scrappy ramblings that became a few short stories.

    The thing about writing, is that a lot of people seem to think that one is just doing it to be the next JK Rowling…or whoever.

    I’d love more than anything to write a publishable novel – it’s been my dream for a long time.

    But that’s not the most important part for me – I enjoy the process, I enjoy learning and getting better at it. And I am planning to get a novel I am happy with – maybe by the end of next year…

    I don’t know why nanowrimo helps exactly. It’s not that I feel competitive about it any way, except against that purple line.. I see the people who shoot ahead and get more words and I’m pleased for them, and I’m sure some people are getting something much more coherent and well written done too…

    Perhaps it’s just that for this month it doesn’t feel quite so mad, because so many other people are openly gripped by the same insanity?

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  4. You must talk to people in the real world! I only talk to other writers about doing nano, no-one else knows I’m doing it! Probably why I like the camaraderie that goes with it, I find it very supportive especially when you’re writing at four o’clock in the morning and you end up talking to someone in Iowa who’s doing the same (but just about to go to bed!). I’ve learned more about writing each time I’ve done it. In 2008 I proved to myself I could write more than the 4000 words or so we had to do on A363, last year I developed free-writing into an artform, this year it was more about finding story / stories. Whatever reason we take it on, I think it’s a great thing to do and something to be proud of achieving. There!

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  5. Ah, you could be right…talking to people is the mistake…

    Although someone I know vaguely had a go at me on my Facebook page the other day, asking me why I was focussing on word count.

    I explained nanowrimo and said I was writing a novel…He said something about if it was just about words I could just cut and paste or something…I said again, I’m writing a novel… He said I was being evasive…and finally I snapped and said if I could say what I wanted to say on a Facebook status, I wouldn’t be writing a damned novel…

    Ryan laughed at me and said I should just ignore him, and of course he’s right…

    I have done a little peek back at what I’ve written, and it’s quite odd – there are some parts that need a lot of work, but there are a surprising number of scenes that just flow, or that have come alive in unexpected ways. They all need work – perhaps in the wrong place, or whatever – but I think there is some benefit to just getting the words out. Even if I end up throwing half of them away…

    I think that whole weight of pots story just might be true…

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  6. There’s always someone isn’t there! I kept a low-ish profile but (hope) I don’t know anyone who would be as arsey as that šŸ™‚ I’ve not had much of a look at mine, am juggling thought of cost of newly bought ream of paper against quality of what I’ve written, but know I’ll have to print it out to get to grips with it. I found some parts flowed, one section resonated, it moved me to read it, which may or may not be a good thing! I’d forgotten about the weight of pots story, I have a terrible memory – you must remind me of it – have a vague recollection. Re: throwing words away, just before nano started, I read through the whole of last years again and salvaged 20k I could begin to work with … am in it for the long haul, just wish I’d started with all this a little (lot) earlier!

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