Gearing up for NaNoWriMo

photo-413Last year I participated in National Novel Writing Month, or “NaNoWriMo” for short. This is a massive phenomenon where people commit to writing 50,000 words of fiction during the 30 days of November. I met my goal of 50k words several days early. I thought it would take a lot of time, but it didn’t. I wrote in small bits of time here and there and hit my 1700 words-per-day target without needing to stay up late.

(Note: not because I’m crazy productive. Writing lots of words is just already what I do all day, so it’s kind of like challenging people to run 4 miles a day for a month. If you weren’t a regular runner, that would be really hard. If you were a committed distance runner, it wouldn’t be).

To be fair, the novel is unreadable. I was figuring out where things were going as I was going along. I have not revisited what I wrote since last November. However, I have been figuring out things to add to the story, and new directions to take it.

So, I am going to do NaNoWriMo again, but with my own twist (not the official rules!). I will write 50,000 more words, but they’ll be building on the same story. Ideally, once I have 100k+ words of something, I’ll be able to pull a more solid 75k word novel out of it.

I’m quite excited about it. I’ve been itching for a big project, and while I do need to be thinking about my next non-fiction book, I’m mulling over a lot of ideas. I need something to fill my brain in the meantime. November is lighter for me on travel than October has been. It will be a good time, and give me those hours of “speculative/skill building” that need to go in the perfect 40.

Is anyone else giving it a whirl? Let me know and we can check in with word counts. Email me lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.

Photo: Mums! It must mean it’s almost time for NaNoWriMo!

7 thoughts on “Gearing up for NaNoWriMo

  1. What a great idea! I’m more of an improviser than a rule-follower, so I also used NaNoWriMo as the framework for a re-write one year, but since I’d buddied up with a friend who was starting a fresh project, she sent me her daily word count of new material, while I sent her the word count of the sections I re-wrote each day, as it was interesting to see how enormously this varied according to whether the sections in question needed cutting or expansion, and how rough or polished they were going in.

    1. @Gwen – mine is so rough I’m not sure I could even do that. I might pull one useful image from 1000 words. But at least there’s that. The path is made by walking on it!

  2. I think using NaNoWriMo for revisions sounds like a splendid idea. This is something that is on my bucket list — looking forward to when I’ll eventually be able to undertake it! At the moment, I think I’d just feel guilty if I spent it writing fiction as opposed to doing something “productive” like studying for my boards or working on a research project. Ugh.

  3. Glad to hear that you are putting your own twist on things. My plan is to resurrect a young adult novel I completed several years ago while attending a writing group. It needs much editing and updating but I think this challenge will motivate me.

  4. I did it a few years ago and felt that the who “quality vs quantity” debate ended up being a serious issue. It was fun, though, and a nice kick in the pants to get writing. I’d like to do it again, but considering I’m not even able to everything else in my life done these days I’m not sure if it’s realistic. Good luck!

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