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Ramah
10-23-2009, 09:31 AM
I was just wondering if any of the many would-be-writers were considering doing NaNoWriMo this year? Or maybe have done it previous years?

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

For anyone who doesn't know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a sorta competition/incentive to write a novel (or part of a novel) in one month. You have all November to write 50,000 words. If you pass that milestone then you can consider yourself a "winner." There are no prizes other than the satisfaction you will have for having accomplised the feat.
Anyone can enter.

I've decided that this year I'm going to have a bash at it. I've registered and I have a plotline from a story I once started to write and then gave up on, despite it being the most fully realised plot I had ever come up with (normally I get a beginning and an end and struggle with the middle but this story came with it all).
I'm hoping that the contest will hit me over the head with the fact that I don't need to constantly go back and rewrite/edit what I have already done and that getting it all down on paper and THEN going back can be a useful way to do things.

So... anyone else already signed up? Or going to?

töff
10-23-2009, 09:39 AM
One of the guys in my writers group has set himself to finishing his novel in like the next 6 weeks or so. I pointed him at Nanowrimo for tips (not sure whether he looked at all, or if it was helpful).

Personally, I don't think the length of time it takes to complete a novel is the most important thing. Sure, you need to work in a timely fashion ... but a month seems short to me (unless you're able to devote full time to it).

Karro
10-23-2009, 10:00 AM
Being as I'm still in school and working full time, I'm sadly too busy this year to really give this a shot, yet. I haven't done it yet (though... I can't say what, really, may have stopped me in previous years). Next year I'll be knee-deep in a "career-planning" frenzy (the inevitable conclusion of the MBA experience) during November, so it's unlikely then as well.

So... I'll just have to commit, now, to taking part in the 2011 Nanowrimo... Maybe by then I'll be ready for it, too...

rdanhenry
10-23-2009, 10:42 AM
I tried the NaNoWriMo challenge last year and failed because I got sick and had to spend my time afterward catching up on things which were more important. I'll try again this year, but haven't decided what to write yet.

töff
10-23-2009, 12:29 PM
Oh btw ... please let me not neglect to say ... Good Luck, Ramah! GO! GO! GO!

Kerrigan Sheehan
10-23-2009, 01:26 PM
I won NaNoWriMo last year, but I'm not in the right place with my other writing projects this year, and next year my boyfriend will be preparing for deployment, so I'll be spending time with him instead of doing NaNoWriMo. Perhaps in 2011.

The trick to winning NaNoWriMo is doing your 1,666.66 words a day. If you get even a couple days behind, it becomes a huge challenge to catch up.

Gidde
10-23-2009, 01:59 PM
I'm registered. I failed last year, but I'm ready to give it another shot this year. I've been working on an outline for the past couple weeks or so.

@ töff: I think it's much more valuable for the simple "I'm going to write and not agonize" mindset than it is for actually trying to write a novel in a specific timeframe. After agonizing myself into writer's block for the last year, I'm ready to write something at warp speed that I'll never sell, just to allow myself to write something.

Ramah
10-23-2009, 02:52 PM
@ töff: I think it's much more valuable for the simple "I'm going to write and not agonize" mindset than it is for actually trying to write a novel in a specific timeframe. After agonizing myself into writer's block for the last year, I'm ready to write something at warp speed that I'll never sell, just to allow myself to write something.

Couldn't have put it better myself. :)

philipstephen
10-23-2009, 03:04 PM
I think I will give it a go this year. Maybe all us cartographic writers can post encouragement or updates on a thread somewhere. (this thread?)

I am shooting for a fantasy novel aimed at children ages 11-13 -- writing the sort of book I would enjoy at that time - like the Prydain Chronicles of Lloyd Alexander.

It will be set in the world I am currently mapping and set about 30 years before the time of the game my players are currently in. It will be the first of a series that will track the progress of a supporting character from childhood to adulthood.

So when I finally get my adult novels ready, this series will have built up to it.

I don't know how much to spoil about the book just yet, but it involves a half breed outcast who strives for heroics and acceptance.


Woot! Wish me luck, and good luck to all the other writers who are taking the challenge!

phil

philipstephen
10-23-2009, 03:17 PM
I have registered!

Anyone can buddy me if they wish. My name is philipstephen at the NaNoWriMo website.

Would you be the Ramah Palmer from England, Ramah? I see no other Ramah's out there.

I am stoked!

Let's get this book done!

Ramah
10-23-2009, 03:23 PM
I have registered!

Anyone can buddy me if they wish. My name is philipstephen at the NaNoWriMo website.

Would you be the Ramah Palmer from England, Ramah? I see no other Ramah's out there.

I am stoked!

Let's get this book done!

Yup, that's me. :) Buddify me so we can keep track of each other on the site.

And yeah, I know what you mean. I'm itching to get going on it. I can really feel my creative juices starting to flow, so to speak.

Edit: Oh yeah, and about the name... it was amusing to me when I first used that name on ICQ a long, long time ago (Ramah was originally supposed to be Rama (I'd just read Rendezvous with Rama) when I signed up for Wireplay but the name was already in use so I used a variant spelling that I've dragged around the internet with me ever since. On MSN I used to be: Ramah Palmer Llama Farmer.) :S

Oh... and good luck. :)

Tiana
10-23-2009, 03:54 PM
I've done Nanowrimo since... 2005. Won with 50k, won with 100k, won with 100k, won with 111k and a finished novel and well... we'll see how this year goes. No, I haven't had to dedicate all my time to it. In fact, it's not very difficult or time consuming at all... as long as you're a bit competitive, just join a regional group and let them kick you into gear. ^_^ Don't discount writing events... great way to rack up the word count. The easiest week is the first week and the last week... in the first week, WRITE MORE THAN NECESSARY. And I suggest never writing less than 1667 words a day.

I'd say it's all about the pacing, but for me, it's all about the mad crazy days where I write 16k...

But yeah.

It's not that hard. I remember the first year I heard about it. I said "that's impossible! Ridiculous! Why would you want to do THAT?" a few times over and then... well... I did it and it wasn't so bad, so I kept doing it. ^_^

Good luck to you guys... and to you guys going 'maybe next year'... no, no. Try this year. You won't win if you don't TRY. The thing with Nanowrimo is that it makes you stop putting off that zombie ninja romance thriller set in the ashes of a volcanic planet being terraformed by aliens that you've been thinking about for the last three years.

Hey, no one said it had to be a GOOD novel. It's all about churning out those ideas. I assure you, a month is plenty of time to write a first draft of a novel; I did it last year, I wrote THE END 111k words later. Yes... it was a challenge. But a worthy undertaking and not nearly so bad as you'd think when you first see the words FIFTY THOUSAND.

Good luck to anyone trying it!

Ramah
10-23-2009, 04:25 PM
You would be Tiana Calthye on NaNoWriMo?

Mind if I add you as a buddy so that your incredibly fast pace either spurs me on to greater things or depresses me and makes me give up the whole damn thing? :)

Gandwarf
10-23-2009, 05:36 PM
I can't even keep promises to myself... see my signature :)
It's so hard to write each day.

Sigurd
10-23-2009, 07:59 PM
There is a Nanowrimo subgroup called 'rebels'. You are a rebel if your project falls outside of the traditional 'Novel'. I'm trying this year to write a game setting. The technical side of the website has a little app that counts the words in a text file and tracks your progress through the month - it looks like a cool thing.

So I am going to try to get my 50,000.

Wish me luck,,,


Sigurd

jbgibson
10-23-2009, 10:33 PM
And if writing a novella doesn't sound like a fun month, apply the dictum "a picture is worth a thousand words". Does producing fifty maps sound better?

I tackled NaNoWriMo last year and failed, but kept working on my story sporadically. Its setting is of course the geofiction world (http://worldspinner.net/worldofaurora) I participate in (and map). Really, I wouldn't want to draw many maps rather than fewer good ones :-), but some of you may be quick enough to draw an atlas in a month. NaNoWriMo's slogan is "No plot? No problem!" What would the cartographic equivalent be?

Imahilus
10-24-2009, 07:19 AM
Tried it three times, won the first time, failed the other two.
There is no question about it, it is hard work!
But I still remember winning it, it was fantastic =)

Won't do it this year, life being too busy and all.
Still wanting to continue on my map.. but even that is proving to be difficult.


Good luck to anybody trying the effort, it is something you just should do.
My tip is.. don't use a plot you've allready worked on, pick a (random) topic when you start writing. Nanowrimo isn't about quality, it is about quantity. And if you write 50k on the fly, it suddenly becomes a much more pleasant experience as you'll allow yourself to get away with a whole lot more.
PS: it also helps if you remove the backspace and delete buttons from your keyboard =P

Tiana
10-25-2009, 05:33 PM
You would be Tiana Calthye on NaNoWriMo?

Mind if I add you as a buddy so that your incredibly fast pace either spurs me on to greater things or depresses me and makes me give up the whole damn thing? :)

I am indeed. Buddy me away! I'm by no means the craziest member of my region though. :D

My pace is weird, actually. I usually do a burst of around 10k the first day, and something along the lines of 5k in the next couple days, then I taper out. Over the course of weeks two and three, I go through days where I write next to nothing--or heaven forbid--nothing at all. This is normal. Then either I wrap up in the last week, or I do an absurd amount of writing the last day, depending on how my novel's been going. So don't get depressed if I write 20k in a day or 0 words.



My tip is.. don't use a plot you've allready worked on, pick a (random) topic when you start writing. Nanowrimo isn't about quality, it is about quantity. And if you write 50k on the fly, it suddenly becomes a much more pleasant experience as you'll allow yourself to get away with a whole lot more.
PS: it also helps if you remove the backspace and delete buttons from your keyboard =P
Don't feel like you have to write something terrible. My final novels actually are quite readable. First drafts, but readable. The worst thing in my last year's novel was the introduction of a totally random plotline. Write something that interests you, not something random. It's about doing as much as you have to to keep moving forward... not about writing randomness just to get 50,000 words down. It's not a sin to spellcheck or even erase the odd thing.

My first year, I thought I had to write 'NaNo' style, which I thought meant writing an awful novel with no coherent plot just to get words down and... I wasn't happy with it. So the next year I wrote something I enjoyed writing about and I was satisfied at the end. :)

It isn't about quantity over quality. It's about writing that story. Would you be satisfied at the end of the month if you wrote fifty thousand words of nonsense? Where the main character was a block of cheese madly in love with a butcher knife who was promptly kidnapped by flies, murdered five times and rocks fell and everyone died at the end, and they all sang American Pie and a deaf person asked them to repeat it and there were no apostrophes EVER? If the answer is yes, then go nuts. For me the answer was no. :)


And if writing a novella doesn't sound like a fun month, apply the dictum "a picture is worth a thousand words". Does producing fifty maps sound better?
NaNoMango (http://community.livejournal.com/nanomango/) may be your thing. ;)

rdanhenry
10-26-2009, 11:20 PM
It is generally easier to tell a story that to simply write random blather. If it starts making sense to you, that stimulates your creativity and your subconscious will keep mulling over "what happens next" while you are otherwise busy.

I'm "R. Dan Henry". I picked that configuration of my name as my "writing name" decades ago and basically made it my internet ID as well in the meantime. Last year, I tried without any NaNoWriMo buddies and failed. Maybe some co-NaNoWriMoers would bring me luck.

Also, I haven't decided what to write yet. Anybody got a map they'd like explored for 50,000 words or more? That might be just the thing to inspire me.

Ramah
10-27-2009, 05:36 AM
Added both of you. :)

töff
10-27-2009, 11:08 AM
Anybody got a map they'd like explored for 50,000 words or more? That might be just the thing to inspire me.

If you're into scifi, my Venus and Ceres maps are ready for action. (see my sig)
The storyworld is here: http://lattice.mysteryandmagic.com
I would also serialize your novel in my pub, Wayfarer, at a whopping 0 cents per word but free author's copies to you. And you retain all rights to your story and characters (the storyworld is mine, though). Plus you'd get the gratification of all 3 of my subscribers reading your fiction!

My serial, "Dark Vision" (now past 1/4m words), has visited both of those planets. That was my excuse for making those maps.

töff
10-27-2009, 11:21 AM
The Ceres chapters (and some otehrs) are here: http://links.mysteryandmagic.com/Dark_Vision/

Steel General
10-27-2009, 12:51 PM
Also, I haven't decided what to write yet. Anybody got a map they'd like explored for 50,000 words or more? That might be just the thing to inspire me.

Look around in the finished maps forum. If you see something that catches your eye send the author a PM.

I'll offer up any of mine if they happen to 'catch your fancy'...

Imahilus
10-27-2009, 05:09 PM
With random I didn't just mean random this and random that...
Rather... random plot... as in, just pick something you like that just popped to mind.............
Thought that was obvious =\

Tiana
11-02-2009, 07:12 PM
Well, I was more or less referring to random plots. My attempts to write random plots that came to mind crashed and burned quickly, because I didn't care about them. =(

On that note, how's it going, fellow Nanoers?

rdanhenry
11-03-2009, 12:20 AM
I ended up picking a random novel topic from a list of possibles. Off to a bit of a slow start, because I do have some background materials I need to get straight and am making a timeline to keep things in order, but still a better start than last year, when I couldn't work on it at all the first two days.

Ramah
11-03-2009, 03:35 AM
On that note, how's it going, fellow Nanoers?

Well I see that for you it's going pretty well. Over halfway to your word count after two days? That's insane. :S

I managed about 3k words on the first day but yesterday I had hardly any time so I just did enough to keep myself above the required total for the two days.
I admit I am struggling though. My idea was to rewrite a story started about ten or so years ago (I have about 40k words done on it) but like an idiot, a day before NaNo started I found myself browsing over some of the old documents I had written and it's kind of tainted my perception of what I was going to do. My problem is, I kind of like the stuff I already have. It's rough and needs expanding/revising but it's not that bad that it needs a total rewrite. So now I find myself doing something which I perceive to be a waste of time.
So I might change tactics and actually try and write the rest of the story instead. 50k on top of what I already have would make a novel-length story that might actually get finished instead of one half of a story that would probably get left to one side again. :)

philipstephen
11-03-2009, 03:02 PM
i actually switched from my fantasy novel to a light hearted sci fi romp - like douglas adams for kids or terry pratchet sci fi...

the writing is coming a lot more easily now that is is silly

phil

Tiana
11-04-2009, 04:29 AM
So I might change tactics and actually try and write the rest of the story instead. 50k on top of what I already have would make a novel-length story that might actually get finished instead of one half of a story that would probably get left to one side again. :)
Sounds like a plan! I'd recommend it myself, moving forward always seems to keep the Nano pace better than having to think about it being, y'know, good. >_> And I'm sure you'd be satisfied with having a finished story! And a three thousand word first day is good! It's still a buffer!

As for my wordcount... er... it's quantity, not quality. I'm not happy at all with the story so I'm just jamming through it at an unhuman speed. So far I've made my personal word war goal (over 1667 in 15 minutes in a word war) and have not made my day goal (over 20k). I have no idea where all the words are coming from, because I hate this story, can't get into it... yet, man alive, it's sure coming out fast.


I did silly my first year, Philip. It is easier, isn't it? Terry Pratchett's stuff is awesome, anyway, and the sci-fi genre could certainly use more like that! ^_^