It is that time of year again! NaNoWriMo is right around the corner and this year is going to be a serious challenge for me. For those of you who have no idea what NaNoWriMo means, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month in November.
I have been doing NaNoWriMo since 2012. I have only “won” twice, in 2014 and 2015. I have written a number of draft for novels though none have quite gotten past the initial draft stage. I use NaNo as a time to get as much of the idea onto paper as I can. Sometimes the stories just get stuck and I have to place them to the side until I can determine if they have anything to them.
Winning NaNo is difficult. You start off full of determination but as the month wears on you realize that writing a novel in a month is not easy. Many people get stuck in the middle and have no idea how to move forward. You get that beginning moving and when you hit the middle everything comes to a screaming halt.
Or you set up a schedule and in the end figure out that it just will not work for every day. One you miss that first day of words you find yourself trying to catch up and sometimes it just seems nearly impossible. The two times I have “won” I have been working until the last day. The years I have not won is because I get behind and can’t close that gap.
I love doing NaNo because I love the challenge. It pushes me to get as much of my novel done as I can. I need to get as many words down as I can throughout the month. I also make it more of a challenge for myself because of the fact that I hand write everything then type it up. Sometimes I think that makes it that much harder for myself.
This year will be my biggest challenge because I currently work two jobs and finding time to write has been difficult. I want to use November to see how I can better use my time. I know that “winning” this year may not be in the cards. I have two major work events in the middle of the month and then there is Thanksgiving and a shopping day with my brother. So I know there will be at least 4 days where I will get almost no writing done. But I want to see what I can do.
The best part of NaNo is that there is no real way to lose, unless you never start I guess. As long you get something written and get that work moving then it is worth the time. You may not get 50,000 words done but getting any words one the paper is what counts. Novels don’t get written by thinking about the story, they have to become physical for anyone to read them. NaNo helps give that push in order for you to get started. Once you have something on paper you have something work with.
This year I am going to be working on the novel I have been working on for two years now. It is about a world where alternate universe are kept in books and timelines, every choice made results is a new life and new world. Callie is in charge of keeping everything in order but once The Voices threaten her life and sanity she runs, leaving things to deteriorate. A group of people whose lives begin to devolve because of her choice must find her and put life right again.
I love the idea and have been struggling with particulars of it. Some pieces don’t fit and I have had trouble explain other aspects. Recently I rethought a huge portion of the story, got rid of a useless character and I now think I have it in a position where it can really roll. I am going to use NaNo to push this story as far as I can and see where I end up.
Who else is taking on this challenge in November? If you need a writing buddy find me on the site, my username is Shmibby. I would love to have some virtual writing friends to work on this with.
Good Luck to all those doing NaNoWriMo this year!
I first came across NaNoWriMo when a friend on Facebook posted about it. I read her post and thought the concept sounded interesting. Spend the month of November writing a novel? Why not give it a shot and see what I could do.
That first NaNoWriMo I did in 2012 was a major flop. I had serious trouble finding time to write and lost the story about half way through. I was disappointed that I didn’t succeed but I still loved the idea. 2013 rolled around and I decided to try again. Again I failed at the challenge.
So for 2014 I decided to try something a bit different. I went from being a pantser to a plotter, well a half-plotter, and this was the first time I succeeded. It felt awesome to have written so much in such a short amount of time. But what I wrote was pretty useless. It was all over the place and I didn’t even actually finish the story. I had written basic outline that allowed me to finish the challenge but not detailed enough to become anything real.
Last year was the first time I attempted the challenge, won and wrote something that I believed had potential. I wrote the first draft of the novel I am working on right now. I am currently on the second draft of it but I am in love with my story. 2015 NaNoWriMo was the first time I found myself falling in love with what I had written during that month.
So for this year I am yet again taking up the challenge. During the month of November I will be writing the sequel to my current novel. I am hoping the by getting a rough draft of the sequel written it will help me connect to my characters better. I am also hoping to make sure that any long running plot lines are hinted at or at least known about while I finish writing the second draft of the first novel. I am hoping the challenge this year will get me closer to my characters and spark some serious work for the first one.
This year I am also hoping to get more involved with the community aspect of NaNoWriMo. I am usually very solitary when I write. Mostly because I am always worried about saying the wrong thing or doing something that would make me look dumb in the forums. But I really need to begin building a community in the writing world and I think this would be a good first step into doing that. I plan on becoming involved in the message boards and even seeing if there are any write-ins being held in my area.
My name for NaNoWriMo is Shmibby, if you are participating be sure to connect and we can become writing buddies!
I am excited to see what comes from next month! Good luck to everyone who is taking part! Now, time for me to head back to outlining!