Michille: National Novel Writing Month

NaNoI have been recapping things I learned in the McDaniel Romance Writing Certificate Program the last couple of weeks and I’d planned to continue with my course-by-course review, hoping that it would get me back on track with my WIP that is currently stalled like the rain over South Carolina was this past weekend. Unfortunately, it isn’t dumping words on the page as quickly as the front dumped water on SC. So I’m switching gears and looking forward to November and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is a “fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.” It starts on November 1 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in that time frame.

I’ve tried it before and was almost successful once. The manuscript I was working on during the McD program was born one November. I only made it to 35,000, but it was a good start. One of the things NaNo does for me is mostly a head game, but when I’ve done it in the past, it was a license to write absolute schlock. The goal is word count, not quality. There are a lot of helps during the month: pep talks from authors, badges, word-count helpers, etc. If I were more competitive, that would be a help, too.

So how does it work? The NaNo-er signs up and completes a profile, decides what to write, selects a “home region” (used for stats on the website and offers the potential to meet with others in your area for writing time or inspiration), and starts writing on November 1. During the month, stay tuned to the NaNo website to upload word count and check on others’ progress.

I’m not starting a new story. I intend to do it to finish my current one – or at least get 50,000 on the page that I can then edit into usable stuff. I had wanted to have this finished to enter into the Golden Heart contest. Even getting 50,000 words on the page in November probably won’t allow me to reach that goal because I doubt I can finish the edits by January 1, but it will get me a lot closer to a finished product.

Are any of you planning to NaNo? What are your reasons to do or not to do? What are you hoping to get out of it?

2 thoughts on “Michille: National Novel Writing Month

  1. Michille – I am definitely planning to do NaNo this time around, using the new story I’ve been planning. I’ve done it before, with varying levels of success. I’m hoping the need to hit a writing target each day will keep my attention from wandering off in the same way that going to the gym everyday has kept me from giving up and finding something else to do with that time.

    Also hoping to keep everyday life in check enough to be able to write everyday – that is the part that has given me trouble in the past. I’m hoping to get a good draft out of the process. If not the complete story, then at least a substantial portion of it.

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