Michille: National Novel Writing Month

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Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month. 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 timeframe. I’ve tried it before and was almost successful once.

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.

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.

In my last post, I talked about some things I was doing to get ready for NaNoWriMo. The only thing I’ve added to my prep work is listening to the best RWA sessions from the past couple of years. I’m listening to Michael Hauge right now and hoping to get some motivation and story ideas out of the sessions. In person, they always get me super excited. Listening isn’t exactly the same, but here’s hoping.

I’m not starting a new story. I intend to do it to finish my current one and write some scenes for the next one I have in my head. It’s part of a series with the current one so I could get some good through lines this way. I at least want to get 50,000 words on the page that I can then edit into usable stuff. I had wanted to have my current WIP 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 the entry deadline, 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?

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