Are you Going to NaNoWriMo?

Hey, guys. October is almost over…God, where did the days go? I am sick with some kind of head-cold-flu-achiness thing, and I just realized today that there are only two more days, (not counting tonight) till November!

Okay, well, I guess November isn’t that exciting…ladies: are we ready for no-shave November? Do any women really want to see their men that hairy? I mean, honestly…but back to NaNoWriMo.

indexI have a friend who has been diligently planning and brainstorming her plot for NaNoWriMo. She has her characters, she has key scenes, she has everything figured out to start writing on Sunday. And I couldn’t be more proud of her.

And I’ve got…nothing.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t give NaNoWriMo another shot this year. At any rate, it might be a nice chance for me to get a rough draft out for one of the many stories that I have yet to finish. But then I look at my story, at the characters, and the back story, and the history and I find there is still so much to do.

How did J.K. Rowling do it? I look to her as an example. All of that planning, all of the information that she knew about her characters and only about twenty percent of that got down on the page. You need to know your characters one-hundred percent. I used to laugh when I heard authors say their characters become like their children, but I guess it’s because I never really understood.

I get overwhelmed, the fear creeps in, and suddenly ten pages a day seems useless when it’s all going to be garbage anyway. I sometimes wonder, did J.K. Rowling ever struggle with writer’s doubt like I do?

I guess I have to keep reminding myself that no one is perfect from the get go, and you have to allow yourself to write crappy, to make mistakes, to take that leap. No fear.

No fear.

I had a manager who insisted that was her motto. To be honest, she drove me nuts, (she was such a control freak), but I think of her words now. I was in debt collecting, and you often dealt with customers that were less than pleasant. She would tell us to go into a call with no fear, to take control.

I think that same motto can apply for me here. I need to approach everyday in NaNoWriMo with no fear and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It did take time for J.K. Rowling to develop her Harry Potter world. It wasn’t done in a month, and anything that I come out with at the end of November won’t be my next bestseller.

But it will be something.

And that’s definitely more than I have now.

Oh, and it’s supposed to be fun. Remember fun?

So self, don’t look at it as a chore. Look it as a way to kick some story-telling ass, and maybe just tackle that fear and self-doubt that’s been stalking me.

Who has time for self-doubt, anyway, when there are only thirty days in November?

Anyone out there doing NaNoWriMo this year? Have you done anything to prepare for it?

Happy Writing!

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11 thoughts on “Are you Going to NaNoWriMo?

  1. It’s good to tell yourself that a complex world found in a novel (and even more so in a series of novels) wasn’t done quickly or easily. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a first draft done, without details of the world known, and fill them in or edit the text to accommodate them as you create your world. Of course, if one spent Dec-Oct creating the world in which their NaNo story would be set, they may have a smoother time of the rough draft. But most of us aren’t going to be able to do that.

    I’m doing NaNo this year; it’ll be my 6th. I’ve been preparing by…well…actually, I’ve been slacking off in the planning. I’ve been developing an idea for a month, but I’ve only barely started the outline. And only one character has much more than a name. But I’m going to be focusing on that the next 48 hours.

    • Hey, glad to know I’m not the only procrastinator out there! :p But it is great that you are doing it again for another year. Do you think it’ll be easier this year since you’ve done it five times already? Or does it depend on the story?

      • It’s actually a little bit of both. I know when I can write, and I know I can write enough words to reach 50k. I’ve learned enough tricks and just what works (like how word wars are brilliant for getting lots of words out in a smallish amount of time) and what doesn’t (I will never write all November without contractions ever again).

        But how well I do definitely depends on the story too. If I’m not pretty in touch with my characters and a solid overall plotline of the story, the writing may just turn into a hot mess. I might end up with 50k, but it might be a lot of rewritten scenes, jumping around, and even backstory in order to try to get myself back on track. 50k words isn’t my only goal anymore–an actual coherent story that I can do something with, without having to completely rewrite it, is important to me as winning now.

      • Hey, thanks so much for the insight… It’s always good to know what works and what doesn’t. I agree with you in the more together novel than having 50,000 words of rewrites. I’ve definitely got to get some brainstorming and developing done this weekend! I say, best of luck to us both! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This is my second NaNo. I used two things to prepare this time: http://www.betternovelproject.com/blog/master-outline/ (even though it’s really for YA and my novel is not) and http://storyist.com/support/howto/get-ready-for-nanowrimo/.
    Following suggestions in these two articles has yielded about 30 pages of notes and a stack of index card scenes. I have insight into my characters–and I have about 20 characters, whom I probably would know very little about or would even have realized that I needed, except the planning revealed them.
    Feel free to add me as a buddy on NaNo.

  3. Good luck! I’ve won two years in the past and failed to win another two. I’m sitting it out this year because I’m postponing my new project til January. But I’ll probably be back in full force next year. I hope it is a productive month for you. And you’ve got the right mindset – what you will have on November 30, regardless of quality, is still more than you have now ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hey thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, I’m definitely going to try pushing myself more this year. I have a lot of friends encouraging me, and some support on here as well and that always helps!

  4. Good luck with your book writing in November, which starts in 5 minutes here. I am not a novel writer yet, but I am starting my first nonfiction book writing challenge tomorrow. It will be a memoir I guess you could say. I’ve been meaning to write my story for 15 years now. Starting tomorrow, the wait is over. I know we will both do great. Whatever the result, it will be better than a blank page. I look forward to reading your work someday.

    Type away.

    Simon.

    • Hey thanks so much for the kind words! I took a look at your latest post, and you certainly have a lot to write about…I couldn’t imagine having to grow up being in and out of hospitals so many times. Must have been tough. Glad to hear that the latest one seems to be working for you. Definitely need to get that experience down on paper! Best of luck to us both!

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