NaNoWriMo, Process, and December Writing Goals

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I’m very proud of my efforts during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year.  I talked about that last week.  This week, I want to talk about NaNoWriMo in the greater context of my writing process.

Writing is a process.  Don’t let anyone ever tell you different.  That process also looks different for each and every author.  Some do more planning up front.  Some are like me and Terry Pratchett who said “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”  Some struggle over drafts and relish the chance to edit.  Others (like me) love the drafting process and get bogged down during revisions and edits.

My writing process is cyclical.  I’ll draft for a while, edit for a while, draft for a while, then edit some more.  I’ll also cycle between projects.  I draft project 3, then work on editing and revising project 2, then draft project 4 and then move on to another round of edits for project 1 or 2 or perhaps jump into editing project 3.  It’s not nearly as consistent as that, and the time period for each part varies greatly.  I might draft for a few weeks then edit for a few months or vice versa. Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo Wrap Up

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Today is the very last day of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  I wrote 67,831 words in 29 days, passing the 50,000 word mark (with 5,0005 words at time of validation) on November 22, 2018.  I’m spending most of today continuing to write my story in the hopes that I can reach “The End” before midnight.

It’s been a turbulent November this year.  I’m part of the Municipal Liaison team for my area (ML is a fancy term for an unpaid volunteer).  There are three of us.  The region is active enough that it needs three of us.  Due to work demanding time, energy, and overtime, for one co-ML and the other ending up sick not once but twice during November, I was a solo act for possibly half the month.  I know this was no fault of theirs, and I love them both dearly for doing as much as they did while overwhelmed with work/illness.  It just meant more time being an ML and slightly less time for writing. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Winner!

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So November has been a bit crazy.

I’m one of three Municipal Liaisons (volunteer leaders) for my local NaNoWriMo region.  My two co-MLs were felled by sickness and overtime at work for most of the past two weeks.  So I’ve been running solo what should have been a three-person job.  Which has been a little rough.

But I’ve done alright.  I reached 50,000 words yesterday (Thanksgiving) and validated for an official 50,005 (which as an awesome official win number).  I haven’t reached the end of my story, so I’ve kept working on it today and will continue through the end of the month.

But all of that has meant I’ve been exceptionally busy, which is why this is posting at 6pm, and not 10am as usual.

I should have time for a more thorough NaNoWriMo update for next week with a few more details about my story and all the things I’ve learned from NaNoWriMo this month.

Happy Friday!

NaNoWriMo: Day 2 Update

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It’s day two of National Novel Writing Month.  The Midnight Madness first write-in (10pm-2am) went amazingly well this year.  We had a costume contest featuring a daemon, a minotaur, and a teddy bear.  At least half of attendees reached the 1667 word par for the first day before they left.  There was so much sugar and caffeine.  Even running on low sleep and being up for 20+ hours by midnight, it was amazing and fun, and I wrote more than two thousand words.

I then went home to sleep for a few hours before hosting my first write-in later that morning.  Attendance hasn’t been super high, but it’s a weekday.  There is a ton of activity on our online chat and the region really seems to be taking off with activity this year even with fewer than average homed writers.  It’s all very exciting, and I can’t wait to get to know all the new people that have joined the challenge this year. Continue reading

Is it Ever Too Early to Prep for NaNoWriMo?

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So I may have a slightly skewed perspective on this since I’m a Municipal Liaison (ML) for my local National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) region, but is there such a thing as it being too early to prep for the upcoming NaNoWriMo challenge?

Let me give you a little perspective.  NaNoWriMo HQ usually starts the NaNo prep emails to participants (WriMos) sometimes in mid-September.  NaNo HQ themselves start prepping for November 2018 before November 2017 is actually over.  It’s fairly common for MLs to start prepping for November in June or July.  My two coMLs and I started prepping for November 2018 in December of 2017 and finalized our major dates in May 2018.

Just as a writer, I have a bit of a local reputation for not planning.  It’s completely unsurprising to my WriMos now when I tell them on October 27th that I don’t know yet what I’m writing for that November.  The actual story idea may not solidify until October 31, or even November 1.  But the scheduling, the funds saving, and the gearing up are definitely happening far in advance.  Before I was an ML, I still liked to host write-ins and I loved to attend write-ins, so I saved money all year so I’d have the funds to eat a snack or meal at each and every write-in I attended in November. Continue reading

My Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Project: Swords & Shields Book 2

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The second book in my Swords & Shields series has been in the works since before the first book, Strong Fort Spathí, was released.  It’s been a long process getting the draft to the point it is now, and it still needs some major work, so that’s my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo 2018.

My initial idea was to try to get through one revision pass in April, but as I look through everything that needs to get done, I think that’s a little ambitious.  So I’m going to aim to get half done in April.  If I’m productive through May and June, maybe I’ll be done by July’s Camp NaNo Session.  If not, then I’ll finish it in July.

To give you an idea of what I’ll be working on without any spoilers for future readers, I’m going to talk about the revision process so far, and some of the pitfalls I run into because I’m a pantser (as opposed to a plotter who goes into a draft with a plot already outlined). Continue reading