NaNoWriMo 2019: November In Review

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It was a very crazy November this year, which I’ve already talked about a little, so in today’s reflection on NaNoWriMo 2019, I’m going to focus more on my story, and the experiment with plotting, and how I feel that went.

I went into November with an outline.  This has never happened before.  I’m that writer in the region who is famous for picking out their idea on Halloween, or starting over three times when the story isn’t working.  In light of that, I think I did pretty well with trying to follow my outline. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo: The End is Nigh

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Only one and a quarter days left for NaNoWriMo 2019.  It’s been a crazy year.

So crazy that this is posting more than 9 hours later than planned.

Some of that crazy was precipitated by my trip to Dubai (which I talked about last week).  Being out of the country for several days in the beginning of November seems to have seriously thrown off my usual rhythm of NaNoWriMo preparation and execution of responsibilities. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2019: An Experiment in Planning

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So I’ve had my NaNo idea for about three weeks now.  Which is three to four weeks earlier than usual.  I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far and I’m starting to get to know my characters a little writing some pre-novel scenes that were important in their lives.  I used all the resources from the plot and character workshop our amazing former ML did for the region and I feel pretty confident about the plot idea (well except a bit of the nebulous middle, but who is really confident about that?) and I’m excited to get started.

And I’m a little terrified.  The last time I tried to draft a novel from scratch with an outline and a clearly defined ending, I ended up completely blocked and unable to write the story.  I’m trying so hard to have a growth mindset about the whole thing and believe that I can do this.  I rewrote the entirety of book two from a pretty strict outline and it turned out amazing (especially compared to draft zero!).  I’ve written to an outline successfully.  I can do this.  (If I keep repeating that, I have faith I will make it true.) Continue reading

Happy Preptober! NaNoWriMo T-minus 26 Days

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If you haven’t yet figured out that I’m a huge evangelizer and participant of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) then you haven’t been reading the blog for very long.  I love telling people about the challenge and urging them to join me in a crazy month full of literary abandon.

What I don’t usually love is planning my story in advance.  I’m a bit notorious in my region for not having my idea until the very end of October (sometimes even Halloween).  This year I’m trying something different.  I’m going to follow along with the regional prep workshops to try to get my idea together over the next week, so I’ll be ready for the plot and character workshops after that.

I’m going to try to have a clear idea of not just the vague ending, but major plot points on the way there.  I’m even going to try to sketch out characters in advance.  I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to do all that, but I’m sure going to try. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Is Coming

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Yes, I know, it’s still September.  But NaNoWriMo isn’t something I ever really stop doing at this point, so prepping this early isn’t as strange as it may seem.

For anyone new to the blog, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  It’s an amazing challenge where you try to write 50,000 words of a new novel in the 30 days of November.  That’s 1,667 words per day.  It’s a rewarding creative challenge all by itself, but what I’ve really come to love over the years is the community that has grown up around the challenge.

This November will be my tenth participating in this crazy challenge, as well as my sixth year serving as a Municipal Liaison (ML).  That’s the fancy title NaNoWriMo gives its volunteers who coordinate activities in their local area.  I’m part of a team of MLs, which is good because our area is full of participants and we have a lot going on every November.  The year we actually kept track, we saw about 100 unique individuals over the course of the month, over half of whom came to our Kickoff Party.  We have write-ins every day of the month of November (yes that includes Thanksgiving).  We also do this crazy thing called Day of Writing Everywhere (DoWE) that involves at least six locations and writing from eight in the morning until midnight.  It’s epic and fun and ridiculous and I’m always completely exhausted by the end of it, but also write a ton of words and really enjoy myself the entire day. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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