Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nanowrimo 08

All right, people. You’ve heard the rumors. You’ve sensed the buzz. And now, finally it’s here – in exactly two weeks, Nanowrimo begins.

Nanowrimo is a screwy acronym for National Novel Writing Month, which is basically a writing marathon that starts on November first. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month, in an effort to let go of your inhibitions, and just write. It sounds crazy until you break it down. 50,000 words is 1,667 words a day – that’s a pretty attainable goal. If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, but never had the gumption, this is your chance.

Additional rules are pretty simple. You can use an old story, as long as you start it over. You cannot collaborate with another writer. You can research, plan, and outline as much as you like – just don’t begin until midnight on November 1rst.

Nanowrimo has been going on since 1999 when Chris Baty snagged a group of friends and convinced them to try it with him. The event grew. Now there’s an official website,, where you can sign up, chat with other Wrimos, and track your progress with a wordcount bar. (BTW, this is why the rules count – cheaters don't get a winners' icon.) 

Chris Baty even wrote a Nanowrimo handbook entitled No Plot? No Problem! I’m reading it right now. It’s pretty good. I’d suggest you pick it up as a reference. One thing Baty said at the beginning of the book is that support and encouragement is a big factor for the Nano experience. Each week has it’s own challenges, and knowing what to expect can be an enormous help. So that brings me to my actual topic. Next month, I’m changing my blogging schedule around the Nano event:

Saturday – Tips for Week 1, Week 2, etc, as well as what to expect for the upcoming week. Tips may be summarized from No Plot? No Problem! or accrued from other various sources.

Wednesdays – Stories about the Nano experience by other participants. That means you guys. I need at least four stories, so send me your tale at .  No stipulations, just try to keep it under 1,000 words. I may or may not post all stories, depending on how many I get.

Understand that I’m going to be a Wrimo myself this year. Blogging time could be limited. Posts could be brief. If you don’t have anywhere to go to talk about Nano, by all means come chat in the comments, or on the AW Nano board, or on the Nano Forums themselves…but also on the Headdesk comments. Hopefully we’ll get some good conversations going. 

The countdown has almost begun.

- CA


Benjamin Solah said...

Best of luck with NaNoWriMo. I'm a fellow AWer doing it this year too.

Anonymous said...

I only learned about nano last year and since I was getting married in November and taking practically the entire month off for my honeymoon, I couldn't do it. I'm really tempted to do it this year, but I worry how it will impact my current WIP. I may still do it but I'm on the fence.

Best of luck for your attempt at it!

Anonymous said...

Good luck! Like Benjamin, I am a fellow AWer also doing NaNo. Got a plot yet?

Creative A said...

Thanks, Benjamin, and welcome! Best of luck to you as well.

Aaron, I know the feeling. The last time I tried Nano, I was just too busy and had to quit. I wish I knew how it effected current WIP's - I'm sort of scared that it will kill mine, after I struggled all this way. But I'm also hoping the exercise in free-flow will help my WIP. We'll see.

Bookdragonette - love your name :) I'm actually collaborating on Nano this year. I suggested a story idea to my partner, but she hasn't responded yet, so we'll see. I'm hoping we come up with a good premise together. What about you?

Good luck, you guys.

Angela said...

Good luck with nano--I'm still weighing whether to do it or not. I've recently left an agent and need to focus on a manuscript POV change on my series as I pursue a new one. At the same time, I have this idea in my head that I really want to get out. GAH!

Creative A said...

Hey Angela. I know what you mean about having another story to work on, but too many commitments - I literally have three stories that are overly ready to be written, and it's absolutely killing me that I can't just write them all.

One idea is to write your idea for Nano; just get it all out or purge it or whatever. Then you can work on your other commitments and give yourself plenty of time to think about what you may want to change or evolve in your previous story.

I don't know if it would work for me, but it's a thought.


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