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nanowrimo draweth near

National Novel Writing Month begins 12:00:01 a.m. on November 1.

Just as the website reads, NaNoWriMo is:

“Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!”

Thousands of people join together in this annual race to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. Everyone who completes the 50,000 words, wins.

I participated (and won) in 2006 and 2007. The first year, I wrote my nanonovel almost entirely by hand and then tried to keep up with the typing. That took soooo much longer. The next year, I did most of it at our desktop computer, which went better time-wise.

I’ve wanted to do it each year since, but there seemed to be too many obstacles, that trying to participate would bring much more stress than fun.

One of the challenges has been coordinating the use of a shared computer. As well, the cloffice isn’t a particularly creative space for me — especially since the height of the desk was set up for my husband. It’s a bit like Goldilocks sitting in Papa Bear’s chair (picture feet swinging). And, with the desk being in the closet, the surface is not very deep, translating into little space for laying out my reference materials like notes, pictures, maps, etc., while I write.

Sooo this year I’m pretty excited because — have own laptop, will NANO! I can sit at my table, be downstairs on the sofa, at a table at a cafe, at a park, at the beach, at the library . . . Whoohoo!

Here’s a bit of background about the event . . .

“Founded by: Freelance writer Chris Baty and 20 other overcaffeinated yahoos in 1999.

Now run by: The Office of Letters and Light, an august 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Oakland.”*

It’s grown from 21 participants and six winners in 1999 to 256,618 participants and 36,843 winners in 2011.

If you want to read more about it, visit the “What is NaNoWriMo?” page on the website.

Basically, it’s a month of preferably unedited, audacious, courageous creativity. Go ahead, let those participles dangle! Give yourself permission to write badly. Editing is saved for later, maybe months later, if you want to do more with your manuscript. It’s for the pure fun of taking on the challenge of “producing the Great Frantic Novel.”**

For the next few weeks I’ll be planning and plotting. There are outstandingly few rules, but one is — no official prose that’s to be included in one’s nanonovel is meant to be written before November 1. However, planning, plotting and gathering supplies (like extra chocolate and coffee) is encouraged. :o)

So far I have a working title, Sing to Me Softly, and several pages of notes describing some key scenes, ideas, characters, background. My plan for this time is to experiment with the recommendations in the book, The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing, by Evan Marshall. He takes a very logical approach to working out the details of a novel’s plot, helping to ensure that the story moves along in a believable, coherent sequence.

I’m off to do more plotting . . .

Hope you’ll join in!

*source: nanowrimo.org/en/mediakit
**source: nanowrimo.org/en/whatisnano

4 thoughts on “nanowrimo draweth near

  1. A word of warning: having one’s own laptop can quickly lead to internet addiction! I’ve had to lay down the law to myself and set some very real boundaries!
    But have fun with the nanowrimo. Keep us up to date…


    • Hi LaDona! Yes, very good advice :o) I’m finding it very easy to spend much more time online than intended. And now that I’m using Toodledo (an online scheduling tool) for my daily tasks lists and planning, it’s very tempting to make one or two or . . . other stops.


    • Thanks Ruth. I love that phrase, too. And I love how the founders are described as “overcaffeinated yahoos.” :o) It’s a great group of people. So funny. Sooo not serious.


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