Friday, November 7, 2014

NaNoWriMo - The World Needs Your Novel!


Author of the short story Sanguis Dei 
and the poetry collection Light and Dark 

NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is upon us! If it's possible that you've never heard of it, the NaNoWriMo website says this:

"National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30."

Sound crazy? You bet! But it's wonderful, too. Why? Glad you asked!

William Wallace - 1814 Statue
commissioned by David Stuart Erskine,
 11th Earl of Buchan

The freedom of "nano" is writing without limits. Writing without rules so that you can get that story out and 'on paper'. It is the joy of ebook authors everywhere. But no matter what the means, paper and pen, computer, tablet, iPhone, ancient typewriter, or crayons, NaNoWriMo gives the writer every possible excuse to blatantly and without shame ignore the inner editor--that right-brain critic that says we cannot possibly show anyone improper grammar--and simply tell the story.

In NaNoWriMo *telling* isn't bad! Nothing is bad! Everything is word count, get it out, spew it forth so that it can be seen for what it is: a piece of absurdity wrapped in imagination and sparkling with the gems of joy. What a relief! Because storytelling IS joy and editing gets in the way of that first honeymoon blush of the guts and glory of a tale.

I've found that telling actually leads to writing more complex and intriguing action/showing scenes later, when you ARE editing. You know, after the excess of the holidays ... down the road ... in January or June.

But November, ah, sweet November, is FREEDOM month, baby.

A recent commercial for a well known credit card features Tina Fey, writing in her laundry room and breathing in dryer sheet fumes for inspiration. "A lawyer that's a monkey!" she shouts. That is exactly what NaNoWriMo is about: exploring the wild ideas that come to you when you're sucking in dryer sheet fumes, or in a crowded restaurant. Whether soaking in a hot bath or sipping tea on the veranda, if you imagine it, NaNoWriMo is for exploring it.

If you've never done it before, DO it. It's exciting, demanding, nerve-racking and absolutely a hoot and a half. I have written so many fun and unbelievable things during NaNoWriMo. I am open to the possibilites of what really works (and what doesn't!) in a solid story.

If you're a veteran of NaNoWriMo, then check out Robin's tips for using programs like Scrivener to improve both word count and productivity during Nano so that when you've found that perfect scene, it will work without a lot of editing later. Organization brings progress.

I will being writing this November, with absolute abandon. I've done it every November (turkey comas not withstanding) since 2006--the only year I didn't "win." That still bugs me, by the way. BUT, I hope to attempt it every November for the rest of my life. Not because every year of nano means I publish a novel when I've finished those 50 thousand (50 THOUSAND!) words; but because I learn and grow. And there are always some amazing goodies when it's done.

Discover the novel inside you!


Author of Oathtaker
Patricia's Website

I admit I’ve never participated in the event known as NaNoWriMo. I can’t even pronounce it, and I have to check other sources for how to spell it every time I need to use the word, or acronym, or whatever it is. Suffice it to say, I don’t know much about it. Still, from what I’ve heard, it sounds like an amazing venture.

The closest I’ve ever come to a NaNoWriMo effort was during a summer week when the rest of my family went camping. Blissfully alone (and, I confess, not lonely), I set out to write the opening of my new story . . .

(Read more!)


Author of As the Crow Flies and two short stories
Robin's Website

You may also have noticed that it is November, and November means NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). While Patricia is off flitting about the countryside, Kristie and I are knee-deep into the crazy, wonderful writing frenzy that is NaNoWriMo.

Do you know what that means? Hundreds of thousands of people around the world leap headlong into the challenge of writing a novel (50,000 words long!) in thirty days. (Though if I wrote through Thanksgiving Day, I would probably be stuffed and roasted!)

(Read more!)


See you in December!

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