Monday, September 19, 2011

Nanowrimo Prep

Confession.  This will be my 5th year doing Nanowrimo.  And I have not written anything that I consider fit to show another living soul.  I know I am not alone.

I don't believe that there is some fault with the whole write 50k-words-in-30-days system.   While I do succeed in getting 50k words out there, after about day 20, I seem to just lose faith in what I am writing.  Either it's because I started with the wrong story, because I don't know how to end the right story or because Jennifer ignores all of her prior planning and goes to lala land.

So this year there needs to be some rules.
  1. Absolutely, positively no reading of any kind during nano.  No books.  No blogs.  No twitter.  There's no better way to get out of the zone than other writers.
  2. Prep work is essential.  It will be done by hand because blisters from writing with hard pens are good reminders to stay on task.  Writing blisters mean that if you don't finish your work, an elderly 1st grade teacher will find you and feed you to her cats.  Jennifer will use this site to prepare:
  3. There will be no Travian until at least 2k words are written for the day.
  4. Work will not stop on the Nanonovel until the story is done, regardless of word count.   Thus, total word count will only be taken once a week.  Because real writers should care more about the story than the word count.

That is all.  You may disperse.


  1. Hi, thanks for my blog comment. Please tell your husband I'm honored.

    I failed hard at nanowrimo last year. I flamed out at around 29,500 words. I took those words and turned them into another story that I'm in critque group/rewrite group now. I may have my first novel when it's all said and done.

    Good luck

  2. Wait. What? NO reading? But... how will you procrastinate effectively? Oh I get it! More time for snacks, yes?

    This will be my eighth NaNo. A first draft is really my only goal, and I define success not by whether I hit the 50k (which is a good thing, since thus far I'm only 4 for 7), but whether I go on to turn the pile of NaNoCrap into an actual book, which I then go on to not sell. Chris Baty would never forgive me for saying so, but for me planning has been THE key to that.

  3. No reading??? OMG...that's a scary thought. But you may have a point here.

  4. Ack! Loved this post. I was just wondering today about how much research I had left and whether some of it I could do during actual NANO, or whether I should get it all done and out of the way. The only novel I've written was for the 3 day contest, and literally every hour was planned out to the minute, so there wasn't any time for outside reading or even research.

    Anyway, I think I should go Google "Travian." In case I, you know, need something to do during NANO.


  5. I think I need to stop reading as I write because I have this tendency to compare other people's final masterpiece to my current work in progress and it's disheartening.

    Travian. It's a browser game about war strategy. I swear it's making me more creative. The new US speed server should be starting after NaNo. We're in the final stages of the game now.