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Nicholas Reicher

NaNoWriMo is coming soon!!!!

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On 10/7/2019 at 6:07 AM, Claire Tucker said:

I'd say go for it. Otherwise you will always wonder if you can do it. Even if you don't hit the 50k word count, even if you don't "win", you will have more words down at the end than what you did at the beginning. And, as an aside, J. F. Penn used NaNoWrimo to kick-start her fiction writing. So go for it, Kyoung! We will all be here to cheer you on!

 

Thanks for the encouragement, Claire! 

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fwiw, I only participate in NaNoWriMo when it makes sense for me. I have competed twice and won twice and believe in the very great virtue of the event. However, I have other irons in other fires this year and give myself permission to let this year's event pass me by.

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Since I have a project with a secret kingdom of Chaldeans fighting against the Roman Empire in the first century, flying saucers in medieval Britain doesn't seem like a big stretch.

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I love Camp Nanowrimo (April and June) but I usually do the main one in November, too. I know it's a bad month, and I won't finish, just like I l know I'm SUPPOSED to do a new project from scratch. But no one checks up on you or says "Nope, can't do that" so I take advantage of the time and support group to tackle my WIP. It made the difference the first year in finally completing the project I had been working on for 10 years. This year I'm working on the same story I've been doing for a couple of years. During camp, I wrote it out, the next time I worked on it even more, nearly completing the first draft. No happy with it, the following Nano, I rewrote it from the view point of the secondary character in order to make her stronger. This year I scrape both versions and will try to take my newly learned plotting skills and rewrite the story incorporating what I learned/developed from previous tries. It is an MG story, so even when finished it won't hit 50,000 words, but the real point of Nanowrimo is BICHOK (Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.) For that, it is super.

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For me, it's enough to get my own ideas down, make them work and meet a deadline. Meeting that deadline is really all I need.

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If I can venture a strongly felt opinion without hurting anyone's feelings - the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write and finish the first draft of a novel in 30 days. Note the word 'finish.'

 

The lesson is not learned if one does not finish the novel.

 

I'd written five novels before NaNo, but the one I wrote - and finished - turned out to be the tightest book I've ever written. Not only was it really tight and difficult to add to without padding the book, it needs very little editing to be publish ready. I've read many established writers say the same thing.

 

NaNo is especially important for writers who've never finished a novel. Can you imagine the tears, the relief, the good feeling of - "I did it! I really did it!"

 

NaNo is not about starting novels, it's about finishing them in a month. During NaNo last year, I was SHOCKED at the number of people tweeting at the end, "if you wrote one word, you won."

 

No, you didn't. It is about writing consistently. It is about developing habits. It is about writing in your WIP.

 

But it's also about finding out under pressure that not only can you write a novel in a month, but that you can write a GOOD novel in a month.

 

Start with the expectation of winning. Plan sufficiently to allow you to know what you need to write every day.

 

Do this and you will win.

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Nicholas,

Yes it is about doing an entire first draft in 30 days, but as you say, it's also about building/reinforcing good writing habits.While in an ideal world, I might plan on starting and finishing in one month, it is also logical to work with realistic goals. There is nothing wrong with setting your own goals - hopefully ones that push you but aren't so high that you give up. Set your sights on it and go for it. Better that way than giving up on one that's not do-able. That will just teach you failure is excusable.

It's a wonderful feeling to say "I did it! I met the challenge!" So if 50,000 words isn't a viable goal for you, consider setting one that has a chance of working and go for it. (But do make it enough of a challenge that you'll have to stretch a bit.) There is a lot to be gained with even the smaller goals. Who knows. Maybe next year you will be able to go after "the big one."

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Since I feel equally strongly that Nanowrimo is a tool and you need to use it the way that works best for you, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. 

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Well, I hate to disagree with you Nicholas, but it's for a good reason.  I have aphasia, a communication disorder I am afflicted with as a result of my stroke.  Some days I just can barely communicate at all.  Somedays I can write 2,000 words (it literally takes all day and all night), but sometimes within that same time period, I can only write 115 words.  Sorry to say the aphasia comes and goes and I'm getting better.  I just might have it for the rest of my life, but I'm praying!

 

But having said that, I will try.  I will enter NaNoWriMo anyway because I am willing to try, primarily because of the stretching of my abilities.  So I may or may not finish, but I will give it my best shot!

 

By the way, 30 years or so in martial arts and all it took was one stroke to forget everything I learned.  And no muscle memory either to boot.  But I remembered who I am, and that's what counts.

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4 hours ago, Sibermom65 said:

Yes it is about doing an entire first draft in 30 days, but as you say, it's also about building/reinforcing good writing habits.

 

I've competed - and won - NaNoWriMo twice. I think it's more about helping people punch through their doubts and give them confidence they can write a novel-sized rough draft in thirty days and that's about it. Many of the things I did to compete are things I'd never dream of doing the rest of the year. For NaNo, it's about word count above all else, throwing words on a page. The rest of the time I'm more deliberate about what I write and I'm more concerned with writing complete scenes than I am keeping track of how many words I write. Some days it's 200, some days it's 13k. It all depends on the needs of the moment. (The 13k in one day was for a short story that swelled to become a novelette for submission to a magazine that I put off for far too long.) 

NaNoWriMo is a tool that I use (now) for a very deliberate purpose and I don't feel compelled to compete when I have other things I'm working on. With that said, my debut novel, THE BLUE GOLEM, began as my NaNo novel in 2014. I competed in 2004, again in 2014, and have earmarked another run in 2024 just to see how my similar / different my process is over time. This year I'm taking November to finish (like, FINISH finish) the novel I began in 2014.

The cool thing about NaNo is it is whatever you want / need it to be. In 2004 I just needed to know if I had what it took to finish a novel-length draft in 30 days. I took the next nine years off and focused on short stories. Then in 2014 I wanted to see if I still had what it took - I wanted to see if the first novel was a fluke. Next time around I'll be interested to see how my study of the Story Grid, the Heroes Journey, and all the other writing HOWTO content has infiltrated my process. (I've got a few years to think about how to integrate all that in such a short period of time. One hopes that by then much of this stuff will be second nature.)

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5 hours ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

If I can venture a strongly felt opinion without hurting anyone's feelings - the goal of NaNoWriMo is to write and finish the first draft of a novel in 30 days. Note the word 'finish.'

 

The lesson is not learned if one does not finish the novel.


As much as NaNoWriMo can be used for literally anything, the primary virtue is in pushing through to complete a rough draft from scratch in 30 days.

In 2004 my path was exactly what NaNo founder Chris Baty said it would be. I had energy in week one, it got harder in week two, I hit a wall in week three and found myself typing in Pirate Code elements just to hit word count. But then the miracle happened, a villain named The Riven showed up unannounced and took over and I finished the rest of the novel in a rush of euphoria and great relief. The confidence I felt as I typed THE END cannot be overstated - it literally changed my writing life. From that moment on I considered myself a novelist. While there are many other things one can do for NaNoWriMo, this is the emphasis, and for good reason.

It works. It matters. It has meaning. And if you need this result, this is a great tool to achieve that result.

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On 10/10/2019 at 8:49 PM, suspensewriter said:

But I remembered who I am, and that's what counts.

And we are all so very grateful for that! You are a very special person.

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