Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The NANO Post That Should Have Been


Almost half-way through the month of November, but I've always said better late than never.

This post is dedicated to those who are doing, are contemplated doing, or are confused by what NANOWRIMO is.


National Novel Writing Month, more commonly known as NANOWRIMO, is a non-profit organization that challenges people of any age to write a novel in one month.

More specifically, they challenge you to write 50K words during the month of November.

Their mission statement, as taken from their website:

"National Novel Writing Month organizes events where children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. Our programs are web-enabled challenges with vibrant real-world components, designed to foster self-expression while building community on local and global levels."

To learn more about what exactly the organization is/does, visit the official NANOWRIMO website.

Do I participate in NANOWRIMO?

Yes and no. This is technically my sixth year participating in NANOWRIMO, but I have never done it as seriously as I should.

I have a real problem with starting a writing, and then hitting a bump and moving onto a different idea. The point of NANO is that you just write, you keep writing if you hit bumps and after November you go back and edit. I'm also a full-time student and a part-time worker so I never make the time to just sit and write for at least 30 minutes a day.

So whenever I start NANO, I set my own goals. I make my word count goal 20k instead of 50, or I challenge myself to write a certain number of pages or make it though a certain amount of envisioned scenes.

Have I ever actually reached my goals?

I wish there were more yes's than no's. But I am proud to say that I have reached 50k and finished a whole story!

It's a small piece that I started during a NANO one year of course didn't get a specific word goal. But I worked it almost weekly and it took me almost a whole year but I finished it! Since then its undergone revisions and I've made sequels for it, but like little one-shot stories. I'm actually rather proud of it, but I doubt it'll ever see day light. It's based of an actually book, but not a fanfiction, so for legal reasons I doubt it would ever be published. But that's okay. I don't write to publish but for my own enjoyment.

How do you prepare?

I always have a specific scene in mind. That's how I start off all my stories actually. Usually I had a dream and it was so vivid that when I woke up I wrote it down. Or sometimes I have this one sentence that just strikes me and I have to figure out how to use it.

And then I make character outlines/profiles, to which I'll have a post about sometime this week. They're really helpful in keeping track on what I've written about my characters so far.

If I've really thought out the story, I write a basic outline. Maybe I'll have certain scenes that I want and I'll just make a checklist of them in order. So once I've done scene A, I write about how they would get to scene  B, etc.

Research! I'm very big on research, so if it takes place in a certain location I'll google it and read about the place so I can put in details about that city or country. If it's a certain period, I'll definitely research that and even save pictures so I can refer to them in writing.

Sometimes I don't prepare at all and I just launch into the Nano. I personally don't get very far into those projects, but they're always fun.

Well that's all for now about NANOWRIMO! I hope that answered some questions and got people a little more interested in what's happening this November. This will (hopefully) lead into a series of how to write and answer certain questions that come up during a writing process.


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