Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor October 16, 2014 - 8:33am

Well, it is that time of year again and I see there hasn't been a topic created in "Writing" as of yet. Who here is going to attempt it? Let's discuss it here. 

Personally, I already have a fairly detailed outline which for the first time actually includes the ending. No pantser this year. It never worked for me anyway. This year I am a prepper. On top of that as I do the majority of my writing on one of the various typewriters I have, I ordered a new(old) machine just for this years challenge. A black 1973 "correcting, dual-pitched, IBM Selectric II. Since I already have the monospace elecments I need but at the moment only have an original Selectric I that is 12 pitch and doesn't meat manuscript requirements. 

 

Sorry you all had to read this but I needed to create this thread for extra motivation. It's oner thing to let myself down but the dread of letting LR down will keep me writing my 1666 words/day for all 30. At least I hope so. I would include a smiley right about here if I believed in them.

So, anyone else talking on the challenge? If so let's use this as a one stop shop for all the general concerns, questions and venting of frustraitions that seem to go part and parcel with NaNoWriMo.

 

I'm Hetch and thanks for listening. 

Matt Oddfield's picture
Matt Oddfield from nowhere in particular is reading Embassytown October 16, 2014 - 11:17am

Hi, Hetch.

I reckon I'm going to take this on as well, one simple reason being that I often feel incapable to just bloody finish the draft and start moaning how bad it is later. But I also happen to have a competitive and slightly petty ego, so I'm counting on that. Besides, there was a time I was writing 2,000 words daily--provided I knew what to write about--and I want to return to this wonderful state I ditched since starting university.

As of now, I have two novels in mind. I'm going to roll with whichever comes up clearer in my mind when the calendar hits first of November.

And hey, thanks for listening, too.

 

Jenn Collins's picture
Jenn Collins from Wisconsin, USA is reading Spunk and Bite October 16, 2014 - 5:22pm

I'm doing it.  The hard deadline keeps me focused and it makes me persevere through that "oh this sucks, let's trash it" slump that happens around 30K words.

I'm using Lit Lift (free online) this year to plan it out.  I'm mostly using the character creatiion templates to get my people in order and the scene creations templates to get the story in rough order.  It's a nice tool - check it out if that's the kind of thing that might help you.

Good luck!

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated October 16, 2014 - 9:10pm

I do NaNO every year, but I think that it has more to do with the fact that my local group is very active.  I think there are 15 or 20 events on the calendar.  

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault October 17, 2014 - 6:40am

What is this exactly? Dunno if I've ever heard of it.

Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor October 17, 2014 - 7:05am

@Redd Simply put NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a novel writing contest in which writers have from  November 1st through 11:59:59pm on November 30 to complete a  50k word short novel. It's been around since I beleive 1999 or so.

 

More information can be found on the main NaNoWriMo page:

http://nanowrimo.org/

 

 

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault October 17, 2014 - 7:47am

Holy crap. A novel in a month? That's...like a nose-bleed waiting to happen.

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories October 17, 2014 - 9:21am

I alwasy scoff at this---but as I am just emerging from a slump it is apealing in a way it never has been before. 50K words in a month.  Not a bad goal. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated October 17, 2014 - 4:38pm

One lady I attend some local events with (as in we both show up) does her whole thing over the first weekend every month.  I try not to hate her.

.'s picture
. October 23, 2014 - 2:42pm

In theory it seems like a bad idea, but I will attempt it this year since I've never done it. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated October 23, 2014 - 11:04pm

We have some cool parties for it, more than welcome to head down to one man.

Lynn Edward Main's picture
Lynn Edward Main October 26, 2014 - 4:38am

Nevermind.

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb October 25, 2014 - 8:09am

I'm going to try it this year. I have one idea that I really want to get down in novel form, and I was going to wait until I'd finished my 'Talent Show' series (my current project, on book 2 of probably 4) but I could be waiting years if I do that. No joke. My side project Welcome to Sentago has had a few outings already, and I like it even though none of the drafts got finished because I've changed loads already. So let's get one completed in November. It should be a quick write - more action than I usually do nowadays, trying to channel a style I've not used for a while that's a bit like the written equivalent of a grindhouse movie. This should be fun.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated October 25, 2014 - 5:29pm

@Lynn - It would be like cheating at solitaire.  I mean you can, but so what?

There aren't really rules as such.  Write 50,000 words of a fictional novel.  They have alternative set ups for non fiction and what not.

http://nanowrimo.org/

ultimatemaya's picture
ultimatemaya from Oakland, CA is reading Law School Casebooks October 25, 2014 - 8:39pm

I'm doing it this year! I did it once before and finished with basically no prep other than having an idea. I found it fun to let the story develop on its own. No idea how strong a plot I created but the challenge to write so many words helped me develop my scenes with more depth than I was used to. When you write without thinking too hard about it, you may be surprised at what emerges.

If you join on the site, find me (ultimatemaya) and add me so we can keep each other motivated!

Lynn Edward Main's picture
Lynn Edward Main October 26, 2014 - 6:49am

Im not going to do it. I don't understand.I am sorry.

Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor October 26, 2014 - 7:14am

Well, I am attempting to do a very thorough outline of the novel I am preparing to write and at the moment I am in what I like to call index card purgatory My writing style usually lends itself a bit more to being a “gardener” or “pantster” but given the short amount of time in which to attempt to complete a full 50+ k/words I am of the opinion that I might need an actual plan. I could be wrong. Who knows?

So here I am, on the Sunday morning before, attempting 75 indexed scenes for a prototypical three act story. Here I sit attempting to complete and then to weave 3 POV scene/sequel cards into something resembling a coherent narrative. When my son wakes up I will have him help me and then, as per an earlier agreement, we will be building an outline for a story he is interested in writing. No, not for NaNoWriMo but more as an exercise in creating a meaningful structure, the bones and skull as he likes to call it, for a story he has been working on that he has no idea where it is going. At the moment it is meandering and lost amidst a particularly offensive thumb twiddling scene. Haha.

This is just an update. How is everyone else fairing?

Hetch.

Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor October 26, 2014 - 8:16am

What tools is everyone using? This year I am writing on an IBM Selectric II typewriter. I usually write on a typewriter as it helps me from falling down the internet rabbit hole under the guise of research but what is really and truly just procrastination.  If anyone else is writing on a typewriter or just likes typewriters the Typewriter Brigade thread is a good one in the NaNo Technology forum on the main NaNoWriMo site. There are quite a few of us that use typewriters believe it or not.

As I mentioned earlier I am outlining on index cards and then I am putting my research and finalized outline into scrivener but all writing will be done on a typewriter with a large corkboard laden with physical cards. I have also made myself a rather inventive scene worksheet as a quick reference and for portability that I can edit that includes the things that cannot be fit onto the physical index cards. Speaking of index cards and an interesting side note, I just found out that Nabokov actually wrote his entire manuscripts on index cards.

This evening I will hopefully be trading index card purgatory for something a little more fun in character profiles. Truth be told I really am enjoying the process of outlining.

Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor October 26, 2014 - 8:17am

@ultimatemaya I added you over there. 

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer October 26, 2014 - 5:04pm

I am writing a Lovecraftian hitman thriller titled Very Dangerous People. Normally, I am a pretty hardcore panster, but since I am taking a chance and setting the novel in Salem, where I have never been, I am doing a lot of research about the area and its neighborhoods, not to mention grabbing some books on the Cthulhu mythos so that pay a good tribute to that. I don't have an outline, but I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do and a good grasp of my world. 

I write first drafts on an Alphasmart NEO, but this year I am probably going to have to keep my laptop close by as a reference. We have a very active region. We have write-ins about four times a week and social get-togethers year-round. I met my girlfriend during NaNo. She's the municipal liason, so it is a pretty big event for us every year.

I am on the NaNo site as jackcampbelljr.

 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated October 27, 2014 - 12:54pm

@Jack - You going to go with the modern version were humans stand no chance with the dark powers or kick it old school pulp style were great old ones get blown up by submarines? 

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer October 27, 2014 - 4:39pm

I am sort of doing a combintion of the two. They will be blowing the crap out of some minor monsters, with the idea that if the gate fully opens and the plan comes to fruition, that it will be hopeless. I am combining some religion in there, as well, such as the early Christian idea that the Christian god killed the pagan gods. The Christian god essentially imprisioned the old ones and they sleep, waiting to be awakened.

I have a token Lovecraft academic, a former priest who is now a professor and has read the Neconomicon. It's left him a bit unhinged and he thinks my protagonist is St. Michael the Archangel who has come to ensure that they don't escape. He's not St. Michael, but does have a pretty badass St. Michael tattoo, which is the source of the confusion.

I am trying to pay tribute to my two biggest influences, early horror and noir fiction. I think it will be fun.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies October 28, 2014 - 2:04pm

not doing NANO officially, but i have a novel to write by the end of the year for Random House Alibi (The Breaker) and i haven't started yet, so...i may be "joining" you all. ha.

Linda's picture
Linda from Sweden is reading Fearful Symmetries October 29, 2014 - 12:07pm

First-timer here. I hope to meet the word count, and write something worth finishing and revising. Good luck all!

@Richard, having an awful first draft by the end of the year would be a reasonable goal. What you're doing seems unhealthy. 

 

 

JeffreyGrantBarr's picture
JeffreyGrantBarr from Oregon is reading https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/10268733-jeff-barr?shelf=currently-reading October 31, 2014 - 11:08pm

I am doing NanoWriMo again this year. I'm outlined like a motherfucker and ready to get in 50k words. Good luck to all! 

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods November 4, 2014 - 2:58pm

I am doing NaNoWriMo for the first time as a late entry with a word count goal of 60,000 instead of 50,000. Spent the first three days plotting and today I wrote a little over 4,000 words. Going for the same count of over 4,000 tomorrow so I can catch up with everyone else.

I once wrote a 75,000 word novel in one month, and it was hard but doable. I'm excited to try and do the one month/one novel thing with a reduced word count.

I'm on the NaNoWriMo site under my pen name of RaineWinters. I tried to add all you but I couldn't figure out how to search for buddies (ugh my lack of technical prowress is embarrassing). Please feel free to add me if you get the chance!

Lawrence's picture
Lawrence from Dallas, Texas is reading Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King November 5, 2014 - 6:20am

I see all the cool cats doing this every year and I have never attempted it. I've always considered myself a short story writer, partly because the thought of writing something novel length terrifies me. 

I'm five days late to the challenege but 50K isn't that crazy. For someone scared of the novel format, knowing I only have a month, and that the first draft will suck no matter what makes the idea a bit more tolerable. 

*deep breath* 

 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 5, 2014 - 1:50pm

@Jeff - You live!  Excellent.  For the record my money in the pool was you were alive.

Carly Berg's picture
Carly Berg from USA is reading Story Prompts That Work by Carly Berg is now available at Amazon November 5, 2014 - 8:05pm

I'm a NaNo rebel this year, working on a nonfiction book about 1/4 shorter than the minimum NaNo word count. So far I've done about 100 words so, well good thing I'm a NaNo rebel. Good luck, everyone!

shewhodestroys's picture
shewhodestroys from Indiana, currently residing in Georgia is reading 14 by Peter Clines November 7, 2014 - 6:14pm

Doing NaNo!

First time doing it and so far so good.

Anyone else doing NaNo feel free to add me as a buddy! :3
La Reshea

Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor November 9, 2014 - 12:48am

Just hit the halfway mark.

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb November 9, 2014 - 8:24am

I've had a 10,000 word weekend and I'm now up to 23,810. This is about as productive as I ever get, to be honest. Got a feeling this week is going to be slower but finishing on time won't be too hard, and I'm still hoping to bring this novel in at around 70-80k eventually. I'm not sure this project will ever turn into something serious that I'd publish but that's not the idea. I'm just having fun writing garbage and clearing me head of everything else I've worked on this year.

Matt Oddfield's picture
Matt Oddfield from nowhere in particular is reading Embassytown November 13, 2014 - 10:45am

Not writing as steadily as the rest of you out there, 'cause I'm unstable and apparently still figuring out how to deal with this. That said, the novel is actually doing loads better than I expected of it. I haven't hit my highest word count yet (about 38,000), which is where my previous draft floundered and died, but at least I see good progress. And I love where my characters are taking me, so.

I don't think I'll finish it come December, though. The novel shows every sign of expanding to approximately 100,000 words, and I just can't write as much in a month while doing all the other things.

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb November 13, 2014 - 11:11am

 I don't think I'll finish it come December, though. The novel shows every sign of expanding to approximately 100,000 words, and I just can't write as much in a month while doing all the other things.

I'm saying the same thing about mine, but for NaNo you don't have to finish the novel, just get the 50k. I'm up to 37,000 now and I'm cursing myself for making yet another big project for myself to finish, but hey, something good will come out of my massive amounts of padding because it always does. Just get the words now and complete later is my advice.

Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor November 13, 2014 - 8:57pm

I actually past the 40k mark this evening. This has been a fantastic 13 days of writing. Of course it looks like my novel will come in somewhere in the 75-90k range. I would like to get it complete before the end of the month. 

I'll say this about using a typewriter; my internet wanderings are at an all time low this month.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods November 14, 2014 - 11:17am

Reached the midpoint of my NaNoWriMo novel at just over 31,000 words! Only 31,000 left to go! Woohoo!

@Hetch - I have always wanted to write on a typewriter. I'm so jealous!

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami November 14, 2014 - 1:52pm

I had taken the challenge, but never again. I got my 30K novella finished.^^

Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor November 15, 2014 - 10:39pm

I won earlier today. At the moment I have written. 50,129 words. In that time I have managed to introduce most of my characters with the exception of my protagonist's love interest. If I am honest I still have at the very least 35-40k more words and I think I can finish it within the month. I have to admit, though, that it feels good.

@Anna it really is a pleasure to write on a typewriter. But you need not be jealous. They can be had these days for very very cheap. If you need help picking one out or finding one let me know. I'd be happy to help.

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb November 16, 2014 - 10:56am

Congrats, Hetch! I can taste that gold medal too; I'm up to 44,170 as of a few minutes ago, and I have a day off from work tomorrow thanks to having worked today, so I might win tomorrow but if I don't then I'll win on Tuesday. The rest of the month I'll try and keep the routine going just to see what total I can come up with for fun.

Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor November 16, 2014 - 4:43pm

Great news Chacron! So how much more do you feel that you have to complete?

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb November 17, 2014 - 10:26am

I just won! I crossed the 50k barrier ten minutes ago. Okay I can't validate it for three more days, but HELL YEAH, 50k in 17 days baby!

@Hetch, I really don't know what the completing wordcount will be. I thought this story was going to be punchier and more economical than my usual efforts, but I admit that to win NaNo I capitalised on my natural gift for being verbose and stretching story ideas out. I'd like to cut to the chase a bit more now and try to figure out where these charaters are going to end up, because there's plenty at stake and loads of potential roads to go down. So my current estimate is 100-120k to wrap this one up. I can probably cut it to 80 if it all works out and I decided to go for a new draft and eventually aim for another self-pub out of this one.

I'd actually like to see this idea in an ebook store someday. I imagined a cover for it earlier involving bloody footprints made on a beach by a human character with webbed feet. Never thought the things I've done to this poor guy would get me through NaNo this quickly. This is actually the best I've felt in weeks!

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault November 19, 2014 - 2:05pm

Y'all are crazy. If I ever managed 50k words in one month, I think I would cry. Or throw up. Or both.

Maybe next year.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods November 21, 2014 - 12:24pm

WOOHOO! Just went over the 50,000 word count! Not validating yet because I think I can finish the 12,000 more words the novel is estimated for before Nov. 30. If I can make it, I'll feel super accomplished!

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this November 24, 2014 - 9:32am

Hey everyone--hope your NaNos are going well. Just wanted to drop a quick reminder: Delilah Dawson's class, NaNoFixMo, is starting soon. Delilah is an incredible teacher and I love her concept for this class, which is helping you get to a stronger second draft. It's filling up fast, so if you were thinking of signing up, you might want to jump on it. 

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods November 28, 2014 - 1:01pm

WOOT! Finished my NaNoWriMo manuscript of 63,400 words and validated the word count earlier today. Short, sweet, and DONE. Where's the champagne!? The streamers!? The buckets of confetti!? I guess I'll be settling with a Doctor Who marathon and some Pinot I found in the back of a cabinet (which is as good as any other kind of celebration, really).

It's been a fun journey, and I'll be toasting to all of you tonight. Hope everyone else reached their word count goals for the month and that even if you didn't, you'll keep typing away until whatever you're writing is complete!

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb November 29, 2014 - 1:25pm

Congrats Anna on the win and the finish. I'm still battling on with mine having reached 62,479 now.

Question for all of you: did anyone go to a write-in during all of this? I'm probably going to one tomorrow just for the experience. I've been told anyone who's already completed with be welcome and not hated, but we'll see!

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods November 30, 2014 - 7:18am

@Chacron - Thank you :-). As for the write-ins, I didn't go to any. I'd be interested to hear what you thought of it after you've gone, though. I was too worried it would be awkward writing in front of a bunch of people I've never met before. I fail miserably at small talk. I can say that thus far all my interactions with the NaNo community has been very positive. No one seems like they'd be hateful of another's success.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 9, 2014 - 12:15pm

I've decided Nano just isn't for me. I just can't write like that. I have to write when people don't know I'm writing. I have this reverse tendency to freeze whenever I receive encouragement.

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer December 10, 2014 - 10:23am

I went to a lot of write-ins. (I won and then finished the novel a couple of days before Thanksgiving). But we also have write-ins year-round. NaNo has sort of become an every month thing for us, but without the focus on a word count. Write-ins, I can take or leave them. I sit down, plug in my headphones, power on the Alphasmart and just go. I write for pretty much the entire time, unless I am getting up to go to the bathroom or get a drink. My average rate, I've found, is right around 1500 words in an hour. There are several people in my group, though, that spend more of the time being social. Some of them need that interaction in order to be productive.

One thing about Anna's comment about success. Everyone I've ever met that is involved in NaNo has been very supportive, although I think there is some healthy professional jealousy in operation. One of our locals got a six-book deal with Carina Press of her first NaNo novel. It got a couple of other people to re-write their own work. I sold a bunch of short stories, and that got more of our group to submit. It doesn't always go smoothly,  but I would say that everyone in my group is extremely proud when someone wins or has something published.

We are actually haven't a write-in tomorrow night.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami December 10, 2014 - 12:48pm

I want to start trying a nano every month at some point. Do an eighteen thousand word novella, that roughly in the same series as the others.

I don't like November, cause everyone expects you to write.

Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor December 14, 2014 - 9:04am

My final word count was 77,777 words. I have my first completed novel. I immediately put it in a drawer and will not be looking at it again until Spring. Just need a little space.