Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods September 21, 2015 - 6:39am

Thought I'd start this thread early to give myself some motivation!

Who else here on LitReactor is planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What are you doing to plan before November rolls around ... or are you just planning to "pants" it? And if you have a rough storyline to share, or questions to ask, feel free!

I do have one question to ask myself, at the risk of sounding incredibly stupid. How the heck do I search/add friends on the NaNoWriMo site? I remember never being able to figure it out last year, and this year I'd like to add as many LR folks as possible!

big_old_dave's picture
big_old_dave from Watford, about 20 miles outside London, Uk September 21, 2015 - 7:59am

Good luck to anyone taking a crack at it this year. I'm out as per usual, just struggling to finish a 5k short story at the mo.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated September 21, 2015 - 6:47pm

I am.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods September 22, 2015 - 3:35pm

@Dwayne - Cool! What kind of project are you using for it?

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like September 22, 2015 - 5:24pm

I've thought about it before, but it's simply contrary to the way I like to write. Even so, I might try it just to see what forcing myself into that discomfort might produce, although I'd bet against my finishing. On the other hand, chaining myself to such a task might produce a really angry, impatient, exhausting book full of painful rants, intractable logic, and eerily personal insults directed at the reader. We need more of those, right?

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated September 22, 2015 - 6:17pm

I think a post-apocalyptic noir. Maybe a lost in the desert. Maybe both. I'm not sure.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami September 22, 2015 - 7:01pm

I may have to pass this time. I'm already kind of on a roll with this new story collection The Vet Who Loved A Cat, and a new one I'm working on. Granted that is 15,000 words in a month.

But my mind just doesn't work for 50,000 in a month.:/

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb September 23, 2015 - 9:54am

I'm in. I'm going to write the first 50k of book 3 for my Talent Show series, under the working title of 'Shadow's Trial' - well and truly into space opera territory now. I've just finished the final version of book 2, which ended up at 212,000 words. Getting to 50k with what I know about book 3 shouldn't be too much trouble. I'm really just doing it with NaNo to give it a flying start.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods September 23, 2015 - 12:38pm

I'm doing an 80k word YA fantasy novel for NaNo. But I'm hoping to finish half of the word count before November comes around. Last year I did a whole 65k in one month and it wasn't terrible, but I wish I'd given myself some time to breathe in between chapters.

@Chacron - that's awesome that you've managed to bang out a whole series, basically. I've tried to write series before, but have never made it past book two ... I always lose my steam and vow to pick it back up at a later time, which I never seem to do :-(. Got any pointers for sticking with it through the whole series?

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb September 23, 2015 - 1:25pm

@anna: There's so much I've discovered about sticking with a series that it's hard to know where to begin! Now that you've got me thinking about how I've managed it so far, I'm tempted to answer your question with a blog column...I'll let you know when I get time to write it.

I suppose the most important thing is that I'm no different from most other writers: I've nearly lost my book/series more times than I can count. I once wrote my friend a message saying 'Thanks for the support but the book's dead,' and then as I was about to hit send I got this sudden flash of an idea that saved it in a second. That was three years ago, and now I'm on book 3, having been through at least two more despair moments like that. The lesson I learned: a series can almost always be saved somehow, but the other thing to decide is whether your heart is really in the rescue mission. Mine was - five years of writing have gone into this now, but even though I've had this one really fulfilling ride, I've given up on plenty of others.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods September 23, 2015 - 3:59pm

@Chacron - I'll have to keep all that in mind! You should definitely write a blog post about it! The place my series usually collapse is either within the first five chapters of book one (after realizing the plot is too thin to build the world through multiple books) or after I query book one. I tend to get lazy in completing series quickly if I know it won't query well at first, so I will put in on the back burner after books two and say "once the content is trending or an agent I'm interested in adds it to their wishlist, I'll pick it back up. But in the meantime I should devote my time to other projects that have more potential." Not that I write with the singular focus of getting an agent or anything, but knowing a series is so much work definitely influences that aspect! And I'm very motivated by goals ... Which is why I love NaNoWriMo so much, haha!

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb September 24, 2015 - 5:04am

Okay, here's the blog post: https://tommymuncie.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/staying-power-how-to-keep-writing-your-series/

At least, that's part 1 of it. I got carried away as usual, so I decided to split it. I'll finish Part 2 tomorrow. Just to stay on topic, NaNo gets metioned - it's a good way to help build up your staying power, especially with a series.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods September 24, 2015 - 1:07pm

@Chacron - Awesome :-) Can't wait to read it!

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer September 25, 2015 - 3:23pm

I am going to be working in a new novel titled The Dream Catcher about a guy who intercepts the dreams of others when he falls asleep. Shenanigans ensue. I have some preliminary notes for an protagonist and antagonist, but most of it will be me winging it.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods September 25, 2015 - 4:47pm

@Jack - ooh, that sounds like a good one! Should be fun to write :-)

Chacron's picture
Chacron from England, South Coast is reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb October 1, 2015 - 6:37am
Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 1, 2015 - 10:42am

Thanks, Chacron :-)

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami October 1, 2015 - 5:16pm

I'm already kind of getting ahead and catching steam on a current collection, so I'm not sure if I'll have time. My voice is definitely more in short fiction that connects like a novel but isn't.

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories October 1, 2015 - 5:24pm

I have an idea for a split POV novel exploring madness. It might end up sucking, but it rains in Seattle in November, so 50K is a good way to kill some time. :) 

Aud Fontaine's picture
Aud Fontaine from the mountains is reading Catch-22. Since like, always. October 1, 2015 - 6:00pm

I've never done NaNo before but I've always been curious.....I think I signed up in high school but then lost my nerve like, the day before. Also, I haven't written more than a paragraph in about a year. So basically....I'm in. How do I do it? Also, hi Anna :)

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 2, 2015 - 4:58am

AUD!!!!! :-D How've you been lately? I'm glad you're going to participate this year.

How you participate basically goes like this: Write at least 40,000 words during the month of November. If you want to "officially" participate, you can sign up for an account on NaNoWriMo Online and enter a book profile (don't know if you can enter this book profile yet because it's a whole month before and I haven't tried yet this year). On the site you can track your word count as often as you like, confirm when you've completed, network and "friend" other writers who are participating, etcetera. I believe last year they gave out some cute, cheap prizes if you completed the Word Count (I got a small envelope of some stickers). But I might be remembering wrong and this could've been a gift after I donated to the nonprofit. I also remember there being online discounts and stuff offered once I finished, to all kinds of writing sites. Still, there is no "winning" or "losing" in NaNo. If you write, you succeed.

There are degrees of participation from everyone. Some people choose to increase the word count. Others just use the month for motivation and don't complete that 40k goal, but still get quite a bit done anyway. You can engage on social media over the course of the month. Twitter is absolutely insane with writers motivating each other to keep to their word count goal and stuff. There are also forums and things on NaNo online. Last year there was even an iPhone app to track the word count of everyone on your friend's list so you could see how your word count compared, but there are also statistics listed in you NaNo profile once you sign up and enter your book profile.

Let me know if you sign up and stuff so I can find your profile and friend you! :-) I hope you decide to go for it this year ... It's a lot of fun! I will probably be submitting to Workshop as I go, which a lot of people on here do for NaNo.

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer October 2, 2015 - 6:02am

A couple of grad school years, I did a novella instead and made my goal 25K. It's basically just an excuse to get to writing every day and get a first draft completed.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami October 2, 2015 - 11:13am

I already have an account myself, just haven't used it in a while. I think the last year I was only get to 10,000 words that month, cause I kept being destracted and I was caught up in a contest in Wattpad at that point in time.

Note to self, decline all contests during November if doing Nano.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 5, 2015 - 7:05am

Just to let everyone know ... apparently the NaNoWriMo site is relaunching today in preparation for its 2015 event run! I just checked it and it's currently down for maintentance, but I suspect when it comes back up people will be able to input their 2015 project info. At least I hope this is the case!

Aud Fontaine's picture
Aud Fontaine from the mountains is reading Catch-22. Since like, always. October 5, 2015 - 11:34am

I've been crazy busy lately but overall pretty good. How about you? I see you're doing stuff for the magazine now! That's amazing! I've read some of your articles and they're pretty damn legit :)

Yeah, I'd been trying to think of ways to get back into writing so I started lurking here a bit, stumbled across this thread and was like "Oh yeah! NaNo's a thing!" I'm pretty excited. I've missed writing a lot. I wish I could do NaNo and workshop simultaneously but I've had to cut back on my budget so much that it came down to workshop or Spotify and I just couldn't bring myself to part with my sweet, sweet playlists. But I'll definitely add you as soon as I have a profile and everything set up on NaNo! And thanks for all the info, it's got me even more stoked :)

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 5, 2015 - 11:52am

@Aud - I'm glad life is going well! I've been okay; trying to keep busy and prepare for the cold Ohio seasons (...mostly that involves just drinking lots of wine and breaking out my fleece pajamas). I'm glad you got a chance to read some of my articles :-D. I'm having a lot of fun with it. My Newest column comes out this month and I'm really nervous about it but hopefully people will like it. 

I totally get picking Spotify ... I think I would die without my tunes right now! I'm really excited you're doing NaNo too ... If you ever need a beta reader during the process or someone to bounce ideas off of just shoot me a PM ... I'm always happy to review outside of the workshop! Also really glad you're trying to get back in the writing groove. You are SO talented and I always loved your submissions.

Aud Fontaine's picture
Aud Fontaine from the mountains is reading Catch-22. Since like, always. October 6, 2015 - 8:25pm

A friend actually sent me a link to your Trainspotting one a little while back. At first I was thrilled because I love Trainspotting but then I saw it was one of yours and may have audibly giggled a little. It was just such a strange little coincidence since they have absolutely nothing to do with this site and don't even know I'm associated with it much less you. It was the kind of strangeness that makes my day :)

Aw, you have no idea how much that means to hear, thank you! And obviously right back at you. You're still the only YA author I like (aside from my generation's literary mom, JK Rowling, that is) so definitely don't hesitate to harass me as much as I'll be harassing you come NaNo time. Your work was always such a pleasant break from the gloomy crap I normally read. It was like the joy of rereading Phantom Tollbooth but with just enough gore and creepiness to keep my morbid ass engaged.  

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 7, 2015 - 5:34am

@Aud - it's really a small world after all, lol! I'm flattered about your compliment on my YA :-). It drives me nuts when a YA book avoids gore and scares ... It's hard to find books in that age group that incorporate those fully these days. But hey, if you can't find a book on the shelf, then I guess you have to write it, right? ;-)

Aud Fontaine's picture
Aud Fontaine from the mountains is reading Catch-22. Since like, always. October 7, 2015 - 6:14am

Very, very true. And speaking of, I couldn't sleep last night so I made my NaNo profile! I'm so ready for this nonsense it's insane. Other than, you know, having anything more than a vague idea of what I'm actually going to write. The writing part I'm totally unprepared for but the hype is real.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 7, 2015 - 6:55am

Yay!!!!! I just made my 2015 profile this morning. I think I found you on NaNo under the same name "Aud Fontaine" and added you as a buddy ... Don't quite remember how it works though. It might be like Twitter where I can follow anyone as a buddy but they don't have to follow back? Anyway, I'm under the name RaineWinters (no space in between). I got so confused last year with the buddy list thing and ended up with only about ten buddies or so, lol!

I wouldn't worry too much about not having anything but a vague idea yet. Last year I decided to participate at the last possible second and had to come up with an outline within the first two days of November. But this year we have all of October to plan, right!? (That's assuming we don't procrastinate, which let's face it, I'm almost certain to do).

Aud Fontaine's picture
Aud Fontaine from the mountains is reading Catch-22. Since like, always. October 7, 2015 - 4:16pm

We are now officially NaNo buddies. Soups exciting. Yeah, I'm not too worried about accumulating buddies but I was looking at the page for regional activities and found a weekly write-in at a bar that I've been meaning to try for ages now so that's happening at the very least. Fate! Did you do anything like that last year? How did you go about accummulating buddies?

I most definitely feel you on the procrastination front. But I also don't typically do outlines or anything like that anyway and, to be perfectly honest, don't even know how to do that kind of stuff so the only prep work I'd be able to do is drafting which I have a feeling would be frowned upon. It feels like it'd be considered cheating. But I also want to get started so bad!! What do I do?!?

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 7, 2015 - 6:01pm

Yay! :-)

I forgot about the NaNo writing groups offered! Each area has an organizer that schedules write-ins at different locations worldwide. It's pretty damn cool. I never went to one because I didn't have the transportation at the time, but this year I might try! Last year the way I went about getting buddies was basically just to join in on Twitter chains about the NaNo site, or through he NaNo thread on here. If you don't have Twitter yet now' an awesome time to join because NaNo participants follow back like crazy and they also create Twitter events where they challenge each other to write certain numbers of words in specific time Windows and such.

Drafting is definitely not cheating. In fact, there's no real way to cheat in NaNo, I think. Basically if you're writing, you're winning. So feel free to start writing now! And if you ever want help with the outlining stuff, let me know ... I'm always here to help. There are TONS of "pantsers" I know that do NaNo and turn out just fine (pantsers are people that don't outline much if at all, and write free form) so you're not alone if that's the path you take.

I'm anxious to get the first 40k words done of my NaNo project so I can do the remaining 40k for NaNo and then be done with it. Right now I have roughly 24k written. It's been tough to stick to a schedule but I'm trying really hard because I know I'll be pretty burnt out after NaNo!

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories October 7, 2015 - 8:07pm

You amaze me with your output. (your talent too, but damn, you are so productive)

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories October 7, 2015 - 8:08pm

How much do you normally write in a month?  

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 8, 2015 - 4:49am

:-) thanks! When I'm working on a project, I generally try to write at least 20k-40k words per month. There have been times where I've even written 65k in one month, or up to 80k in a month and a half, but I try not to get that crazy anymore because I get burnt out. There are usually periods throughout the year that I go without writing in between projects, though. So for example I could have two or three really good ideas in a row, so I'll write tirelessly for 3-6 months, but then I won't have inspiration for a while and for the next 3 months I'll just sit around like a lump.

I've always been the type to commit or get out of town, so to speak! 

Jen Kay Thornton's picture
Jen Kay Thornton from Dublin October 8, 2015 - 5:09am

Good luck all that are entering. If anyone is looking to buddy up I'm on as Jen5000.

Still haven't got my idea yet but I've signed up. 

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 8, 2015 - 7:20am

@Jen - Added you as a buddy! Good luck in this year's NaNo :-).

Cameron Combs's picture
Cameron Combs from Olympia Washington is reading all the things October 8, 2015 - 12:39pm

I'm in, it'll be my 5th year, or is it my 4th... at any rate, I'm a veteran and I have some ideas.

And it's 50,000 words in November, which translates to about 5K every 3 days or 1,666 daily.  I find that targeting the 3 day goal is easier and more practical given the way my availability can change from day to day.

I don't remember off hand how to add friends, but I've done it and I recall it's not super obvious.  I am 'camcombs' on that site. 

So far I've been a pantser, and I probably will be this year as well.  I usually come in with an idea to flesh out but don't have it outlined or anything.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 8, 2015 - 2:24pm

@Cameron - aw, darn! Totally thought it was 40k. Don't know why I'm remembering it that way ... Did they up it from last year? Will be adding you as a buddy as soon as I get back on the site! :-)

XyZy's picture
XyZy from New York City is reading Seveneves and Animal Money October 8, 2015 - 3:22pm

I'll be doing NaNoWriMo again with you guys, this is my 11th year... though I'd hardly consider myself a veteran as I've only ever "won" once, but I keep trying. I'm XyZy over there as well, and I'll add you all when I get a chance...

@Anna: Yeah, Cameron's right. It's always been 50k. If it had been 40k, I would have won a couple more times in the past decade :)

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 8, 2015 - 4:25pm

@XyZy - thinking back to last year, I remember it was 50k now! I'm glad someone reminded me because I'd totally forgotten! My name on the NaNo site is RaineWinters (my pen name). I'll be adding you shortly :-). 

Hannes Hummus Holmquist's picture
Hannes Hummus H... from Sweden is reading your stuff October 18, 2015 - 10:55am

I never heard about this before except as an acronym for the actual event. Sounds like the equivelance of sitting in silent meditation for ten days straight at a Vipisana yoga retreat but for writers.

Last time I wrote a novel draft from A-Z it took me four-five years so I'm pumped to pick up some pace. There's a bunch of novel drafts lying around on my laptop, but really after years in the Litreactor workshop I'm just aching to write something new and focused instead of being stuck in rewrites.

I just made an account under the name Gonzo Gabanzo, probably going to take me until November starts to figure out the webpage. 

dollface993's picture
dollface993 from Detroit is reading As many craft essays as I can find October 18, 2015 - 12:39pm

I'm in. Someone please friend me. I don't know how. I haven't even picked a novel, but I am a bit excited.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated October 19, 2015 - 7:01pm

I add those of you I could find, I'm on there as Dwayne. 

@Dollface - I couldn't find you.

dollface993's picture
dollface993 from Detroit is reading As many craft essays as I can find October 20, 2015 - 4:14am

Thanks for looking for me. I tried to find fellow citizens, but I recieved an email telling me that the site is still under repair, and we would find each other eventually. Whatever that means. I have the same username if anyone breaks through. Thanks Guys!

Elizabeth85's picture
Elizabeth85 from The United States is reading Jurassic Park October 21, 2015 - 1:52am

I am joining this year. I want to use it to continue a project I have already started.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 21, 2015 - 10:21pm

I'm gonna do it this year. Hoping to finally get my novel idea onto real pages, because I need to write my novel now...

Elizabeth85's picture
Elizabeth85 from The United States is reading Jurassic Park October 22, 2015 - 1:40am

Looking for a nanowrimo buddy? Come visit my little corner. There is only one way in, and this is it.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 22, 2015 - 11:39am

@Elizabeth85 - added you this morning! :-). My username on the NaNo site is my pen name with no space, RaineWinters. Good luck on the word count this year!

Natso's picture
Natso from Mongolia is reading Moby Dick October 22, 2015 - 7:38pm

Shit, can't believe it's November this soon. I'll probably participate every year, but really nervous about writing a fifty-freakin'-thousand words. I've been doing some test-runs. Not good--something short of 400 words and grinding to a halt. I guess I need a lot of outlining(?).

My username is candleintheroom.

Elizabeth85's picture
Elizabeth85 from The United States is reading Jurassic Park October 22, 2015 - 9:35pm

@Anna---Thanks Anna!