Wednesday, October 28, 2009

National Novel Writing Month MANIA!

The web is all abuzz with NanoWrimo and we've only got a few more days to go. The purpose is basically to write an entire 50,000 word novel in the month of November (see the site for more rules and details and to sign up). As you can see, I am a participant this year (rachiez - feel free to friend me) and although I am very excited to get started, I'm also glad I still have a couple of days for planning. I'll be doing a fantasy novel this year (can't seem to break away) that I've been thinking about for a while now. It just seemed like this is the time for this story so we'll give it a try.

But why, you ask? Because everybody else is doing it! I'm attempting it again this year, my fourth year participating, because it gets me writing like nothing else does. Because I have decided to do it and I've been proud of what I accomplished in past years. Not good enough? Fine. Here's what others are saying about National Novel Writing Month:

Maria Schneider at Editor Unleashed points out that "NaNoWriMo forever changed the limitations I had previously placed on myself as a writer. NaNoWriMo taught me that there is more time to write in a day than we might think, and that discipline is the greatest weapon against the internal critic perched hungrily in my mind." (See the entire awesome post here).

Joanna Penn says "It is such a great idea because it gives you a short period in which to really focus on your Work In Progress." (Her post is here).

James Scott Bell over at The Kill Zone shows you why you should write fast, like, in a month... "When you write your first drafts, write as fast as you comfortably can. Even force yourself past the comfort zone on occasion. Whether you're an outliner, a seat-of-the-pantser, or anything in between, when you're getting those first pages down, burn rubber. Why? Because there is so much good stuff in your writer's brain that needs to climb out of the basement and sniff the fresh air. You have to put your head down and butt the inner editor who stands at the basement door, telling you to be careful, slow down, don't make a fool of yourself."

Are you persuaded? Wondering how on earth you even start something like this? Here are some helpful things to get you started and get you through November:

Jodi Cleghorn gives us 9 ways to prepare over at Write Anything and they are good ones. Explore your expectations, strengths and weaknesses, habits, creativity, sources of stress, time management, and your calendar for November. Also be sure to treat yourself kindly and get the support you need. Better get on these quick, though, cuz there's only a few days left...

Need an idea? Jennifer Blanchard of Procrastinating Writers gives you some resources on coming up with a great idea. She is also offering an email newsletter for 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Tips that you should sign up for.

And Learn to Write Fiction also has some great links and must have tools that will help get you through with a smile.

Last, Barbara Samuel lists 10 ways to survive November, stay healthy, and not get too obsessed (Writer Unboxed). I know I will definitely be taking some of this advice.

Do you have more suggestions I might have missed? Leave a comment and share your ideas or a link to your post about NanoWrimo. We are, after all, in this together now!

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