Author Topic: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?  (Read 23864 times)  

Offline MarilynVix

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NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
« on: October 05, 2014, 01:28:18 pm »
I've been looking into maybe doing the National Novel Writing Month challenge this year. I'm a bit slow with my new novelette, and was wondering if I tried this in November, whether it would get my butt into gear. I was wondering has anyone on the board tried this? Did you write a novelette? How was it uploading your manuscript? Did you scramble it? Is it worth going through the effort to get the feedback? It would be helpful to help me finish it, since I want to get the series wrapped up and worked over by my editor for a Valentine's Day release. Making it a NaNoWriMo project will help me stay on schedule. Any suggestions? Experiences with NaNoWriMo?

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    Offline SomethingClever

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #1 on: October 05, 2014, 02:24:33 pm »
    I've done NaNoWriMo a number of times. Only won once. But it's a great motivator for me and I try to do it every year. Doing NaNoWriMo taught me what works for me as far a writing process goes. I tend to just write and not edit as I go anyway so NaNoWriMo is perfect for me. Besides learning what process works best for me I learned I can write 5,000 words a day if I really try. It was a Saturday. And that I can write 2,000 words a day during the week even with a day job that involves two hours of commuting time a day.

    I scrambled my manuscript when I uploaded it for verification.

    Beware the boards though. I find I procrastinate a lot on the forums there. Especially the adopt a plot threads. I love seeing what plots other people have come up with but won't write.

    Find a local thread if you can in the regions and see if you can get out to write-ins. I found it really helped me knowing others in my area were doing it too.

    Offline going going gone

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #2 on: October 05, 2014, 03:02:10 pm »
    It fits into my production schedule this year, so I'll give it a try. I enjoyed the two Camp Nanos I did.
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    Offline Avril Sabine

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #3 on: October 05, 2014, 04:05:36 pm »
    I've really enjoyed Nano each time I've done it. There's something different about writing a novel at the same time as heaps of other people and sharing the journey with them. I love the social aspect of it. Since I don't have an issue with word output I can't give you any advice on whether it helps with that. But I enjoy attending local write ins, going to Kick Off Parties and Thank God It's Over Parties. It's a lot of fun and I think it's an experience you should try at least once.

    Offline 77071

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #4 on: October 05, 2014, 05:29:07 pm »
    Every month is NaNoWriMo for me these days.  I don't always write that much, but I certainly try. 

    I'm not sure if the group is a better motivator or not.  I think it was for me in years gone by, but you have to be certain you have the time to devote to it and won't get totally stressed out.

    It would be better to write 30,000 words in a month and then 30,000 the next, and the next, (or however much you can manage) than to push yourself so hard you crash and don't write again for ages. 

    My point is that mileage may vary and NaNo can be a cool and fun tool, but ultimately you have to pick and choose what works for you.  And you probably already know all of that anyway...

    Best of luck.   :-*
    « Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 05:31:11 pm by HSh »

    Offline Hugh Howey

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #5 on: October 05, 2014, 05:30:42 pm »
    Going for my sixth year in a row. I love NaNo. 60,000 words feels like the perfect length for a novel for me. December and early January are revision months, and then usually pub by the end of January.
     
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    Offline Gigi Priest

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #6 on: October 05, 2014, 05:51:01 pm »
    I'm going to rebel NaNo this year... 50k words spread out between a couple of different projects.

    Offline SB James

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #7 on: October 05, 2014, 05:51:56 pm »
    It fits into my production schedule this year, so I'll give it a try. I enjoyed the two Camp Nanos I did.
    Camp NaNo is much more mellow and informal than NaNoWriMo. Different experiences, but definitely worthwhile doing. This year will be my second NaNoWriMo, and I've also done two Camps, but only won the July CampNaNo.
    I'm going to rebel NaNo this year... 50k words spread out between a couple of different projects.
    go for it!


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    Offline J.T. Williams

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #8 on: October 05, 2014, 07:25:19 pm »
    I say it's worth doing, in fact, I have already begun to plot my novel for this year's Nano. It was Nano 2007 that really spurred me forward novel wise, albeit, not for a few years later. I started 8 days late that year and wrote up to around 48,000 words. Then in 2012, I wrote again as a pure "pantser" and hit around 60k. I went on to do my own Nano in I believe April 2013 and then again completed Nano in November 2013. The result of that was my trilogy of which I am hoping to publish over the next 6 months.

    I proved to myself I could write novels and I could write them at a decent pace/ length in only 30 days. (my second two books averaged appr. 75k but I did have a lot of plotting prior to the start of the 30 days)

    One of the only reasons I haven't written a novel this year so far is my wife told me I need to work on the ones I already wrote. (She's got a point!) The book I am plotting at the moment is related to my other three books, so in total over the course of 2 years I have four novels all in the same world. I would've never known I could do this if I would've not competed in Nano. Sure, its personal, and yes, someone could technically "cheat" but what's the point?

    See what you can do and if you don't hit 50k, so what? You will have something completed by then. If it's only 20k or 30k, fine, finish your draft and then you have more than you likely would've had not doing Nano.

    Just my thoughts! ;)


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    Offline N. Gemini Sasson

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #9 on: October 05, 2014, 07:58:08 pm »
    NaNo is the perfect reason to make writing the top priority and not let other distractions derail you. The book is being plotted and researched. My calendar is cleared. The spouse has been notified.



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    Offline Matthew Rief

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #10 on: October 05, 2014, 08:23:48 pm »
    It really helped me get into the habit of writing everyday. 2k words a day isn't that bad when you do it every day. And it sure adds up quick. I would recommend doing it because it's just another motivator:) More motivators the better!

    Offline Julie Wetzel

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #11 on: October 05, 2014, 08:30:14 pm »
    I loved my nanowrimo experiences. I've done it two years now. It's a great way to get into the habit of writing everyday. If you need help, there are lots of forums to chat with the other writers, and they have fun challenges that help push you to your goal. You just have to be careful not to get caught up with all the forums and remember to actually WRITE your novel. Come join us and have a blast.

    My novel this year will be the next installment in my series!
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    Offline 31842

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #12 on: October 05, 2014, 09:10:46 pm »
    I love love love NaNo!  It is a great motivator, creates some fabulous habits, and if you can get out to a NaNo write-in, do it!  Such a hoot!  They do word sprints and give away prizes and just make the very isolated world of writing social and fun (after NaNo ended, I kept up with the group write-ins with several of my friends).  Their blogs and vlogs will keep you motivated.  It is just a great experience.  And if you can get out to the Night of Writing Dangerously, it is DIVINE! 

    Offline 75814

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #13 on: October 05, 2014, 09:21:48 pm »
    I've done NaNo a few times. Sometimes I reached the 50K goal, other times I didn't. Sometimes I cheated and spread out the 50K among multiple projects. Anything that gets you to write more is a good thing in my book.

    Not sure what you mean about feedback, though. The manuscript upload is just to verify your word count. I've never gotten any feedback from NaNo on my work.

    Offline August8

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #14 on: October 05, 2014, 11:30:11 pm »
    I'm excited about doing my first nano this year. I've done 50k in a couple of weeks so I know it's doable but my writing is starting to slack so it's going to be a good opportunity to get my ass back into gear.
    I already have my story planned a bit and will be doing some reading in the genre towards the end of the month to get into the mind frame. I can see myself spending way too much time on the forums over there though :/

    Offline 75845

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #15 on: October 07, 2014, 02:47:14 pm »
    Doing it in 2013 enabled me to complete a novel in 25 days after failing at attempts to complete one for 37 years. That got that load (of never having completed a novel) off my mind and now I am much better at writing. Due to delays in other projects it now looks like my next project can be delayed until 1st November. So having flown 4750 miles to Seattle for last year's version this year I am doing NaNoWriMo about my home section of London.

    Offline SB James

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #16 on: October 07, 2014, 03:24:33 pm »
    Doing it in 2013 enabled me to complete a novel in 25 days after failing at attempts to complete one for 37 years. That got that load (of never having completed a novel) off my mind and now I am much better at writing.
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    Offline TheGapBetweenMerlons

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #17 on: October 07, 2014, 06:17:10 pm »
    When I first did NaNoWriMo in 2006 it was the perfect thing for me to reignite the writing fires that I'd let smolder for too long when my kids were young, after being very productive (writing-wise, not publishing-wise) in my late teens and early 20s. Since then, it's usually been a good experience and one I recommend. There have been bad years along the way, for reasons unrelated to NaNoWriMo itself. Last year was probably the worst and at the time I said "never again." Now I'm saying "get back up on the horse." If you have people in your life, as most do, any concentrated writing requires cooperation (if not "support") from those people. For those who lack that cooperation regularly, NaNoWriMo can sometimes be a foundation to ask for and receive it... but not always.
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    Offline hankgarner

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #18 on: October 08, 2014, 09:00:57 am »
    Going for my second year.  Published my NaNo work from last year. NaNo was the thing I needed last year to help me build good writing habits.  Loved the experience!

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    Offline nellgoddin

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #19 on: October 08, 2014, 09:33:09 am »
    So is the rule to start something brand new on Nov. 1? I've got abut 5000 words of something, can I put that aside until then and start with that, or is that cheating?

    Offline LA Ramsey

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #20 on: October 08, 2014, 09:49:43 am »
    Hi nellgoddin - if you read the NANOWRIMO rules - you "can" cheat like that, but you aren't supposed to be able to "win". 

    I always start a new novel - I call it "seeding" a novel - I have done this since 2011 - I just stop what I'm doing and write a new book in November. I really enjoy it. I have made some good friends there as well.

    Offline Cactus Lady

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #21 on: October 08, 2014, 10:49:24 am »
    I've "won" NaNoWriMo every year since 2009  :D That first year, it led to a huge creative breakthrough for me that got me back to writing and finishing what I write after a long dry spell, and now I'm kind of hooked on it. Right now I'm planning a new novel to write this November.

    I don't scramble my manuscript before uploading. All they do is count the words (actually, the spaces between the words) and then immediately delete it (so make sure you only upload a copy and have your original safely backed up!). It isn't stored or posted, and no one gives you any feedback. After the event, they have a critiques and beta reads board where you can post short excerpts for critique by other members of the community or find someone to beta read for you. But there's no official NaNoWriMo feedback - no one there actually reads what you've written.

    The word count goal for November NaNoWriMo is 50,000. To "win" (I prefer to think of it as completing the challenge) you have to get at least 50,000 words. Some people "rebel" (the word "cheating" is severly frowned upon) and do a couple of different projects to total 50,000 words. You can also start a project now and write the next 50,000 words during November; this used to be rebelling, but they changed the rules this year to allow that. It's entirely on the honor system; the one hard-and-fast truth is that you have to verify 50,000 words to get the purple winner's bar and the goodies (certificate, web badges, sometimes there are special discount offers from writing software companies and stuff).

    There are Camp NaNo events (lately they've been in April and July) where you can set your own word count goal.

    The community is a lot of fun. You'll find everyone from 13-year-olds to people in their 70s and older, raw beginners writing their first fanfic to multi-published authors. The forums can be kind of a  time sink because there's so much fun stuff going on, but the support, commiseration, and sharing are a big part of what makes me look forward to the event so much.
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    Offline nellgoddin

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #22 on: October 08, 2014, 11:03:56 am »
    OK, thanks LA. New book it is!

    Offline TheGapBetweenMerlons

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #23 on: October 08, 2014, 02:46:44 pm »
    You can also start a project now and write the next 50,000 words during November; this used to be rebelling, but they changed the rules this year to allow that.
    (emphasis added)

    Interesting! Was not aware of that. Hmm, maybe I'll do that instead. I've gone the "start a new novel" route every time before (no rebel here), so adding 50K words to an existing project would help me finish an on-hold WIP and add a fresh new twist to the challenge.
    I do not agree to, and specifically deny, any and all claim VerticalScope might make to my content authored on this site before they bought it. I do not agree to the no-notice, modified TOS as changed by VerticalScope upon purchase and its retroactive applicability to older content.. I halted participation on the site promptly after discovering the transfer of the site to the new owners and the terms imposed by them.

    Offline Gerald

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    Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
    « Reply #24 on: October 08, 2014, 04:30:52 pm »
    This will be my 11th year of NaNo. In the previous 10, I've 'won' 9 times. I've been a rebel a couple of times (once I wrote 2 X 25k novellas, which I threw together for validation). You will know if you cheat, no one else will. If 'winning' matters that much, you can copy and past one word / one sentence throughout the whole document if you like. No one will know, and you'll get your badges and certificate and whatnot. But that's totally missing the point.

    I find it a great experience. Meeting up with local writers is a good way of meeting fellow authors in your area, and I've created a number of lasting friendships.

    NaNo state that the MS isn't stored on their servers, and I've never bothered scrambling anything before I upload it.

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