Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NaNo Experiences

November is creeping up rather quickly. With it comes the ever-popular NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It's a free contest for all authors. The challenge is to write 50k words of a novel during the month of November. The prizes are... Okay, there are no prizes, but there are some pictures you can post on your blogs and websites proclaiming you as a NaNo winner. :)

I heard of NaNo through another aspiring author last year, only a few days before November. I thought, "Why not?" and jumped in with both feet. A crazy month later, I had about 55k words written. Winner!

Despite the chaos, I really enjoyed the experience. Like everyone else, my life tends to be crazy busy. This was a good way for me to focus on the creative aspects only of writing for an entire month. I ignored editing and revising and just wrote. Every day. It was fun.

I then returned to my regularly scheduled programming - revising and editing my other ms. I don't know if I'll ever polish up the NaNo novel. It's in another genre, and I think I'd like to stick with the mystery angle right now.

How many of you aspiring authors have NaNoed? Any of you planning on joining in the fun this year?

Published authors: Did you NaNo before you signed that agent? Was it worth it? Did any of your NaNo novels ever get published? I'd love to hear your stories!

20 comments:

  1. Would love to enter NaNo, but regrettably unless I get my own book polished to a high shine worthy of it being presented to an agent, I will be slouched in my rocking chair! Perhaps next year :)

    All the best to you though! Sounds like fun.

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  2. I never officially joined it, but for a couple of years I *pretended* I'd joined it. I didn't follow the rules because I was working on my WIP instead of starting a new project, but I found everyone's enthusiasm contagious. I got a lot done on my manuscript(actually, I finished a WIP) during that time.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  3. Quillfeather - Timing is always difficult for these kinds of things. I just started the querying process, so I'm at a good spot at the moment. I think I'll give it a shot!

    Elizabeth - that's a great idea! I found the same enthusiasm last year. The people were a lot of fun, and the energy was great :)

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  4. I've never done NaNo before--didn't even know what it was until the beginning of this year. But I am considering it this year. I have another manuscript I'd like to finish before then. And if I do, I may just start on another one I have in mind.

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  5. I may take the same path as Elizabeth and *pretend* to join. It may be the kick I need to finish my WIP!

    Elspeth

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  6. Cindy - That's what I found last year. I learned about it late, and jumped in. It was fun. Don't pressure yourself to rush the other ms though!

    Elspeth - I agree - pretending is such a great idea, especially if you are already part way into a story. You still get the excitement and the sense of "competition" without having to follow every rule :)

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  7. Heard of it, but never participated.

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  8. Elizabeth - NaNo certainly attracts a lot of people, but it's not for everyone. :)

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  9. I participated last year and will be again this year, though as with last year I will be bad. It will not be a new work, but one that demands to get completed.

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  10. Sterling - Ssshhhh! We won't tell anyone :) I think the entire spirit of the competition is to just get writing, so I'm sure it's okay!

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  11. I'm nutty about NaNo. Competed and completed three years. I will definitely give it another try this year.

    I'm a seat of the pants kind of writer, so outlines almost bog me down. That said, I have a general idea at this moment, though it doesn't mean it will be the one I ultimately use.

    I personally know one writer who just found an agent for her first NaNo project two years ago. Of course, she's a high achiever and a great motivator.

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  12. Jody - 3 years! You're my newest hero. :)

    I've got 3 ideas floating around in my head - like you I don't outline on paper. Can't decide which, if any, I'll use either.

    It's exciting to hear about someone finding an agent for a NaNo!

    Thanks for stopping by :)

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  13. I'm up for another year. Did you know 'Water For Elephants' was written during NaNo?

    I'm thinking for myself, I better start researching, etc, so I can go full blast ahead in November.

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  14. Jean - I didn't know that! Yeah, I if go with one story idea, I definitely need to get some research in. Another idea doesn't require as much, so I'm leaning towards that one right now. :)

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  15. WOW. I keep hearing about NANO, but I'm not really sure about it. Where can I get a rundown on the ins and outs?

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  16. Here's the link http://www.nanowrimo.org/ You may have to copy/paste, I'm still not getting links to work all the time. It is fun and it gives me energy. It's been such a busy school year so far, I'm not sure how I'll do, but I think I'll give it a shot.

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  17. I'm doing NaNo this year. I'm not an outliner either, much prefer writing by the seat of my pants. I decided on one of my children's book ideas, on the theory that if I get to 50K I'll be really close to being done! I am really looking forward to it, and this year it's going to be far less solitary than last year (my first time last year), because I know more people who are also doing it ("know more people?" Last year I didn't know anyone doing it!)

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  18. Belle - I like your theory :) I only had 1 other person I knew last year. I think you're right - the more people we know, the more support we should be able to give each other. I'm listed under jemifraser if you'd like to add me as a buddy.

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  19. Im so doing NaNoWriMo. Got a project in my head... ready to get going!

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  20. CDominique - Great! I'll see you over there. If you want a writing buddy, I'm listed as jemifraser :)

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