Wednesday, November 1, 2023

IWSG & NaNo Fun


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

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Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  


November 1 question: November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

I love Nano!

I think your love/hate/apathetic relationship with NaNo has to do with how your brain works. We're all different, and like everything else, NaNo won't work for everyone.

I have an intuitive brain that works on my characters and backstories long before I start typing about them. I don't plan/think about the story itself, but I have a glimmer of the crisis scene at the end and I usually know a couple of scenes. When I start typing, the story starts to flow and my subconscious works on the next scene while I'm typing the current one.

If you're a plotter and have your planning ready to go, NaNo probably works too, as long as the timing works.

Whenever I'm drafting, I aim for a NaNo amount of words daily. Actually I aim for 2000 because that's the safe zone to make up for days that are more difficult.

If your brain thrives on external pressure, the graphs probably make you happy. External pressure normally makes me buckle, but NaNo is all about building the word count, so I don't think of it as pressure - it's more joy of writing.

This year I thought I would write Book #4 in my upcoming series for NaNo. But my brain was whirling with the story and I wrote it in late September/October instead. #oops

I'm hoping my brain is ready to draft Book #5 this month, but if not, I'll at least get new words to celebrate.

So to me, NaNo is about joy and fun. Does your brain or writing style match up with NaNo?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You wrote it early - good for you!
I am a slow writer but a detailed planner, so NaNo works for me. I just take more hours a day to hit the goal.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

DLP and everything else keeps me too busy to participate.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Excellent explanation of NaNo and why it might not work for every writer. I'm the "timing" example in your explanation, ha. I've actually just started a new book, so this is the first time the timing lines up. I usually do write about 2K a day ordinarily. Not sure I'll officially sign up, but thinking about it!

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great that NaNo works so well for you. I don't think I could meet the daily goals.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Timing is everything. I do NaNo when I have something ready to go. Sometimes I push it and start writing before I have the story well planned, and that's okay, but tends to result in more stress and a messier draft.

I am definitely in the "fast draft" camp, but also want to go into it with a pretty good plan (can't really call it an outline, but it's getting closer). Writing mysteries, I've found that going in with no plan tends to cause problems.

M.J. Fifield said...

I love that you wrote your intended NaNo project early. Best of luck with your back-up project!

(Also, I have the participant stickers again this year. Let me know if you'd like one, and I'll get it in the mail!)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Good luck with NaNo. My style definitely doesn't fit the challenge.

Elephant's Child said...

I am really glad that NaNo works for you. I am pretty certain it wouldn't for me.

A Hundred Quills said...

You're terrific and so disciplined as a writer, Jemi. I am inspired by you.

cleemckenzie said...

Here's to getting the words you need to deliver your story!

emaginette said...

Congrats and good luck. Sounds like it's perfect for your approach. :-)

Olga Godim said...

I'm envious of your intuitive ability to write 'as it goes'. I never could. I need to know what happened in my story before I start typing, at least roughly, and I could never do it at any speed but slow. So no NaNo for me.

Patricia JL said...

Oh yeah, my brain defiantly doesn't work for Nano. It took me a bit to comes to terms with that fact. LOL

PJ Colando said...

Yeah for brains and intuition!

Sarah Foster said...

NaNo tends not to work for me. I think I'd have to be really inspired by something because I have a tendency to just stare at the blank screen until a sentence is perfect in my head. There's just not enough time in one month to write that way and reach your goals!

Jemi Fraser said...

Alex - early is usually better than late! :)

Diane - I bet!

Elizabeth - nice! I don't generally wait for the timing to be perfect either. Write when the story is calling!

Natalie - it's certainly not for everyone

Rebecca - LOL - I can't call mine an outline either! I like to have ideas too - definitely makes the revising easier :)

MJ - thanks! I'll let you know - I had to miss the write-in today (covid) but if they don't have any at the next meet, I'll bug you for one! :)

Susan - and being true to our own style is the most important part of all!

Sue - LOL - it definitely only works for certain types of brains!

Sonia - thank you!!! That makes my day!

Lee - thanks!

Anna - it really is!

Olga - it's not a good fit for lots of writers - glad you've figured out your way!

PJ - agreed!

Sarah - perfectionism is such a pain! My bouncy brain just moves right along!

Denise Covey said...

I'm glad you're such a fast writer. I applaud you. I can only dream. I take my time and revel in my characters. Not the best for quick publication, but I enjoy my process. I did NaNo 5 times so I have lots of old stories to call on.

PS: I hope you're feeling much better!

Deniz Bevan said...

You write and NaNo the exact same way I do, so this all makes perfect sense to me! <3

Janet Alcorn said...

I enjoy participating in NaNo, though the last couple of years I've done it as a NaNoRebel (editing instead of writing something new). I do find it burns me out though, and I'm less productive in December.

Judy Ann Davis said...

I had deadlines all my life as a writer, so I'm not fond of NaNoWriMo and since I'm a slow fiction writer. Also, the holidays take a big chunk out of November with Thanksgiving and having to have all my Christmas presents sent out before Thanksgiving. One son and family lives in Alaska and the other son and family in S.C. I admire others who can do it, but I know it's just too much pressure for me.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Mm, how your brain works definitely has something to do with how well NaNo works for you. Good insight :-)

Ronel visiting for IWSG day Done and Dusted. An Author’s Year in Review 2023

Jemi Fraser said...

Denise - thank you! It's been draggy, but definitely improving :) I think once we settle into how our brains work best, we're much happier writers!

Deniz - Love it! Brain twins!!!

Janet - I had that happen too - but now my brain is better able to cope :)

Judy - the holidays eat up so much time - but real life is allowed to do that! I'm glad you've figured out your path :)

Ronel - I agree - it's not for everyone, but it works for me :)