The End of NaNoWriMo.

It is now December first, and NaNoWriMo is now done for the year. This means that the stress of the writing challenge is over, and people’s lives go back to normal.

This is true for them as well as for me. Except for my version of “normal” is perverted in comparison.

However, it shouldn’t be that way.

NaNo is supposed to be a starting point or a continuation point of the writing journey. It is supposed to allow a writer to get a large number of words done or something completed.

A large number of people that use NaNo don’t write in any other part of the year. For clarity, this is what my year has looked like so far.

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Yes, I have a spreadsheet.

Don’t have to be crazy… Like me.

I’m unique, even in the writing world. Most people don’t set crazy goals like I did, and most people don’t manage to get as far as I have with it.

And that’s fine. This crazy goal has worked for me.

But to be a writer, one must write. It doesn’t have to be a half a million words in a year, but it should be something. What I tell people is that they should write for 8 minutes. If it doesn’t flow cause of stress, etc., then at least they have something. Even if it is 100 words. BUT, if it is flowing, then they shouldn’t stop.

NaNo Writers

These guys only write during November, and some of them get 75k or 100k words done, but it isn’t a sprinting race. It’s an endurance race. So while I only managed to write 63k this November, it is only a fraction of what I managed to get done all year.

Future NaNo’s

Before I talk about my future NaNo plans, here is my writing plan for next year.

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That is a preview of my 2020 goal. The number at the bottom should be interesting.

But, in terms of what NaNo means for me, take a look at the numbers listed beside each month. I will be writing a NaNo every month.

This means that was the last NaNo I’ll be participating in. There is no point anymore for me. It was fun while it lasted, but I also see no point in trying to kill myself by writing a double NaNo. Not with my writing output being what it is at.

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Its NaNoWriMo and I wrote how much?

On November 21, 2019, I was successful at NaNoWriMo. That means that I had managed to write 50k words in a month. But it wasn’t a month. It was for 21 days.

I didn’t manage to write enough words to do the double NaNo. I am on track to be able to get a 1.5 NaNo. (Yes, I have made NaNoWriMo into a unit of measurements.)

But what does that mean? That means that I have worked hard to get this done, but so far, it is not much of an achievement. For me. I write between 35k and 46k words per month, which I plan on increasing in the future.

That means that this might be the last time I do a NaNo. I may hang up my hat and call it good. Perhaps it is time for me to retire from doing NaNo’s.

The purpose of NaNo is to encourage those who struggle to write anything. It is not for those crazy fools who have written 475k words this year so far.

But NaNo is flawed in some ways. It encourages those to write words, but not to finish the story. It has also created a herd of novelists who only write for NaNo. They don’t write at any other time. When you ask why they have some excuse.

Don’t get me wrong, many people have decided to become writers after completing a NaNo. After, they started writing a novel afterward.

So this message is for all of the NaNo writers out there. If you enjoy writing novels, then write every day, every week and every month. Don’t just write in November, write all the time and write lots. Write hard, and write like no one is watching, but just write.

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After Two Weeks- NaNoWriMo

As you can probably tell, the two-week mark has come and gone for NaNoWriMo. So far, things are going well. I’m on track to write 75k this month. So far, I have managed to break all other monthly records for 2019.

What does that mean for me?

I have a story worth telling, and it is flowing. That’s what it means. The moment I reach the end of the story, things will slow down as I figure out the next.

That what being able to produce as many words as possible means. It’s knowing what the story is to make sure you have something to tell.

Pants vs. Plotting

It brings up that age-old argument. What is better? Discovery writing it or outlining it. For me, it’s both.

The issue I have with outlining is that it takes all of the fun away from discovering the story. Its too rigid and doesn’t adapt to new ideas.

The issue with discovery writing is that it can lead to going down the wrong path. It can lead to a meandering story that has no idea where it wants to go or what is essential. It also leads to low productivity as a discovery writer ends up going back and fixing the poorly plotted book.

The advantages of plotting are that the author knows precisely what to write before you do it.

The advantage of pantsing is that you get that sense of discovery of learning what the story is before you do it.

In the Beginning.

When I first started writing, I was a pantser. I loved having my characters tell me a story. It was thrilling to have them speak. As I started this crazy half a million-word challenge, it became apparent that pantsing wasn’t going to get me going. Many of my low word count days were caused by me not knowing the story.

Sign Posts.

I adopted a method of deciding plot points of the stories and discovery writing to the signposts.

Plotting endings.

Then I started to end the signposts and plot the ending, but not until I got to that point.

Now?

I do what I call extended signpost. I will plot out sections, 5 or 6 chapters at a time, then write them. My signposts are loose, and I’m not set to them. Which is why I only do a few chapters at a time. At the end of the signposts, I will plot out the next 5 pages.

This gives me the freedom to discover the story while still keeping that added benefit of not running out of the story to write or taking a wrong turn.

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Day Late and Dollar Short

Story of my life.

But all joking aside, what I’m not short on is that I’m managing to keep up with my NaNo goals. Not the double NaNo I talked about, but I’m on progress to be able to keep up with the one and a half NaNo.

I have three main complaints at the moment. One, the NaNoWriMo site has been changed. It looks good, but its features have been nerfed. I enjoyed being able to change my daily writing when I miss the midnight deadline for the day. So for me, it looks like I write in sprints with gaps between large dumps of words. That’s not the case. I have been writing approx 2500 words a day.

Two. I still have other things to do, and I can’t write 10k words a day. My current project has me excited, and I want to keep finding out what is going on with the characters. I feel sorry for the two leads, and I hate myself for throwing them through this mess. I love it.

Three. This is not any story in my schedule. I have discovered that I didn’t write down any notes on my Felix story. Both book one and book two. As such, I have no idea what is going on. I know a bit about what is going on, but the problem is that I’m trying to wrap up the trilogy, and I have a tonne of plot threads to tie up or to hang a hat on. (I do want to write another trilogy with Felix and his Ghosts.)

What I’m doing right now is I have been taking the tiny flash fiction style short stories my classes have been forcing me to write and expanding them. So far, so good. Except the problem is that none of them are on the plan.

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First Week of NaNo.

As you may be aware, I’m attempting this year’s NaNo. But in my household, I’m not alone.

There is a youth program for NaNo. Where kids can pick there own goals to write their own novels. It teaches them the ability to work on a longer project. Its something many adults have an issue with as writing a book isn’t a sprint, it’s an endurance race.

My daughter, age seven, is going to write a 1000-word story about her favourite pokemon. My son, age nine, is witing a 5000-word science fiction short story about Zero-G dodgeball.

This is impressive for age. I’m proud they have started this project, and it didn’t take any coaching from myself. My son wanted to write a 50k word novel. I told him to begin with 5k this year and then increase it for the next. He is nine, after all.

For me, I’m not attempting the 100k. That goal evaporated. I’m trying to do 75k. This would be a 1.5 NaNo and double what I usually do each month. So far, I have managed to make my 2500 daily word goal.

Wish me luck? The month has only started.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

NaNoWriMo and Prep for Pantsers

So you are prepping for NaNo and you are a discovery writer (some call pantser), and you are wondering how you can prep a novel. Cause prepping is for outliners right? Stephen King doesn’t do much prep, why should you?

Those are some excellent questions.

For my writing, I do a type of discovery writing where I plan plot points or what I like to call beat points. These are cool scenes or important points I want to get across during the course of a novel. It might be a fight scene or an emotional point in the story.

I usually will write these down and sort them into some type of order. Sometimes I plan to write multiple interlocking stories all weaved together. These I may do per point of view character in a large chunk, then shuffle them together later once they are all done.

As a discovery writer, the main way to be successful in NaNo for most people is the prep. Create your cast of characters, even if you’re unsure of you are going to use them or not. Create a setting. People need places to sit and eat. Write about those places.

If you have an antagonist you are unsure about, write a short clip of him. You can also do the back story of your main character as well. Especially if you need to understand her. With my stories, sometimes its important to write a one thousand word short about there childhood. It doesn’t go into the novel, however, but knowing what the character went through is important.

Being only October 20th, with time still, there is time to plan and to prep. There might not be time later. Use the time wisely.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

PREPPING for NANOWRIMO.

Suppose for a second, I have convinced you to write a novel for NaNoWriMo. For those tuning in, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge where you write 50 thousand words in thirty days.

The rules of NaNoWriMo, states that it counts the story only. Outlines, character sheets, diagrams. They don’t count for your total word count. This is also able to be done before November, in October.

No matter if you Outline or Discovery Write, the way to be successful in writing for NaNo is in the prep. Preparing to write the story is how many people keep the quantity up for the length of time.

The Prep

I start my story with my idea. Having a set idea pushes you forward. The idea should be thought thoroughly through with different ideas on different conflicts, tensions, and emotions. The more the idea is flushed out, allows for a better shot of being successful for NaNo.

For me, what I do is I have my novel planned. I’m not a “Discovery Writer” and not an “Outliner.” I do what I have dubbed “Sign-Post-Outlining.” I discovery write to set points in the story. This allows me to have a plan, yet being able to have the freedom to see where the story takes me.

The way to NaNo success is the prep. Plan your story. Plan until you think you can’t plan any longer. The more you do, the more of a chance of success.

So for all of those who want to write a novel for NaNoWriMo. Prep your story. Plan it through.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

You are all CHALLENGED to NANOWRIMO!

What is NaNoWriMo?

It stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is where you set a goal of writing 50k words for a story in November. The purpose of this is to encourage everyone to write a novel and the fact that everyone can write a book. It just takes time and commitment.

In order to make the words, you will have to write 1667 words per day.

Every day.

In 30 days, you will have a novel.

I have participated in this for the last 3 years in a row, and so far, I have been successful.

Of course, anyone reading this who knows how much I write is probably asking, “How is this a challenge for you?”

Simple. I plan to do a Double NaNo. This is where I write 100k words instead of only 50k. Where you will only have to write 1667 words a day, I will have to write 3334 words per day. My current average is 1400 words a day. I will have to write an additional 2000 words a day to make my goal.

Do I think that I can do this?

Hell no. I suspect that one of four things will happen.

  1. I will burn out and write 20k words. I am doing school at the same time.
  2. I will make my current monthly average of 42k, and that will be that.
  3. I will manage to write 50k and not a word more.
  4. I will manage 75k.

I’m leaning towards number four.

If you take up this challenge, what do you do?

The first thing to do is to https://www.nanowrimo.org/ and sign up.

Second, you can pre-plan your novel. Prep characters, outline, draw maps. The 50k (or 100k for me) doesn’t include preplanning. It only matters about the story and nothing more, nothing less.

To close out this post.

I don’t think that anyone reading this will take me up on the challenge.

Whose here is going to prove me wrong?

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

 

NaNoWriMo: Update Nov 19, 2017

Well. As of this moment, I am now at 51108 words for NaNoWriMo. But as I have said before, NaNo is worthless to me unless I can get complete projects done.

At the moment I have complete my daughters story, ‘The Adventures of Evana Sweetland.’ And I have finished Book 3 of my sons ‘Space Courier’ story. But my son’s story isn’t finished. It still needs the last book.

Originally we planned to write the story in 5 parts. But as I wrote Book 3, I realized that I had included pieces that I was planning on for book 4. So now, I have gotten rid of book 4, put the parts into either book 3 or book 5 and then called book 5, book 4. Basically, Space Courier is going to be four books.

And I am not done NaNoWriMo. I have ten days to write 22500 to 25000 words for this next book. That means that I must write 2250 to 2500 words per day to complete the book on time. The goal is to have a complete work that I can spend December editing and reworking so that I can have it start being published come January 2018.

So, while others are hanging up there hats and calling it done, I am still plugging away. I am not done yet. Not even close.

NaNo Update Nov 11, 2017

So this year has gone off with a bang.

First I’d like to apologize for the lack of blog posts. I have been distracted by NaNo. It happens. For the first bit, I was writing 3k to 4k words a day. I was on track with my double NaNo goals. Then life happens.

And it happens. One day you are going strong, then the next you have fallen behind. All you can do is to try and catch up when you can. We had ordered some Ikea beds for the kids, and it took 3 hours to build them. Each.

Plus I had to go through my storage bin and find some boxes. It’s all delays. Ie. Life.

And it happens. It is not a bad thing. Cause life does that. No need to get anxious or frustrated by it. And if it weren’t NaNo, there would be no need to try and catch up. It is best not to. It is best not to be stressed by something that is outside of your control. It happens.

My NaNo, it is Nov 11, 2017, and I am at 28k words. I am supposed to be at 36k words by today. But that is only cause I am crazy and I am doing a double NaNo. Typically, I would have to have written 18K words.

So, that means I am a touch behind, but still going strong. I have also finished the first draft of the Evana Story. It is done. Time to move on to Book 3 of my Space Courier story.

Wish me luck.

Until next time.