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Everyone’s got something to say

Ah, NaNoWriMo. That time again already?

For those not already in the know, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. Launched in California ten years ago, it’s essentially a communal writing experience. Over the course of one month (no more!), people are encouraged to write a 50K word novel. The program emphasizes “quantity over quality,” which I find pretty delightful. It celebrates the fact that writers write, and for a lot of people, it’s the first chance they have to finish a novel. Because whether it’s good or bad, the act of completing a novel is, in itself, something to celebrate. I know a lot of NaNoWriMo participants past and present, and it’s always great to see the enthusiasm that comes out of the process.

Of course, there’s also something intimidating about NaNoWriMo: the aftermath. Apparently 676,900,348 have already been written by participants this year. Lord, December’s going to be a busy reading month…

So have you all already joined in the fun? Are you working your way through your 50K words? And if so, what are you doing on our blog? Get back to work!

-Jim

16 Responses to Everyone’s got something to say

  1. Mindi Scott says:

    No NaNo for me. I'm revising this month!

    For a second, I thought you were being sarcastic about finding "quantity over quality" delightful. Then I read on… :-)

  2. Angela Korra'ti says:

    I'm taking a second official crack at Nanowrimo this time around; my first Nano novel is actually published! So I'm seeing if I can do it again with Book 2. 😉

  3. Aimee States says:

    I promise not to query you in December…lol.

  4. Jade says:

    This is my first NaNo and I'm loving it. I'm already 21k in on my book, Surviving Reject High.

    Do people really query their NaNo stories in December…? That's a tad worrying. Also, way to make me feel bad for my 'constructive' procrastination.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I'm revising, too. I couldn't do NaNo but I'm in awe of those who can! Maybe someday I'll take a crack at it just for fun.

  6. Ginger B. (Barbara) Collins says:

    Last year was my first NANO. I put on paper a story idea that had been rolling around in my mind for a few years. It was great and I was all revved up for this year's NANO. But I'm stalling out at 8,000 words.

    I'm not sure if it's because I'm stalled with the story or because I just received the final edits for another manuscript and I'm eager to dig in, polish it up, and prep it for agent queries in January. I'm giving the new work until November 16th. If the characters, (fraternal twins who find themselves switching roles,good girl to wild child/drinking-druggie to clean and sober)keep moving forward I'll stick with them through the month. If not, they can wait till next year.

    Ginger B.
    http://coppertopcollins.blogspot.com
    http://www.gingerbcollins.com

  7. Tere Kirkland says:

    My NaNo novel from last year turned into the novel I'm currently querying.

    But forcing myself to write almost 2K words a day can also be counterproductive. I wind up writing less because I spend too much time thinking while I'm still "in" the story, when I should be "outside" of it, planning ahead. So I'm stalled out right now, too.

    I'm usually a plotter, and unless I have the story fleshed out already in my notes, it just doesn't want to come out as I write. I already know I can write 50K words in 30 days, just not when I haven't done enough planning, and I haven't spent as much time plotting as I should.

    The only month that would be worse than November for me would be February or March, depending on when Lent– and hence, Carnival– falls that year. 😉

    But NaNo IS keeping me from messing with the first draft I finished in October, and that's really all I wanted. Hands off that draft till December!

    Good luck to everyone else.

  8. Shawntelle says:

    I started Nano, but I may not finish it. I have too many other projects to work on.

    Great post, Jim! And yes, I'm getting back to work.

  9. Vodka Mom says:

    That last paragraph made me laugh out loud.

    thanks!

  10. Steph Damore says:

    Nano came at a good time for me this year so I'm giving it a go to work on a sequel. I'm 10,000 words in so far and hoping to keep up the writing schedule. I usually write 1,500 words at a time, just not every day – more like every other:)

  11. Amalia T. says:

    I've participated in some shape or form since 2002, and loved the community experience. It's great company to be in if you're struggling or celebrating.

    This year I've already hit 50K (I was as surprised as anyone) but my book was always intended to be actual novel sized (80-100K) so I'm still working, and my goal is to finish the book before the month is out. Then I'll put it away for a while and do revisions on my other manuscripts while I let it age!

    For me, anything that encourages and reinforces the habit of daily writing is a good thing. That discipline is so important!

  12. Bryan B. says:

    I love what John Green had to say about Nano: It gives you permission to suck.

  13. Angie Ledbetter says:

    I'm a NoNoNaNo in Twitterville. I've got enough on my plate without that November buffet overload.

  14. Mary Witzl says:

    I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year, though I've had fun doing it in previous years. What isn't quite so much fun is all the rewriting you get to do afterward, turning all the quantity into quality. But I never once managed to get anything whipped into shape by December. Even January would have been a real stretch.

  15. Natasha Fondren says:

    I love it. Although a 50K month is pretty normal for me, NaNo is always the time I use the community and energy to push through the fears of trying something new. This year, I'm trying a new genre!

  16. Dara says:

    I love it too–it's one of the things I look forward to all year. Mostly because of the communal writing experience and all the energy it brings, plus it helps get me focused on writing instead of listening to the inner editor (who sometimes won't let me get past the first two or three chapters throughout the rest of the year…)

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