Category Archives: nanowrimo

NaNo Day 1 — and go vote!

Well, I didn’t even get halfway to my goal yesterday, but I did a lot of good plotting and outlining and character studying that helped me speed along once I finally got started. So I’m feeling good, though I’m technically behind. Watch me (hopefully) catch up in just a day or two!  🙂

In other news, I voted during lunchtime. Have you voted yet (those of you who live in the states)? Get out there and fill in your ballots! It’s like a little party where the whole country cares what you think.  🙂

Write or Die and other useful things

With NaNoWriMo peeking at us from around the corner (creepy…), I am pulling together my usual list of necessary tools. It seems that every year I add more things to the “must have open at all times during NaNo” list. Here are a few:

Write or Die, for when my life depends on my word count.

Skype, for when I need to whine to my WriMo buddies about my word count or plot.

Scrivener, for when I want to have different pages open at once, with an outline and some images to go with them.

My copy of The Hero With a Thousand Faces, for when I feel totally lost. (also fantastic: The Writer’s Journey)

And, of course, the NaNoWriMo website, for when it’s time to update my progress!

What do you use to keep yourself on target during NaNo?

It’s that NaNo time of year…

Just taking a quick moment to blog as I get my schedule in order and finish up the massive ToDo List of Doom.  🙂  It should go without saying, of course, but here’s my official announcement anyway:

On November 1 I will begin the insane process of writing a new novel in 30 days.

This week I will spend finalizing my plot. The whole thing is super fun and exciting today, but check back with me on November 20.  😉  We’ll see how I’m hanging in there. In fact, I’ll likely update about my progress pretty regularly, so you’ll know how things are coming along.

Any other WriMos out there? What are your goals for this November?

Arrival of the Plot Bunnies: Do You NaNo?

Not much to report today other than MY PLOT BUNNIES ARRIVED!

In case you missed the explanation about these darling little guys, take a look here. Plot Bunnies were part of a summer donation incentive for the creative insanity that NaNoWriMo promotes every November in the name of literacy. NaNoWriMo frequently gives away cool gifts as thanks for donations. If donating isn’t your thing, they have a pretty good store, too. I have T-shirts, but my favorites are the patches.

Whew. Starting to sound like a commercial, here. I’m just a big fan of annual lunacy, I guess.  🙂

From their website:

Summer Fundraising Drive = Success!

Thanks to everyone who took home some plot bunnies this week. I’m sure the little critters will settle in just fine, wherever you decide to put them. And remember: If they get ornery, try some Timothy Hay. They love that stuff.

Today the bunny I like best is the one with the robotic ears. I think he’s hooked up to an inspiration machine, so hopefully he’ll tell me what to write when I get stuck. With any luck it won’t be something about carrots.  🙂

The artist is Grégoire Vion from California, and he has some really interesting art!

So, do you NaNo like a crazy person?  🙂  Are you looking forward to November?

Plot Bunnies

Just a quick one today!

It’s still three months to November, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start preparing for NaNoWriMo and all the joy (madness) it brings.

Last night Chris Baty of the Office of Letters and Light sent out the following message:

We’re hoping to raise $15,000, which we’ll use to expand personal writing stats on your Author Profile page, create and manufacture new noveling progress charts for our 2,500 Young Writers Program classrooms, and add heaps more virtual servers for both NaNo and YWP.

As always, we have a special thank-you gift for our amazing summer donors. The first 300 people to donate $50 for this drive will receive a super-limited-edition 10″ by 8″ NaNoWriMo print by San Francisco Bay Area illustrator Grégoire Vion. For the print, Grégoire explored that mythical creature of noveling lore: the plot bunny.

We’ll also be picking two of our $50 donors at random and giving them free passes to attend award-winning novelist (and NaNoWriMo winner) Lani Diane Rich’s online novel-preparation class, which starts in mid-September.

Who knows whether those first 300 people will have won their prints by the time you read this post, but just in case, hurry up! If you have the cash to spare, this is a great organization promoting literacy, creativity, and good, old-fashioned insanity.

Enjoy your plot bunny!  🙂  I know I’m going to love mine. If you get one, be sure to come by to brag about it!

NaNoWriMo 2009: How It All Went Down

Well, I did it. Things were pretty touch-and-go for most of the month, and at one point I seriously considered giving up on NaNoWriMo, but in the end, I pushed through and hit that 50,000-word goal.

To give you an idea of how close I came to losing, here’s a rounded (up?) number for my word count three days before the end of the month: 16k.

When I looked at that number with only three days left to go, I hung my head in shame. I was going to lose. For the first time ever, I began to accept defeat in one of the things I look forward to most each year, like the holidays or my birthday. It was all over for me, and it was still just November 27. There would be no champagne. No winner’s certificate. No 50k words.

Then, feeling glum, I opened my email and read Chris Baty’s “Homestretch pep talk.” This was by way of punishment, really. I figured his words of encouragement would make me feel poorly about my lack of progress, but instead I felt, well, encouraged.

I changed my mind.

What the Great Chris Baty did to encourage me was simple. He broke down NaNo participants into three different categories:

Group One: The Superheroes.” These were the WriMos who had worked diligently all November and had already won or were going to win with no problem. According to Baty, these made up only 3% of WriMos.

Group Two: The Come-Back Kids.” These were the participants who were still pushing through the 20s or 30s and would make a final push for the finish to win at the last minute. They had had some fallbacks, but the end was in sight, and November 30th would be a day of success.

Group Three: The Go On Without Me’s.” This was my group.

I’ve never been in that group before. It’s not the worst thing in the world, I realized. In fact, after reading the pep talk email, I remembered what an incredible undertaking NaNoWriMo really is, and how impressive it is to give it a shot at all.

And then I read this note from Chris Baty to the Go On Without Me’s:

“This is going to sound really weird, but you’re in the best shape of all three groups. You’re off the map, but that’s the point of this escapade. NaNoWriMo is to there to put you in such an impossible situation that you can stop worrying about perfection and achievement and just savor the thrill that comes with making and doing. Think of the remaining days in NaNoWriMo as an anything-goes creative retreat. You sacrificed your novel to the world around you this month, and the world around you appreciated it. But you now get some time for you. You may not write 50,000 words, but you still have plenty of time to create something smaller and equally wonderful. Return to the page—there’s still a beautiful adventure waiting for you.”

That’s exactly what I did. Suddenly I felt as though anything were possible. I’d already given up, so what did I have to lose? I pulled out my calculator and did some minor division (yes, calculators are necessary; I’m a writer, not a mathematician). In order to reach 50,000 words in three days, I needed to write over 10k per day. Impossible? Of course. But if I was going to lose, I was at least going to aim high.

And so, instead of losing, I won.

Yes, I wrote over thirty-thousand words in three days. During that time, I also worked and did research for the class I’m taking. My mind is officially mush, but I exceeded my personal goals, and I’m exhausted but elated. This NaNo win has turned out to be the sweetest of them all because I tried to do something impossible, and it turned out to be possible.

At 11 p.m. on November 30, I validated my word count, and there it was:

Victory is a lovely thing. Sometimes it even comes with graphics of fireworks. 🙂

Several of my WriMo buddies won this year, too, and I applaud them! In fact, I applaud anyone who even attempted NaNo; it’s an amazing experience that has turned November into the favorite (or least favorite) month for writers all over the world. Participating in a challenge to create 50k new words within 30 days shows exactly how dedicated we all are, and we should be proud. Or locked up.

Either way, congrats to every WriMo out there.

Did you participate? How did it turn out for you? And have you dontated to NaNoWriMo yet?

Na… NO?

If you’re wondering what I’m up to these days and why I’m only finding time to update my Twitter, it’s because I’m knee-deep in both real life and NaNoWriMo. (doesn’t real life know that I am busy right now???)

So I’m just popping in here today to say a quick hello! I’m way behind on my NaNo word count, but I’ve broken through a block and am pushing forward with the great carelessness and reckless abandon that are the staples of November literary efforts the world over.

Oh, there will be words. Many, many words.

See you in December! In the meantime, to my American friends, have a happy Thanksgiving! 🙂