Showing posts with label national novel writing month. Show all posts
Showing posts with label national novel writing month. Show all posts

Friday, November 10, 2017

NaNoWriMo: It's Not Just for Novels

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

We are almost at the midway point of National Novel Writing Month

November is that time once a year where seasoned and wannabe authors around the world commit to writing an at least 50,000-word novel. NaNoWriMo.org has a place to log word-count, as well as forums and live and virtual events for community and inspiration. It's all about getting the words on the page without overthinking and self-editing throughout the process.

I am all about setting goals, productivity, and community. And I love National Novel Writing Month. Anything that gets people writing, and supporting each other, is fine in my book. But, if you are not a novelist, or even if you are, there are other ways to participate and get to the 50,000 word count. In fact, there's an "other" category for novel genre.

Use NaNo to write:

1. A non-fiction book
2. A screenplay, teleplay, or stageplay
3. Creative non-fiction

A series of
4. Blog Posts
5. Poems
6. Short Stories
7. Articles
8. Essays
9. Interviews
10. Songs

You can do the mix and match approach. A little of everything til you get to 50,000 or even 25,000 words.

The first draft of anything is the most important, yet most difficult, first step. Once you have words on the page, you have something to revise and refine. Then, the real work starts!

It's not too late to sign up for this years NaNoWriMo. And, then, of course, there's always next year.

* * *

What do you think? Are you participating/have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? What kind of project? How does NaNo work for you or how do you use NaNo? Feel free to also share your NaNoWriMo profile link in the comments. And if you want to connect with me, my username is coastbunny.


* * *


Post and report on weekly and monthly goals on the Write On Online Facebook Page. Join the Write On Facebook Group for ongoing community and support.


* * *

Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group

She is author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, and host of the Guided Goals Podcast.

Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Monday, November 3, 2014

What I've Learned from NaNoWriMo


For those of you who don’t know about NaNoWriMo, it’s an event that takes place in November every year.  Hundreds of thousands of dedicated writers all over the world each pledge to write a rough draft of a novel (at least 50,000 words) in one month.  That’s almost 1700 words per day:  a serious commitment and an exhilarating one.  I wrote my first Nano novel in 2009, starting at midnight November 1 in my pension in Znojmo, Czech Republic.  I wrote all the next day on foggy train rides in South Moravia, the perfect mysterious setting for writing my tale.

I now have five Nano novels under my belt.  It’s a great experience and I highly recommend it.  Here are some things I’ve learned from NaNoWriMo that can apply to all writing, not just crazy novel-in-a-month challenges.

1)  Have Concrete Goals and Record Your Progress.  “Write a novel this month” doesn’t work as well as “Write 1700 words today.”  During NaNoWriMo, I update my word count daily on Nano’s cool website so I can get a visual of how well I’m doing.  It’s really motivational.  You can create similar charts on your own, with spreadsheet graphics, other computer applications, or simple paper charts above your desk.  The very act of physically marking off your progress (or realizing you haven’t done the work to allow you this satisfaction) really helps.

2)  Band Together with Other Writers. In Nano, depending on where you live, you can join regional groups that host in-person planning sessions, parties, and write-ins throughout the month.  Even if you don’t have an active regional group, there are virtual write-ins and word wards (where you compete to write the most words in a set time limit).  NaNoWriMo forums are fantastic places to go for inspiration or to do research for your novel.  Ask what arsenic poisoning feels like, or how much beer costs in Germany, and you’ll get answers.  It’s amazing.  In non-NaNoWriMO life, writers’ groups are just as important.  I am and will be eternally gratefully to my writer’s critique groups, who not only help me become a better writer and catch my stupid typos, but who motivate me to write, write, write, so I can submit regularly. 

3)  Lock up your Inner Editor.  When you’re trying to get a story down on paper, try not to re-read and edit as you go.  It slows you down and may kill your inertia once you get going.  I used to edit a lot as I went.  Every time I sat down to write, I’d go back several page sand re-read and edit before I started writing.  Sometimes I’d run out of time or creative energy and never get to the actual writing part.  In Nano, if I wanted to reach 50,000+ words in 30 days, I couldn’t afford this, so I would open up my document, read maybe two paragraphs, and then start writing. And my rough draft wasn’t as rough at the end as I supposed it would be.  Now I try to implement this “just get it down first” style of writing even when I’m not in a time crunch.

4)  Plan Plenty of Time to Revise Later.  My first NaNoWriMo novel is in print and available.  I’m querying my second to agents.  But my third, fourth, and fifth?  They’re in the trunk, not completely finished and mostly unedited.  What I’ve failed to do is commit as much (or more) time to polishing these novels as I did to writing the first drafts.  They say, of course, that writing is 1/3 of the work and revising is 2/3.  So plan for this and don’t let your drafts languish in Rough Draft Land.

So this year I’m not writing a novel during NaNoWriMo.  Instead, I’m rewriting and revising a trunk novel—still in 30 days, still a huge challenge.  And though I’m a little sad not to be writing something new, I’m excited about readying my old work for public eyes. 

It’s not too late for you to start Nanowrimo:

If you want to read my first NaNoWriMo novel (on sale now in honor of Nano), here’s the Amazon link:  Far-Knowing 
Far-Knowing is also available at other major online bookstores.



Melinda Brasher loves visiting alternate worlds through books and exploring this world through travel. Check out her newest article on Go Nomad:  “Hunting Mushrooms in Wallachia.”  For some free short fiction, read “Stalked” on On the Premises or “A Learned Man” on Electric Spec.. Visit her online at melindabrasher.com

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

November Writing Challenges

Next month, I will be participating in Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) http://taralazar.com/piboidmo/ and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) http://nanowrimo.org/.

Registration for PiBoIdMo starts October 24. You can sign up now for NaNoWriMo. Both events are online and start November 1 and end November 30. Winners are eligible for prizes. See each website for details.

PiBoIdMo began in 2008 by children’s author, Tara Lazar. Her book, The Monstore, was released in June of this year by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Chris Baty started NaNoWriMo in 1999. His book, No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days, is a recommended read for NaNoWriMo participants. 

This will by my first year for PiBoIdMo. This is my second year for NaNoWriMo. It will be a challenge trying to do both!

Will you join me?

Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is working on her first children’s book.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Prepping for NaNoWriMo


The Muse Online Writers Conference recently ended. There were many workshops to choose from to help you be a better writer. The workshops were also helpful for NaNoWriMo participants. Some of these workshops included topics such as: research, dialogue, characters, tension, creating fantasy worlds, and point of view. (Mark your calendar for next year’s conference, which is October 7-13. http://themuseonlinewritersconference.com/)

Some of the things I have been doing to get ready for NaNoWriMo:
 
-Writing down ideas for my novel/outlining for my novel/outlining

-Cutting photos from magazines

-Downloading lists and forms from various writing websites 

-Downloading novel writing software

-Talking to my writers group 

-Stocking up on food, beverages, and lots of chocolate 

-Making homemade meals to fill the freezer 

-Perusing books on fiction writing 

I also have a zippered binder filled with paper, pockets, dividers, etc., where I keep hard copies of anything I want to save. It’s my story bible (something I learned at the Muse Online Writers Conference last year). 

Will I make the 50K word minimum before the deadline? Will I survive NaNoWriMo? Will I write a best-selling novel?

How about you? 

What are you doing to prepare for NaNoWriMo? 

Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is currently working on her first children’s book.



Friday, August 3, 2012

My Journey to Publication

My Psychedelic photo, simply because I like it


 My tween/YA science fiction, "Relocated," has just been published by MuseItUp Publishing, and I've published the book of poems, "Sand in the Desert," I wrote to go along with the book through CreateSpace in print and kindle formats.  How did I get here? Good luck, working at my craft, a father who insisted on proper grammar, and some level of ability.

I've written poetry as far back as I can remember. I kept it in a series of spiral notebooks that accumulated in my attic, wrote cards for holidays birthdays, co-workers leaving the office, and the occasional small newsletter. Along about 2005 I wrote a poem I wanted to keep, so I scrounged around online and ended up putting them in Yahoo briefcase (online) as I had too many computers to keep them on just one

That December I was reading an ezine I liked and discovered they had a poetry. I believe the theme was 'sleep',  I  had a poem to fit it. Since it was handy (read online),  I sent it in, and the poem was one of four runners-up., I didn't win.

But they published all four of the finalists, and I was psyched. I joined a couple of online communities and started working on my poetry. In one of them, I ran across someone who was starting a small print poetry mag (since died, I believe). He liked and published a couple of my poems. That was early 2006. I found out about "The Muse Online Writers Conference," (free, online virtual conference) and "attended" that October.

There I "met" Linda Barnett Johnson. Linda runs writers forum, and she insisted that her students join both fiction and poetry forums. Poetry alone was not an option.

At  that point, I'd never written a word of fiction (at least, not since elementary school ), and I would have sworn I never would. However, I liked Linda, and I wanted to join the poetry forum, so I signed up. I started writing for children, as that felt less intimidating - and shorter. As a poet, I was a terse writer, and generating sufficient word count worried me. My first story ended up published online. It was a *long* time until I placed another, but thus encouraged, I continued to write fiction.

Many years ago, a family friend lost his wife and all four of his children in a house fire. This incident had haunted me ever since, and one weekend I wrote a 5000 word book in which the main character, a nine-year-old boy, lost his mother in a house fire. I couldn't change my friend's outcome, but in my fictional world, I could.

I spent the next year and a half or two years whipping it into shape. Although I have (and had) a good ear for language and a solid knowledge of grammar, I knew little about structuring a story. I set out to learn about plotting, characterization, dialogue, setting, points-of-view, and, yes, more grammar. I joined a critique group and took the ICL basic course. I hung out on Writers Village University and took their free fiction course and a couple of others that proved extremely helpful. The story was accepted for publication. It won't be out until next year.

Fast forward to September, 2010. I am a huge science fiction fan, but I'd never written a sci fi story -- I had kind of a phobia about it -- so I decided I'd do Nano (National Novel Writing Month) that November, and began to plan my story.

I devoted most of my time and energy to world building, a bit to thinking about the characters, and devoted about  a page to the plot. Then I started writing. I heard about an online editing workshop given through Savvy Authors. Through Savvy, I connected with a publisher and submitted the manuscript. It was rejected. They liked it, but not enough to publish it. I worked on the manuscript, including strengthening the ending. That June, I pitched to Lea Schizas and she accepted it.

Backtrack to November 2010. Robert Brewer runs a chapbook challenge on his PoeticAsides blog. I wanted to participate, so I created a poet to go with the universe of the novel and wrote 31 of his poems that November. I used eight of the poems in the novel, as I worked studying the poems into the plot.

"Relocated" has just been published by MuseItUp Publishing I  brought all the poems out as a book, which I self-published through CreateSpace.
.
You can find Margaret Fieland on her blog, http://www.margaretfieland.com/ or on the Poetic Museling's blog, http://poetic-muselings.net/


Also check out these excerpts from Relocated on the publisher's blog: http://museituppublishing.blogspot.com/2012/07/relocated-excerpts.html

Enhanced by Zemanta

How Authors Can Learn to Love Amazon

 I get ideas about stuff to talk about in unexpected places. I assume that is not unique to my writing experience, but today something poppe...