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 Post subject: NaNoWriMo
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:20 am 
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I'm thinking seriously about having a crack at NaNoWriMo this year, as I've noticed that deadlines seem to be the most effective method of motivating myself to write.

Anyone here done it before? Or something similar? Any advice, or admonitions of insanity to share?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:28 am 
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I've done it three times now, and last year actually won. I'd say it's definitely worth doing as, if you engage with the community and the spirit of the thing, it forces you to write regularly and at length. Even aside from the obvious benefit of writing lots, it's quite inspiring to realise that you are capable of being prolific if you set your mind to it. Or so I've found. :)

Admittedly I've discarded two unfinished novels after finishing NNWM, but I've learnt a lot about plotting, structure, character development and so on each time. Eventually I'll produce something I want to finish, refine and try to get read. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:46 pm 
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Friendly gun, did you start with a plan? Or did you just leap in?

I haven't attempted NaNoWriMo (and circumstances aren't conducive at the moment) but I enjoyed Chris Baty's witty and inspirational book "No plot - no problem!". It nudged me to write some 50,000 words or so a couple of years back.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:04 am 
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I've NaNo'ed for the past two years, and (eventually) finished both novels. (Both now need editing.)

Personally, I found it immensly enjoyable. The idea that you can write anything, even if it's crap, is amazingly liberating. Giving yourself the space to just sit down and write whatever it is you want to write without worrying about whether anyone else is going to want to read it is fantastic. Actually, doing it back in 2005 is what convinced me to take writing seriously.

Back in 2005 I had no plan and didn't really know what I was doing from paragraph to paragraph. The freedom was really enjoyable but lead to a 250,000 behmouth that now needs slicing down to something reasonable. Last year, I Snowflaked a plan and that banished worries about direction and coherrance, which were far closer to the front of my mind.

This year I've done more planning and am planning to write a series of short stories. Once you get past the huge thing that is doing 2,000 words a day come hell or high water, NaNo gives you a fantastic oppotunity to focus and hone your skills of writing and, probably more importantly, planning.

Anyways, I'd tell everyone to have a go. It's what got me taking my writing seriously, so I can't recommend it highly enough.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:41 am 
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Mike: in 2005 I decided to participate two days before November kicked off, so only had the vaguest idea of what I wanted to do. I wrote and planned simultaneously.

For 2006 I was a little more prepared, and had established the core themes, characters, events, plot arcs of the story, including what I expected each chapter to involve. The last point there proved problematic and resulted in an often quite inorganic structure. Still, 'twas a learning experience.

I may have to check out 'No Plot - No Problem!' if it comes recommended - though then again, how does it differ from other 'how to write' books?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:18 pm 
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friendlygun wrote:
I may have to check out 'No Plot - No Problem!' if it comes recommended - though then again, how does it differ from other 'how to write' books?

It's really very different - because it's not about 'how to go about writing', it's more about 'how to get off your ass and actually do some writing'. There are lots of good tips for incentivising yourself - perhaps the best is to write a cheque for some painfully substantial amount (that will, however, clear) to your most hated political party, and entrust it to a friend, making them promise that unless you hit your word limit by your deadline, they have to post it.

Other advice includes limiting 'research' to something like 5 google searches a day, and only the first 3 links (or something). Also chocolate bribes were mentioned.

As you can probably tell, it's a pretty light-hearted book, but has some useful tips - especially if you're a born procrastinator like me!

Oh, in case anybody didn't make the connection, Chris Baty, the author, is the founder of NaNoWriMo.

No plot no problem at Amazon

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:43 pm 
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Mike A wrote:
Oh, in case anybody didn't make the connection, Chris Baty, the author, is the founder of NaNoWriMo.


Ah, so there's an element of NaNoSelfProMo? ;)

(Not dissing it, just couldn't resist the alliterative pun.)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:47 pm 
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I reckon he's a NaNoSelfProMoMoFo :wink:

Is NaNoSelfProMoANoNo?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:20 pm 
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Mike A wrote:
I reckon he's a NaNoSelfProMoMoFo :wink:

Is NaNoSelfProMoANoNo?


No, NaNoSelfProMoIsBoHoPoMo, Bro!

(We should probably quit now while we're ahead ...)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:06 am 
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Never tried it myself, though I know a few people who love it. I imagine it gets in the way of playing in Internet forums. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:48 am 
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That's the genius of it - it doesn't. All those threads you've been meaning to post on for ages but kept on promising to do tomorrow? You'll be amazed at how important they suddenly all become. You'll be amazed, also, at just how much making all those posts boots your creativity.

And then, in December, you'll be amazed you ever - even under influence of all that caffeine - believed all that crap. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:10 pm 
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Just signed up for this years. :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:00 am 
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I'm going to go for it this year too - my first attempt. (not signed up yet though!).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:55 pm 
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I'm in!

I've done it for the last two years and managed to finish too. I've enjoyed it enormously, both for the manic challenge aspect and the sense of community. Also, it's a good excuse to consume lots of sweets. :wink:

If you're on the site, buddy me! I'm sennydreadful on there too.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:56 pm 
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Signed up. Now hoping for minimal work/family crises in November!

As it will be a case of shoe-horning in the writing wherever, whenever, I'll be using my supremely portable Alphasmart Neo to hammer the words out. Outlining, note-making and pulling together will be done in Scrivener on my recently-acquired iBook G4.

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