Friday, December 2, 2011

Storyteller's Journey

     A Newbie's Nod to NaNoWriMo

It goes without saying that to complete the required 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo takes more than a lot of writing - a good bit of discipline and organization are helpful as well! Prior to commencing with the manuscript madness I decided to do some research, make an outline, and develop my characters. This was extremely helpful; all went well until I finished my MG draft with only 32,000 words to show for it! After that I had to begin a sequel; with no outline or research done - I had severed the tie to any kind of prepared writing - and was free writing! Since I am a type A person, this was extremely disconcerting. The funny part about it was that some of the text was - as I had expected - horrible. However, some of the text was brilliant. What I learned from this unexpected turn of events was that I need to loosen up a bit; allow some spontaneity to season my writing.

For any of you truly sane writers out there who have never plunged into the National Novel Writing Month pool... a few suggestions:

1- Do it! At least once. It will give you a glimpse at what it takes day in and day out to be a professional writer. During the month of November my average daily word count was about 2,000 words. Stephen King writes at least 2,000 words everyday...everyday!
(Is that really what I have signed up for?! ^_^ I think so.)
2- Aim for writing between 1,800 and 2,000 words instead of the basic 1,667. If you do that you will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving - without writing! I actually took two days off, and finished two days early. Aiming high lessens the stress - that way you can concentrate on writing, and not word count.
3-Prior to November - Prepare by doing your research, making an outline, and, if you have the time, doing an in depth development of your cast of characters. Knowing your characters really well is a great way to create an idea if writer's block should set in.
(Or you miscalculate your outline! ^_^)
4- Finally, join a NaNoWriMo support group. I participated in two FB groups during the month of November. In both groups, the members have bonded so much that we are all going to continue networking throughout the year - discussing things pertaining to writing, and also just as a place to say hello to friends.

After taking a few days off to recover from the intense typing I'll start some more research for my tentatively planned MG series, and then do a rewrite of my WIP.
Congratulations to all those who participated in NaNoWriMo!


  1. Way to go Dear! i'm so proud of you for accomplishing NANOWRIMO, and great job on sharing your experiences with this post.

  2. Lol! Good for you doing this! Yay!