November 6, 2011

NaNoWriMo: week one

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 3:50 pm
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As previously mentioned, this is my first time participating in NaNoWriMo, the month long writing challenge.

Here are a few things I’ve learned so far:
– Even with the pressure of a ticking clock, it can be hard to start the story. I learned not to beat myself up about the word count on day one, and just let the story come at its own pace. Once I got a solid start, it was easier to continue writing. I made up the words on day two.
– Stats make everything better. Seeing my word count trickle in every day, and having that graph telling me how far I’ve gotten, and which date I’ll finish on if I continue in the same pace, is genius.
– Rewards are important. The ticking clock and the accountability of a website are great ways to get you going, but sometimes it’s nice to have some carrot with that stick. I got to see the original Psycho at the cinema once I hit 10000 words. It was amazing.
– Friends are more important still. I’m always a fan of twitter, but for the past week, I’ve fallen in love with the 140 character community. Plugging in and seeing little messages asking me how it’s going, or telling me that I can do it, or that they’re there with me, is a tremendous help. Seriously, check out #NaNoWriMo on twitter.
-There’s a certain freedom in not having time to edit. I’m a slow writer. It took me three months to write 20K on my novella. In the past week, I’ve written 11K. In one week. For me, that’s close to impossible. I don’t know how much editing will go into this manuscript once November is over, but letting the story flow without worrying too much about sentence structure or getting all the hints in just right is not only liberating, it’s downright fun. I’ve let go of the reins and I’m watching my characters go wild. And I’m loving every minute of it.

What have you learned from NaNoWriMo so far? How is it going for you?



  1. It’s going well for me. I’m not having problems with my daily goal. My characters have reached the end of the story as I knew it, so I still have thousands of words to watch where they go. Like you, that’s the fun part. Hope the ideas keep rolling for both of us! Robin

    Comment by Robin Hawke — November 6, 2011 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

    • That’s great! I think we can do it, but stop on by if ever things don’t roll as easily. I’ll try to give you a push, or a pull, or a virtual shoulder to cry on. Whatever works. πŸ™‚

      Why not look me up on twitter? I’m martinemonster.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — November 6, 2011 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

  2. I’m so not making my goal. I’ve gotten 4500 altogether. Boo for me but I’m having fun.

    Comment by Laura Rahimi Barnes — November 7, 2011 @ 3:14 am | Reply

    • Having fun is at least half the point. More importantly though, you still wrote 4500 word in a week. A WEEK. That’s great! Keep it up! πŸ™‚

      Comment by nascentnovelist — November 7, 2011 @ 11:14 am | Reply

  3. I’m twitter dumb, what’s your NaNo handle?

    Comment by Robin Hawke — November 7, 2011 @ 9:26 am | Reply

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