Tuesday, 12 October 2010

NaNoWriMo Here I Come

With a big intake of air, and much stomach clenching, I signed up for my first NaNoWriMo on Sunday. I've been considering it for a couple of years now and decided that I needed to just do it and hopefully finish the month with 50,000 words. They may not be 50,000 publishable words but then that's not the point of NaNoWriMo; the re-writes can be done later.

There are pros and cons for spending the 30 days of November writing on average 1,666 words a day.

The Pros:
  • It will be a test-run for writing a novel.

  • I'll have written 50,000 of a novel.

  • I'll be joining a community of writers taking part and, hopefully, gleam lots of useful advice.

  • I'll have achieved something I never thought possible.

  • I'll feel good about myself.
The Cons:
  • I will need to write at 1,666 words a day or, taking a few days off, at least 2,000.

  • I will need to sacrifice certain activities to find the find the time, such as TV, housework, ironing, and cooking. Hang on, that could be a pro.

  • I will need my friends and family to understand they won't be seeing as much of me as they'd like.

  • I will need to cut back on my blogging time, severely.

  • The 50,000 words I end up with may be absolute rubbish.

I'm sure there are lots of other pros and cons I've not yet thought of, which I will quickly learn or readers will point out. But the biggest question now is what do I write? Here are the options I'm considering:
  1. Hear on Earth - a science fiction novel I started and stopped over 13 years ago.

  2. Seeds of Change (working title) - a science fiction short story I am considering extending into a novel.

  3. Two Novellas - a zombie western and a horror western.

I will let you know nearer the time which option I've chosen.

For those who have visited the NaNoWriMo website and watched the video on the homepage, if I were a tupee, I'd be William Shatners (watch the video and you'll understand). For those who have or are signing up, you can find me under the username of 'shatnerstupee'!

Have you done NaNoWriMo and/or are you doing it this year? What are you planning to write? What advice would you offer to anyone taking part?


  1. Ellie, you won't be alone. I've bitten the bullet too and decided to use NaNo as an ideafest for the sequel to Dreaming Death (Which I haven't even finished it yet) - instead of trying to rewrite it.

    It's going to be a massive challenge, but I look forward to it.

    Good luck!

    Pixie x

  2. Good luck to you my friend :)

  3. Congrats on taking the NaNo plunge! No advice from me. I don't plan on doing NaNo anytime soon. I'm a chicken. :)

  4. This is my third year doing NaNoWriMo, and hopefully my second year actually completing it.

  5. You go, girl! Best of luck with it. I have never done it so I have no advice, but I think you'll do great.

    And not doing the ironing is definitely a plus! Also, regards your other cons - short blog updates on your word count so far, once or twice a week, would suffice to keep your readers aware of what's going on. If the 50000 words you write aren't great, so what? You will still have achieved something fantastic, and have something you can work on and edit which is sooo different to staring at a blank page. Friends and family will understand. It's only a month, after all.

    Good luck!

  6. Good luck Ellie,
    It will be all good experienc e whatever the outcome.I shall miss you. Sniff, sniff, sob ;O)

  7. GOOD LUCK!!! I'm so excited for you!!! There are a few bloggie friends I follow who have signed up and I'm so super excited for all of you!!! GOOD LUCK!! I love your ideas!! And I am most intriqued about William Shatner's tupee...!!

    Take care

  8. Pixie J. King - yay! I have my first NaNoWriMo buddy. I'm glad we're biting the bullet together.

    Janel - thank you! There is always next year?

    Thom - thank you! That means a lot.

    Chantal - you sound like a pro! Can I pick your brains from time to time?

    Joleen - thank you for the great advice and morale boost; I really appreciate it.

    Madeleine - I won't be disappearing completely, I promise!

    Old Kitty - thank you! You such a good friend. If you watch the video on the NaNoWriMo homepage you'll understand about Shatner's Tupee. LOL.

  9. Yay another NaNo buddy! You'll never look back Ellie! Mainly because you'll have a big frickin' pile of words chasing you every day...constantly screaming at you, all wanting to be in your novel...then the voices start; the nagging, the doubt, the crazy ideas, the ones telling you to have a scene where someone says JAM! three hundred times just so you can up your word count!! GAH!
    Sorry about that, that's just old NaNo memories talking, pay no heed to the crazy man.

    Oh, and I vote for 'Seeds of Change' as I'm also going the short story idea into a novel route.

  10. I still haven't decided what to do. I'm at the beginning of a MAJOR edit that I really need to do - on last year's NaNo's novel. It's such a fun event - but it's not at a good time for me this year.

  11. It's all your fault Ellie. I have signed up too. November is my birthday so it seems apt somehow. So 'George and the Rabbit' will finally see the light of day.

  12. Steven Chapman - LOL. I love your crazy enthusiasm! And I've got another NaNo buddy. Yay!

    Jemi - go on. . .go for it! LOL. Sorry. I'm trying to trap as many people as possible into my NaNo buddy web. I think if I were at the same stage as you with my manuscript I'd feel the same. Go with whatever your gut instinct tells you.

    DanPloy - Oh, no. What have I done? LOL. I've trapped another writer in my NaNo buddy web. Seriously, that is great news!

    Amanda - thank you!

  13. I'm in with you. I started last year and got as far as 35,000 (although I didn't find NaNoWriMo till mid month so that was a valiant effort!) It was junk when I finished it - or rather, it turned out a lot darker than I had planned and wasn't at all what I wanted to end up with. And life got in the way.

    This year I have an idea and I have a structure and I think I might get something good out of it. What I don't have is an ending. I know how the ending has to come about - and vaguely what sort of thing it has to be. I just don't know what it is. Yet.

  14. I'm an ML for my region this year so I'm definitely taking part and really feeling the pressure to finish. . . but in a good way!

    I'm nycelle on Nanowrimo if you want to add me. Best of luck!

  15. Hey there,

    my first NaNo, too! Not sure yet what I'll be writing... I've posted a title /provisional novel info thingy, but I'll probably change my mind at some point. If you wanna be buddies, I'm Tessa C over there.


  16. Good luck, NaNo is so much fun! I participated for the first time last year, and I think I ended up with 62,000-ish words. I'm undecided whether to do NaNo this year or just concentrate on finishing the second draft of last year's product, which is still quite a mess. Decisions, decisions.

  17. I did it last year, and really enjoyed the experience. I didn't finish, but I got to over 30,000 words, which for me was nothing short of a miracle!

    There were days I just could not get any writing done because I was so tired after work, but on the days I really pushed myself I was surprised to find I could do 2-3,000 words. I loved getting the encouraging emails from the organisers, and also the knowledge that people all over the world were doing this challenge alongside me.

    Do have a wonderful time! Don't be intimidated by people in the Nanowrimo forums who claim to have reached their 50,000 words in the first 3 days or something equally ridiculous. And let us know how you're getting along when you have time to blog. x

  18. Woo! Go Ellie go! I've not done it before but I've heard loads of good things about it, and I know lots of people doing it this year. Good luck!

  19. I wish you the best. While I have not tried NaNoWriMo, I haven't written that much in the same time span. This month, my goal has been 1k per day, and I've been sticking with it.

  20. Good luck, Ellie! You are very determined, so I know you can do it!

  21. Fantastic, Ellie! I've thought about doing it, and may yet take the plunge but am keen to follow your progress whatever you decide. May your biro never be broken!

  22. MorningAJ - 35,000 words when you only started NaNoWriMo mid month is amazing! It does sound like you've got something good this year, especially having a structure in place. I need to decide which project I'm doing and then I can start planning. LOL.

    Ellen - yay! I'll add you as a writing buddy.

    Tessa - another newbie! We can prop each other up during the third week blues. LOL. I'll add you as a writing buddy. I must fill out my profile too.

    lizziviggi - 62,000? Wow. Good luck with the decisions!

    Joanne - thank you for the great advice. Listening to previous participants, it seems the taking part is just as important as winning. I'd love to write 50,000 words but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't.

    Talli - thank you!

    Theresa - well done on sticking to your goal! I've already decided that I'll set myself a daily writing goal and I'll be banned from my blog/internet/emails until I write it.

    Lisa - thank you!

  23. brokenbiro - go on. . .do it! It will be an interesting experience. LOL.

  24. Hi Ellie,
    Good luck. Sounds like you have a plan.
    Cutting back on housework and ironing aren't necessarily bad things. ;-)
    Donna Volkenannt

  25. irishoma - thank you! Yes. Less housework is always a bonus.

  26. I really exciting pro for me as well, is I get to wear my PJ's A LOT!!!! So glad you're joining in. And that we're going to be buddies. It'll be F.U.N. LOL

  27. RaShelle - I get to wear my PJ's a lot? Yay! The perfect excuse for not ironing! I'm thrilled we're buddies too.

    I've managed to get next Friday off work so that I can attend a regional NaNo meeting. I can't wait.


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