Have You Tried NaNoWriMo?
1. Yes, I tried it before.
24.1% (7)
24.1% (7)
2. No, but it sounds interesting.
37.9% (11)
37.9% (11)
3. No, and it sounds boring.
17.2% (5)
17.2% (5)
4. Other.
20.7% (6)
20.7% (6)
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Poll: National Novel Writing Month Has Begun!!!

Once again the time has come for NaNoWriMo! National Novel Writing Month takes place from 12 AM November 1st to 12 AM December 1st. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel over the course of the month.

I've been doing this since 2013. Like most people I've never actually finished the 50K march. Many do. Hundreds of thousands of people across the planet have finished their novels each year. This year I'm going to, too. *squares shoulders defiantly*

One interesting thing about NaNoWriMo is that there is no prize offered for doing it but millions of people sign up to participate every single year. It's the sense of striving towards the goal and--for many--the accomplishment of fulfilling their dream of writing a novel that drives people.

Many people return each year to continue the very same novel they worked on the previous year. At the other end of the spectrum there are writers who are so prolific that they not only hit the 50K word count mark in a few days they go on to write millions of words over a single month. Apparently there are men and women out there who can put down 30K to 50K words in a single day. Scary. <_<

Has anyone here ever completed NaNoWriMo?

Never heard of it!
I do like the idea though, it's a pretty good achievement to sit down and write an entire story. Even if it's terrible It's still something you've made.

I find it an interesting idea, but it's never really fit into my schedule. I tend to be a slower, more methodical writer. That said, as I practice I have gotten better at writing quickly: my best so far was this summer where I wrote 22,000 words in two weeks, which isn't far off NaNoWriMo pace. I can't quite fathom how some people have the stamina to put out 10k+ words in a day!

I've wanted to try it for the past 2 or 3 years, but I spend too much time thinking about plot and characters and not enough time writing

but this year I already have a world and characters and stuff to write about
so hopefully it all goes well

I know the official goal is 50k words but I'm trying for 30k first, it seems a more realistic goal for me

I'm not going to write any more novels until I manage to persuade someone to read one of the several I've already written.

Humblebrag? Possibly. Fact is, though, I have no problem churning out words, NaNoWriMo or not, I just have trouble churning out words that don't make people (including myself) catatonic with boredom. I wrote a 35,000 word novella in 8 days once. Literally not one other person on the planet read a single word of it, because it was a pile of cataclysmic garbage. My aim these days is quality over quantity. And I must be doing well, because I haven't written a word in years.

Hmm, now I'm depressed.

JoJo:
I find it an interesting idea, but it's never really fit into my schedule. I tend to be a slower, more methodical writer. That said, as I practice I have gotten better at writing quickly: my best so far was this summer where I wrote 22,000 words in two weeks, which isn't far off NaNoWriMo pace. I can't quite fathom how some people have the stamina to put out 10k+ words in a day!

Back when I wrote for a hobby and had no life I could punch out 5K words/day effortlessly. I occasionally put real effort into it and once wrote 11K words in one day.

As for the quality of the writing...well, I can't recall because it was back in the 90's, but I do know it didn't suck. :D

Buffoon1980:
I'm not going to write any more novels until I manage to persuade someone to read one of the several I've already written.

Humblebrag? Possibly. Fact is, though, I have no problem churning out words, NaNoWriMo or not, I just have trouble churning out words that don't make people (including myself) catatonic with boredom. I wrote a 35,000 word novella in 8 days once. Literally not one other person on the planet read a single word of it, because it was a pile of cataclysmic garbage. My aim these days is quality over quantity. And I must be doing well, because I haven't written a word in years.

Hmm, now I'm depressed.

My big problem was an inability to plot stories. Then, while doing a formal research paper which required an upfront Summary and had to follow Rulz A through Z, something clicked and I suddenly understood "plot" and story building like I never had before.

Which led to me quitting writing for over a decade. Weird, huh? I guess the "thrill" was gone because I'd "figured it out". Now, by contrast, I'm writing less for fun and more with an eye towards putting groceries on the table so getting into NaNoWriMo helps to get me back in the mood of writing.

Measuring by amount of words is kind of really dumb. I am reminded of a book I read that had alot of words but said nothing with them.

I mean, what if it is just repetitive? What if it is just saying the same thing over and over? I dont like when it is similar words saying the same thing without making a new point. A point we already heard before, ya know? Its really annoying and tedious and boring and dumb and stupid.

Saelune:
Measuring by amount of words is kind of really dumb. I am reminded of a book I read that had alot of words but said nothing with them.

I mean, what if it is just repetitive? What if it is just saying the same thing over and over? I don't like when it is similar words saying the same thing without making a new point. A point we already heard before, ya know? Its really annoying and tedious and boring and dumb and stupid.

Ha-ha-ha-ha!!! You actually hit the nail on the head---for some writers!!!

There have been a lot of comic strips done about NaNoWriMo that touch upon both quality and quantity.

image

image

image

Heard of NaNo month, but never attempted it. There's little point in me spending a month writing 50,000 words for a story that's going to be rejected at the end of the day. On ff.net, I've only got four complete stories over 50,000 words, and that's with the benefit of being able to rely on a pre-existing setting, and being able to do it over a much longer time period at my own pace. Certainly have admiration for those who do attempt it though, not to mention those who succeed.

Basement Cat:

image

What's funny is that approach does somehow work for Lemony Snickett in 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'. 0_0

Yeah, sharing a similar sentiment here that length seems to be an arbitrary element, if not outright damaging. I'd much rather spend a month developing a really solid short story than padding out a 50,000-word pile of crap. To me it's no better than those damn page limits on college essays. If you can explain something or tell a story succinctly enough, then just do that.

Gibbagobba:
Yeah, sharing a similar sentiment here that length seems to be an arbitrary element, if not outright damaging. I'd much rather spend a month developing a really solid short story than padding out a 50,000-word pile of crap. To me it's no better than those damn page limits on college essays. If you can explain something or tell a story succinctly enough, then just do that.

Sure, but the point of NaNoWriMo is to encourage people to start a project, and then finish it. That's all there is to it; quantity comes first, and if there's any quality in there, that's a bonus. Obviously it's not for everyone, but for a significant chunk of people who have novel-writing ambitions simply proving to themselves the can see a substantial product through to the end is a significant and encouraging step.

Buffoon1980:

Gibbagobba:
Yeah, sharing a similar sentiment here that length seems to be an arbitrary element, if not outright damaging. I'd much rather spend a month developing a really solid short story than padding out a 50,000-word pile of crap. To me it's no better than those damn page limits on college essays. If you can explain something or tell a story succinctly enough, then just do that.

Sure, but the point of NaNoWriMo is to encourage people to start a project, and then finish it. That's all there is to it; quantity comes first, and if there's any quality in there, that's a bonus. Obviously it's not for everyone, but for a significant chunk of people who have novel-writing ambitions simply proving to themselves the can see a substantial product through to the end is a significant and encouraging step.

Eh, I don't know. If encouragement is the idea, then it really would be better to start with a simpler goal. You don't climb a mountain on your first hiking trip.

Basement Cat:
Apparently there are men and women out there who can put down 30K to 50K words in a single day.

Doesn't mean that what they wrote is worth reading though. XP And if they really crapped out a 40K novel without any planning at all then I almost guarantee it's gonna be pure trashcan fodder.

Arnoxthe1:

Basement Cat:
Apparently there are men and women out there who can put down 30K to 50K words in a single day.

Doesn't mean that what they wrote is worth reading though. XP And if they really crapped out a 40K novel without any planning at all then I almost guarantee it's gonna be pure trashcan fodder.

Given that well over half a million people complete their "books" every year I figure it's a given that most of them aren't any good.

But Buffoon has the right of it:

Buffoon1980:

Sure, but the point of NaNoWriMo is to encourage people to start a project, and then finish it. That's all there is to it; quantity comes first, and if there's any quality in there, that's a bonus. Obviously it's not for everyone, but for a significant chunk of people who have novel-writing ambitions simply proving to themselves the can see a substantial product through to the end is a significant and encouraging step.

The core purpose of NaNoWriMo isn't to produce literature that will last the ages. It's to serve as both a motivator that provides a time window where millions participate and which offers contacts with an encouraging social group. There are regional groups all around the US and abroad which gives participants the opportunity to correspond and even meet each other.

Think of it as a massive, world wide club that anyone is welcome to join. One that provides personal support and the opportunity to meet and great others like them.

The NaNoWriMo site has an extraordinarily active number of forums. And unlike the Escapist those forums aren't likely to ever die--NaNoWriMo is too big and too popular and there are always aspiring writers learning of it and joining it.

My wife did this last year. I'm not sure that she accomplished her goal at that time, but at some point between then and now she finished it and has submitted it. I believed it served as an excellent motivator for her.

Why was this stickied? This is just a normal thread.

OT: Yeah, I've done it, it was easy!

image

I've been trying for years and never made it. Normally I peter out before the 10 thousand word mark. That said, I might cheat and build on the story I started last year, if only to get something done.

It annoys me because my sister in law, who is a full time doctor, manages to beat it every year - and I'm supposed to be the one good at writing.

For the curious, it's going to be called Totem.

It's about an alien couple who are doing one last big, high risk cargo job before they retire and die. Unfortunately for them, their valuable, dangerous and probably illegal cargo has caught the attention of the deadly pirate queen, Captain Efe.

I've never gone in for this, but I used to do the 30 character challenge. 30 character sketches in 30 days. Might not be as hard as NaNoWriMo, but it can still be challenging, especially if you set yourself some additional goals (a certain level of completeness to the sketches, color, traditional vs. digital, etc.)

thanks

I would love to maybe, one day write a novel or some such, but that would be something I'd do in my free time over a year or several. Writing an entire book in just a month is way out of my ability. I kind of envy those who have the ability and drive to do such a thing, but I'm fine working at my own pace.

Interesting. This might be the motivation I need to get that novel done! Then again it looks like it might involve socialising with people, so I might pass...

[EDIT]

To anyone who's done it, do you have any tips

I had a crack today to see what number of words I could put down in my free time in a day. Roughly 1,000 words in my 1 hour train trip to work. Not bad, but probably not up to NaNoWriMo level.

While the word count's never been a problem for me - I can churn out 8k a day if I'm loose, 4-5k if I'm actually trying to edit - I like planning, prepping and world-building my stories too much to fit it all into a single month, and I'm always far too busy in October to pre-plan properly.

On the bright side, I've almost finished a rough draft of a novel, so... no real stress for NaNo anyway. Gonna be stuck editing that mess for a couple of months at least, might just churn some stuff out for NaNo for a little fun.

After more than 25 years spent trying to be a writer and only ever getting worse at it, I finally quit last year and haven't looked back. So NaNoWriMo can go fuck in the "off" direction.

What- me, bitter?

 

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