Dramaquill's All Things Writing

October 28, 2014

Pros and Cons of Nanowrimo

For those unfamiliar with the term Nanowrimo, it stands for the National Novel Writing Month.  It’s an online challenge for writers who’d want to jump start their next project (or this year, complete a work in progress).

The goal of Nanowrimo is to write 50,000 words during the Month of November.  That averages out to approximately 1660 words per day for 30 days.

I’ve participated in Nanowrimo a couple of times but have yet to cross the finish line with a total of 50,000 words.  So does that mean I failed the challenge?

PROS:

1.    You write something everyday

2.    It develops a habit of writing daily.

3.    At the end of it all, you have a large chunk of writing done.

4.    You meet people online and in your area who are also doing the challenge.

5.    You gain new contacts

6.    There are lots of motivational articles to get you through the month.

CONS

1.    You have to make the time to participate

2.    When you’re finished you may just end up with 50,000 words of horrible writing

3.    For those who like to edit as they go, that’s a no-no with Nano.  This will drive some writers crazy.

As I see it, the Pros outweigh the Cons so why not give Nanowrimo a try?

For more information (and to register and participate for free):   http://nanowrimo.org/

Happy Nanowrimo!

December 6, 2011

Nanowrimo aftermath

 
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Well it’s been nearly a week since Nanowrimo (the national novel writing month) ended and participation in the event has given many writers a rough draft of a new book or at least several thousand words toward such a project.

Did I win by writing 50,000 words?  Nope!  But I still won by participating.

Nanowrimo forced me to get back to working on my sequel suspense novel and because of the discipline of having to write something every day in November, I now have some 17,000 more words added to my book and a much clearer understanding of not only my ending, but also the areas I will now revise and rewrite to make the book its best.

Did I participate in Nano this year in hopes of finally winning with 50,000?  A part of me would have liked to have achieved such a lofty goal.

Am I disappointed that I didn’t cross the perverbial finish line so to speak?  Absolutely not!

All writers know that writing is a solitary job.  Having the discipline to stick with a long project like a book manuscript requires isolation from others (both online and off) and a real commitment to sitting down and fleshing out the story.  With all of life’s distractions, getting ample time to finish such a project can be extremely difficult.  Nanowrimo provides just the push that I need, especially at a time of year when life is busier with the impending holiday celebrations.

Thanks Nanowrimo for another great year!  You kick-started my first novel which definitely helped me on the road to having it published.  Hopefully, my sequel won’t be far behind.

November 2, 2011

Nanowrimo…And we’re off

 
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November is Nanowrimo month – a time where published and aspiring novelists vow to write approximately 1600 words/day for the entire month of November.

What’s the payoff?

Fifty-thousand words in a month’s time. This can be a great start to a new novel or the chance to complete a book that’s already been started.

I fell a little short of my goals yesterday with 1,163 words on my suspense novel, Amorous Obsession, but I did a lot of planning/plotting so I’m still happy with my progress.

And…I also wrote a few more pages on my pirate musical (sadly they don’t count in my Nano total LOL)

To participate in all the action:
http://www.nanowrimo.org

Happy writing!

October 18, 2011

Will you be participating in Nanowrimo?

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I can’t believe it’s that time of year again – Nanowrimo time.

November is Nanowrimo month – a time for writers to dedicate themselves to writing 50,000 words on a new novel or WIP, with the help of the *free* Nanowrimo organization. Check out the website, sign up, find your region to connect with other writers and prepare to write and write and write.

My first novel, published in September 2010, was a direct result of the Nanowrimo process.

What are you waiting for? Go sign up…now!

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

October 11, 2010

When Love Won’t Die – my suspense novel is published!

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As many of you know, I signed a contract back in February for my first suspense novel and after months of editing and revising, it’s finally available for purchase.

My novel, “When Love Won’t Die”, is currently in e-book form and available from Red Rose Publishing at this link: 
http://redrosepublishing.com/books/product_info.php?products_id=649

In a month or so, it will also be available from Amazon.com, on Kindle, Mobipocket and other e-reader formats.

For every writer out there who never thought it could happen to them I say, “Never Give Up”!

It took nearly three years of edits and revisions from critique groups, a professional author and finally, my amazing editors at RRP to see this project through to its completed form, but it was all worth it.

I’m currently working on two other suspense novels and hope to have them both published when the time is right.  First, I need to complete both of them and then get some critiques.

Never send anything out until you know it’s your very best writing.  Be tenacious and never give up.  Hard work truly does pay off.

I’ve also guest blogged about the entire process at Warwick Life Strategies:
http://www.warwicklifestrategies.com/long-haul

***If you need a jump-start to your novel, why not try Nanowrimo this November?
http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Become a fan of Jacqueline McMahon’s writing on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=894970174&v=wall&ref=notif&notif_t=share_wall_create#!/pages/Jacqueline-McMahons-Writing/115755788486062

October 30, 2009

November is Nanowrimo

Filed under: Writing — dramaquill @ 1:54 PM
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Okay everybody, this is my pep talk to those of you who keep saying you want to write a book but you just don’t have the time…

November is the perfect month to get cracking on that new manuscript or finish one of those files tucked away in a drawer somewhere.  Most people are through with vacations, the weather is heading toward winter and it’s darker out for longer each and every day.

But the best reason to get writing in November is a wonderful, FREE online event called NanowrimoParticipants vow to write each and every day, approx. 1500 words, for one entire month. 

And guess what?

By the end of November, you can have logged in at least 50,000 words toward a new book or to finish an existing manuscript.

I’ve done Nanowrimo twice before – the first time I did 37,000 words, the second time only 16,000, but, because of the push to write everyday, I wrote more than I would have without participating.

This year I WILL finish my second adult suspense novel during Nano.

Check it out.

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Why not sign up and give it a try?

November 23, 2008

Nano’s not working out the way I thought

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As writers around the globe continue to scribble out page after page of their novels for the Nanowrimo challenge, I sit here, looking at the verbiage I’ve accumulated and wonder how any of it will ever become a book.

I have to question whether or not my decision to abandon my first idea and jump into a different one was wise after all.  I could feel the adrenaline rush as I planned out my suspense novel ideas, but I’ve spent the first three weeks of Nanowrimo doing character sketches, plots and sub-plots and starting the first chapter over several times.  I had already done this pre-nano work on my chicklit nove.

I’m definitely not going to end up with a huge word count.  In fact, I’ll be nowhere near the 50,000 word goal set out by the contest.  But I’m okay with that…I think.

I have spent a lot of time working out this new book.  I think I’ve come up with some neat twists in my plot and I also think my protagonist will appeal to today’s readers.

So I’m not going to look at my Nanowrimo participation this year as a complete failure.  Yes, I would have liked to accomplish the 50,000 word goal. Yes, I would like to have the better half of a first draft of a novel under my belt. 

But I have to be realistic.  It’s just not going to happen.

So, with the last week of Nanowrimo reving up, I’m just going to continue immersing myself in what I have so far and see if I can build my momentum until I end up with at least a good chunk of work. 

I’m not posting my word count until the final day.  I haven’t even checked it, to tell you the honest truth.  I want to be surprised.

I hope everyone’s Nano experience is leaving them with something positive. 

Any writing is better than no writing at all…right?

November 11, 2008

Serious Nano doubts?

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So, it’s November 11th and I finally did some character sketches and plot lines to kind of map out where I’d like to go with my new suspense novel.

But it’s November 11th and I haven’t written one word yet…yikes!  Now, I’m not making excuses but I’m moving my business to a new location and unfortunately that’s taking priority over my time at the moment.  So, instead of keeping my butt glued to my chair and my eyes riveted to my computer screen, I’ve been painting, packing, moving things, cleaning etc. etc.

I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who signed up for the big event and for whatever reasons just haven’t been able to actually get cracking on that book.  Life definitely can get in the way, can’t it!

So, am I giving up for this year?

Not on your life.

But it’s going to take some real dedication now to get myself anywhere near the 50,000 words.  Last year I only made about 36,000 so I’ve decided that first of all, I need to set a realistic goal.  I may not make the 50,000 and I’m okay with that.  (Well, not really – I’m very competitive).  So, I’m going to shoot for exceeding my 36,0000 words from last year by at least another thousand.  If I write 2100 words/day from now until the end of the month, I can conceivably do this.

So, here’s what I’m going to have to do to achieve my goals:

1.    Omit 1 hr. of wasted time every day (like TV or surfing or emails)

2.    Stay up an extra 30 minutes (I work well later at night)

3.    Bring my writing to work so that I can do it on unexpected breaks

4.    Get ready faster in the morning and snatch 30 minutes before I leave

5.    Focus…focus…focus

You can do it!

If you’re having serious Nano doubts, don’t give up.  Even some writing on your book manuscript will be better than none at all.  So go for it!  Let’s see what we can all accomplish by November 30th.

November 4, 2008

A Nano 360

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So, Nanowrimo started November 1st.  I made sure I was all signed up and had my book ideas gathered together.  I’d even made some preliminary character sketches for a YA chicklit novel.

So we’re on day four of Nanowrimo and guess what?  I can’t get into this book at all.  Nope – not even a little. 

What’s a writer to do?

I never seem to have a lack of ideas so I’m making a complete 360 today and deciding to work on a second suspense novel called Dear Aunt Jane.  It began as an attempt at a short story years ago but I truly believe that to properly tell the tale, it should be a book so that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m already feeling that adrenaline rush of excitement as I search through old files and folders for my background notes.  I’m already plotting for the long haul of a book and chopping up the short story version.  I can feel my protagonist pushing me to get writing her story.

Will I make the 50,000 words by the 30th?  Who knows.  I realize I’m not about 6,000 behind schedule but it doesn’t matter.  My creative juices are over flowing with this switch so “thank-you” Nanowrimo for pushing me down this path.

Am I worried about the YA chicklit book never getting finished?

Nope.

I know, when the time is right, I’ll tackle that one.

I just really feel drawn to the suspense genre right now and maybe that’s because of the months of revisions I’ve been doing or maybe it’s because I just ordered a new Mary Higgins Clark/Carol Higgins Clark book.

Whatever the case, Nano, here I come.

November 1, 2008

NANOWRIMO – today’s the day

Filed under: Creative writing,nanowrimo,Novels,publishing,Writing — dramaquill @ 7:01 PM
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So I see the WordPress site has an abundance of blogs about Nanowrimo.  And I’m one of those who have opted to try to finish 50,000 on my new book in the month of November.

I haven’t checked the stats on the number of participants doing the “nano” event this year but my guess is that it’s extremely high – at least that’s how it feels as I try to log onto the site again and go to my area’s forum and see how the meet up went this afternoon.  (sadly, I was unable to attend due to work).

It’s an exciting day for a lot of writers, that’s for sure.  I’ve seen posts on numerous listserves, all exuding energy and the adrenaline of the starting line up in some sort of race.  I can hear the words, “and they’re off” echo in my head as I read post after post boasting word counts or ideas about books to come.

Is anyone else having trouble navigating the site like I am?

I would like to go and post my word count, but I can definitely wait until things die down.  The whole point is to write anyway, isn’t it?

So to all of you who are participating and keeping your eye on the 50,000 word prize, good luck, break a leg and happy writing.

Now, where’s my coffee?  It’s going to be a long night!

October 22, 2008

Nanowrimo help

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Does the idea of writing a complete book (or at least 50,000 words) in one short seem unbelievable difficult?

I’m sure that’s the reason many writers do not participate in Nanowrimo during the month of November.  Some will argue that they don’t work that way – scratching out more than 1500 words/day.  They worry about the quality of the writing.  Remember folks, this is just a first draft.  Chris Baty, Nano organizer and originator, isn’t claiming that by writing 50,000 words in a month, you’ll have the final, polished manuscript needed to attract a publisher.

Other writers just don’t believe they have the time to discipline themselves to write every day for a month on the same manuscript.  After all, they probably have full-time jobs or freelance projects that must take priority over this indulgence.

Well for those of you deciding to take the plunge, here are some resources that might help you prepare.  Remember, you still have 10 days.

Obviously, having an idea for a book is a must.  Hopefully you have a basic plot scratched out and your main characters picked and named. 

This year, I decided to try a genre I’ve never worked in before:  Chicklit.  I think I have a story that could be appealing to YA readers or adults and Nanowrimo will give me the kick in the pants I need to see where I can take this one.

So now that you’ve picked your genre, plot and characters, let’s see what else can help you realize the goal of creating this new manuscript in the month of November…

Check out these books listed at amazon (most likely you can go to your local library to get them if they can’t be delivered in enough time to read them before Nano begins)
http://www.amazon.com/NaNoWriMo-Help/lm/R2Q9ZSHG5SH5KK

Here’s a great blog with some useful info:  Nandini’s Niche
http://wendelin.blogspot.com/2004/10/nanowrimo-help.html

This novel help document is from the Zokutou conference in the UK.  It’s an interesting chart, giving you lots of avenues to explore.
http://www.zokutou.co.uk/tools/novel_rescue_matrix.doc

Here’s a site that has some brainstorming ideas with Nanorwrimo writers in mind.
http://www.wrimos.net/

Here are the basics for a successful Nanowrimo.
http://webstuff4writers.com/five-must-have-resources-for-nanowrimo/

Check out this article on character.
http://writeanything.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/nanowrimo-workshop-character/
and this one on POV
http://writeanything.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/nanowrimo-workshop-point-of-view/

Use the next 10 days to get organized and most of all to get psyched into achieving your Nanowrimo goal for this year.

Good luck!

October 18, 2008

It’s NANO time again

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I guess I really must be a writer.  I can’t imagine a day without writing something.  It’s right up there with breathing, sleeping, and of course, coffee.

I just got an email from the Nanowrimo organizers, reminding me that Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Event) will begin November 1st.  For those of you who remember, I did my first Nano event last year and managed about 36,000 words (if I remember correctly).

Now considering that I’ve tried to immerse myself in the Muse free writing conference this week, and still have a full-time job, extra curricular groups and a life (sort of, LOL), I wondered whether or not I should just let Nanowrimo pass this year.

Nope – can’t do it!

I’ve been waffling on a book idea for a couple of years now, but never seem to sit down and do more than scribble a couple quick points into a notebook now and then.  But, if I were to do Nanowrimo, I could actually work on this new book and see where it goes.

Yep – that’s all the persuading it took.  I’m registered and anxiously awaiting the start of this year’s Nano experience.

If you’ve got a book in you that you’ve always wanted to write, and I think almost everybody does, then why not sign up and try the Nanowrimo challenge for the month of November.  Even if you only write a few thousand words, it’ll be more than you’d likely do if you didn’t participate in the Nano event at all.

So here’s my challenge to all of you who want to write a novel.  Get thee to the Nanowrimo site, create a username and password, and register yourself for a crazy ride as you try to complete 50,000 words by Nov. 30th.

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Hope to see you there!

December 4, 2007

Nano aftermath

So Nanowrimo’s officially over for another year.  I had so wanted to complete the 50,000 and was totally motivated to do so.  At the end of week three I got sick and was in bed for a couple of days.  Let’s call that Setback #1.

Three days later, my dog had some kind of breathing attack and I had to take him to the vet.  Days of testing and piles of money later, the news is devastating…rare form of cancer.  Doesn’t seem to be anthing else our vets can do here.  Definitely Setback #2.

Now, writing seems furthest from my mind and even if I wanted to, I can’t seem to pick back up into the story at the moment.  Setback #3.

So I stalled at almost 33,000 words.

But I have to look at Nanowrimo in the most positive of light:

***I wrote 33,000 words in one month! 

***I have a huge start to a new novel. 

***I’ve made some new, local writing friends.

November 26, 2007

What do you do when?

Drat!  As luck would have it, just when I was finding a real rhythm to surge ahead with my Nano novel, I got sick.  Having spent the past few days fighting a fever and eventually succumbing to much needed bed rest, I have missed three days of writing opportunity on my nano book.

I already knew the last week of November was going to be tough with a drama presentation to prepare for and some other writing projects, all with “end of November” deadlines.

It looks bleak that I’ll make the 50,000 now, but I’m not giving up.  Whatever happens, I’ve written a ton this month on a project I doubt would have ever gotten off the ground because something else always come up and gets in the way.

I’m inspired by those who managed the 50,000, whether for the first time or who continue to do so annually. 

I’m definitely doing nano next year.  In fact, I already have the novel picked out from my book of ideas and scribbles of inspiration that I keep on hand to jot down moments of creativity.

So next year I’ll be writing “Quick!  Pass the Chips.” 

But for now, cheer me on as I try to sprint ahead even a little more on my suspense novel, “Losing Charlotte.” 

I wish all the Nano participants great, long episodes of creativity this week and the stamina to write…write…write…

 Yay, Nanowrimo!

November 23, 2007

I may not finish but I’m giving it my all

Despite a couple of bumps in my Nanowrimo road, I’m back on track again and churning out a new section of my suspense novel.

At close to 30,000 words, I’m feeling pumped.  Has there ever been another month when I’ve written 30,000 words on the same project?  On multiple projects?  Until Nanowrimo, I never really thought about it but I suspect this is a record for my 3 week participation.

Will I finish the 50,000 goal?  

I hope to.

Will I be disappointed if I fall short?

Well, maybe a little bit.

But I can’t say enough how great the Nanowrimo PUSH feels.  And I haven’t spent nearly as much time as I would like to writing this book.  Imagine, if I can get to 30,000 words with an hour or two of writing time each day, what I could accomplish if I continue this disciplined focus on writing from now on.

I can’t wait to get back to revising my first suspense novel that’s getting ready to go out the door but now I have a new project to keep me busy once I’ve subbed it out.

So thank you Nanowrimo, for giving me the jumpstart to realize how many words I can get down on paper if I just believe I can do it.

Anybody finished yet?

Let’s hear from all those Nano hopefuls and those cruising through the final stretch.

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