cu-kid9

NaNoWriMo?

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So, I asked this question last year and got a sort of, "This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of" response. However, since this is one the largest writing contests in the world, I thought I'd find out if anyone else was participating this year. I'm doing the same thing I was last year, going back and forth between not wanting to do it and considering it. I have no plot, only a vague idea of characters (I don't even have names yet...), and only two days to get it all together.

50,000 words in 30 days? Yeah, may not happen this year.

I won last year and thought that the only thing I would get was a purple bar on my NaNo stats that said "Winner!" and a little certificate with my name and story title on it. This apparently is not the case! I received an e-mail not too long ago with instructions on where and how I can get a proof copy of my story printed - for FREE! I don't know about anyone else, but to me, this is awesome. Since this was my first year winning, I don't know if they do this every year or not.

So...? Anyone else gonna go for it?

NaNoWriMo

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I won last year, too, and I'm definitely doing it this year. It'll be hard with all that I have going on, but at the very least, I can try. I'm actually going to write the second part to what I did last year, so that'll save time on plot and I haven't had a lot of time to work on that story lately, so it's a good excuse to start it up again.

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Well, I'm going for it this year. :) I've been a longing observer for a while now and this year I decided it was time to get off my butt. Though, 6 days in and I'm already totally behind. Heh.

But I'm giving it a shot. I usually write short pieces and I'm the type to pick away at something for years, so this is a big departure, and I don't know if I'll finish or not. But I think it will be good for me!

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Guest MortiferLascivio

I was thinking about doing it for awhile. I mean, 50,000 words in thirty days is completely doable where I stand. Hell, I wrote 100k plus words in less than a month before. I just don't think I'd have time to write for that, write for my writing class and fanfic and stuff all at the same time. XD

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Well, I'm going for it this year. :) I've been a longing observer for a while now and this year I decided it was time to get off my butt. Though, 6 days in and I'm already totally behind. Heh.

But I'm giving it a shot. I usually write short pieces and I'm the type to pick away at something for years, so this is a big departure, and I don't know if I'll finish or not. But I think it will be good for me!

Yay!! My first attempt was two years ago and I fell woefully short of the word count. However, it was because I went about it the wrong way entirely. Instead of just sitting down and letting everything flow, I kept going back, changing things, editing, fretting over who was going to do/say what next - not the way to finish 50,000 in 30 days! You have to just let it all spew, tell your inner editor to take a hike because you will write the most godawful prose and be damn proud of it!

I won last year and learned a lot about myself and my writing in the process - like, though Anne Rice may have been able to write Interview with a Vampire in five weeks, there's no way my NaNo is likely to get published without some serious re-writing >_< Also, I thought I was only capable of twenty-thousand word stories, but I found out I did indeed have enough stuff in my head to pull off 50K. And the rush you get at the end when you get that "You Won!" e-mail is totally worth it.

Don't fret over your word count - I'm like four or five thousand words behind where I should be. But it's only the first week. I'm sure by this time next week I'll have found my niche and will be doing two thousands words/day...heh...I'm hoping, anyways o_O Still can't find my plot...wish I remembered where I left it *sigh*

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I've never heard of this. What is it exactly? The main site is a little... vague. It sounds interesting from what they put up, but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Like, do you have to do a grand total of 50k words or can you go higher. Or, what can you put in the story. If they're leaving it up to your imagination, then I'm in trouble cause I have a huge imagination. I don't even have enough time to ask all the questions I want. It's been a week, so I don't know if I could make it... unless I stayed up every night and actually be productive. Still, it sounds fun... from what they say.

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NaNoWriMo is a writing contest, but more for personal gratification than any sort of reward. Yes, you can write more than 50K and you can write about whatever you want - I even think fanfiction is allowed. Did you look at their FAQ page? I think a lot of the things you'd want to know are there: NaNo FAQ

Playing catch up might be hard, but you never know!

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I guess it's worth a try. I've had an idea for a story for a while now, but haven't actually gotten anything down yet. I've been wanting to write it, but never actually set a time to do it. It's only a basic outline. No names, a few character outlines, a little history of the world, and some ideas for fighting techniques. All of it's rather incomplete, but at least it's a start. And I'd have to push myself which I haven't done, but that's what this is for. I hate deadlines, so this might be good for me. *hopes he does well* :)

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Yay!! My first attempt was two years ago and I fell woefully short of the word count. However, it was because I went about it the wrong way entirely. Instead of just sitting down and letting everything flow, I kept going back, changing things, editing, fretting over who was going to do/say what next - not the way to finish 50,000 in 30 days! You have to just let it all spew, tell your inner editor to take a hike because you will write the most godawful prose and be damn proud of it!

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm trying to do. And it is coming out pretty damn badly, lol. But it's good for me, because it helps me feel out the plot and the structure. I'm not very good at plotting either so I usually stick to a single scene. I decided I'm not even going to make an outline or prepare at all, just see where it goes naturally.

But even if I DO finish it in time, it probably won't be fit for anyone to read for another six months. :)

Um. And I hate dialog. Hate it. Is it bad that I call myself a writer but I avoid dialog like the plague?

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Um. And I hate dialog. Hate it. Is it bad that I call myself a writer but I avoid dialog like the plague?

Not really. I was the same as well when I first started writing. I never felt like the dialogue was real. I mean, it didn't feel right when I was thinking, writing, and reading it. I also had the problem, and still do, where I didn't know what to write between the dialogue. You know, like: "Hey, man. How's it goin?" It was an ordinary question, but Billy knew something was wrong. His friend George only said, "Hey. It's okay." But when I had the same thing happen when I was first starting I didn't know what to put and ended up with a 'he said, she said' type thing. And like I said, I still do it at some times, but before it was almost all the time. Then there's the problem when it's only as short as that example, when it could've been a paragraph long dialogue like in some fantasy novels. A perfect example of that would be like in The One Tree by Stephen R. Donaldson or any of his Thomas Covenant Chronicles. But I specifically remember The One Tree because there was a time when the First Master(if I'm remembering correctly) talked about their culture, and it went on for like 4 to 6 paragraphs long. The paragraphs were also at the very least 50 words long.

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Um. And I hate dialog. Hate it. Is it bad that I call myself a writer but I avoid dialog like the plague?

Wow. And apparently I can't spell either! *hides under a rock*

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Yeah, that's exactly what I'm trying to do. And it is coming out pretty damn badly, lol. But it's good for me, because it helps me feel out the plot and the structure. I'm not very good at plotting either so I usually stick to a single scene. I decided I'm not even going to make an outline or prepare at all, just see where it goes naturally.

But even if I DO finish it in time, it probably won't be fit for anyone to read for another six months. :P

Um. And I hate dialog. Hate it. Is it bad that I call myself a writer but I avoid dialog like the plague?

I'm terrible at plotting and my story is all over the place right now. I have no real beginning, a tiny section of end, and some middle stuff that may or may not stick around in the final draft. I've been feeling rather bummed about it because it's so scattered, but a friend of mine gave me some "day in the life" exercises to do. They've been really helpful for fleshing out those characters that are not so central, but still kind of important. And...they pad my word count >_<

I agree with puffykaoru. I suppose it just depends on the reasons you avoid writing it. For some, dialogue comes naturally and is really easy to write. The rest of us just have to agonize over it. I always feel like I write corny dialogue and spend a lot of time reading it aloud (when I'm alone, of course >_<).

But during NaNo, don't worry about it. Write all the he said/she saids you want. And if your characters sound more like ogres with brain damage instead of elves with silver tongues, that's okay; it can all be fixed in December >_< For now, just get it all on the page.

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Guest pixala

I got around to attempting it this year. Well, I'd hoped to, but thanks to real life, there's no way I'd manage the 50,000 words. Although I'm not doing too bad so far. I've got about 3-4,000. Which I'm pretty proud about, since I'm a slack writer. Hopefully I'll get to finish it, but I can't see it happening.

:P

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Hey all,

I've done the NaNoWriMo thing sometimes its just the motivation need just to get some words on the paper, or screen in some cases.

Has anyone else noticed the trend of NaNoWriMo stories becoming excuses for poor writing or lack of thought or even worse no sense of editing what so ever!

I'm not bashing the practice of aiming for a word count goal. I think a lot of great writing has come of it and its a great way to combat writers block. However, I think that if you're going to do it for a second or third year maybe you should consider upping the anti... not just in word count but in quality.

Write your daily count, get the juices flowing, and then go back and tear it up to find the good bits.

I know that even my edited stories have bits of crap still laying around (worshipping the beta god) so I can't even imagine why some writers use NaNoWriMo as an excuse to post unedited or unfiltered work.

I agree with cute-kid9 when he/she says just to get in on paper first and then worry about editing it later, but I don't think that leaving it that way until december is a fantastic idea either.

Pel, I totally understand what you're saying about Dialogue occasionally being awkward. The best thing I've found to fix that and read it out loud. Sometime when you hear it out loud you find so much of the crap that you missed, and you get a real feeling for a natural conversation. Also, this may be kind of creepy but just listen to conversations you have with different people in your life. Imagine talking to your friends or a stranger. Consider the difference between how you behave and talk at a job interview versus your best friend since preschool when you talk about your crush , versus your parent when you know you're in trouble. It'll help give you a feel for interaction. Just keep working it. All writing sucks at the begining. Think about how badly you wrote in the second grade "I like my dog Bob. He poops on the carpet. Mom gets mad". Really bad but back than it was brilliant. Everything comes with time and practice.

Well those are my thoughts.

-Jet

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I agree that there are many people out there who shouldn't post their NaNo work without a few serious rounds of editing. These people, I think, don't understand what NaNoWriMo is about. You write the crap and then you clean it up. But for the love of God, don't show it to anyone before you've edited it!

But if you're editing it while you're writing it, you're kind of missing the whole point of NaNoWriMo. The point isn't necessarily to write something you can immediately post when it's complete at the end of November - it's to get everything in your head out. Too many of us get bogged down in the editing process or listen to our inner editors whispering nasty put-downs in our ears. During November it's not supposed to be fit for anyone to read (that's why they say not to show anyone what you're working on). I also think the point is to kind of show how the novel writing process works. You don't just write something and bam!, it's instantly fit for consumption. There are re-writes upon re-writes. Judging from some of the things I've seen around AFF and other sites, there are many people out there that don't understand the concept of drafts (and I won't lie, I'm one of them - I write it, make sure there are as few grammatical errors as possible, and then post it).

I see people who have written 100K+ words by the end of November and it boggles my mind. I struggle to make my word count on a good day and fall behind the rest of the time. To those people I say, yeah, you could probably take the time out to edit while you're writing. For the rest of us, just keep the word count goal in mind and don't worry about trivial stuff that can be fixed later. So you've used the same word over and over in the last three sentences - so what? You can pick up the thesaurus later. So you're story is riddled with passive voice - don't worry about it! I do this even when writing stories that I'm working on outside of the contest - I just get the words on the paper, the thought I had right then. I'll worry about making it sound pretty later.

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Guest Nikkular

I must join in on this. NaNoWriMo is honestly the best thing I could have ever done for myself. The first year I failed miserably because I couldn't turn off my internal editor, I would keep rewriting the same paragraph because I thought it wasn't good enough... that's not the point of NaNo though. I won last year, barely. All I did was type. I did not use that backspace key, and i tried to ignore very obvious grammical mistakes. Another thing for that, is if you get stuck and dont know how to finish a scene, just write a quick note saying your stuck and move to the next scene.

Sadly yes, NaNo novels are MUCH harder to edit. I went through it a few times, deleted pointless scenes, added new ones, and now a friend of mine has it and isn't going light with that red pen.

It's worth it so much though. I've been trying to write that novel for years and never could get passed the half way mark. Now it's done. Fully written. I'm so excited to get it sent out to publishers, can't wait for my first regection letter XP

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I must join in on this. NaNoWriMo is honestly the best thing I could have ever done for myself. The first year I failed miserably because I couldn't turn off my internal editor, I would keep rewriting the same paragraph because I thought it wasn't good enough... that's not the point of NaNo though. I won last year, barely. All I did was type. I did not use that backspace key, and i tried to ignore very obvious grammical mistakes. Another thing for that, is if you get stuck and dont know how to finish a scene, just write a quick note saying your stuck and move to the next scene.

I failed my first year, too, because I was trying to write like I "normally" write - chronologically and editing as I typed. The next year I realized how sort of freeing it is to just write and write and write and not look back (even if what I'm writing at the time makes me feel particularly nauseous >_<). During November the backspace and delete keys don't even exist for me, which makes my inner control freak/perfectionist/editor curl up in a tight ball and whimper in agony.

I'm so excited to get it sent out to publishers, can't wait for my first regection letter XP

:lol:

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