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October 12, 2004

NaNo NaNo!

NaNoWriMo is creeping up on us, and there's now a brand new website for this year's event! Ryan Dunsmuir has written five NaNo Novels and I think in this short FAQ answer (scroll down) he captures pretty well some of the reasons for doing it:
Now it's a habit.... November without a novel would seem empty, and I'd feel a little like I was missing out. There are always new people to recruit too, which can remind you just how totally ridiculous, yet amazing, noveling is. And if you've ever seen writers as the elite (as in, “how do they DO that? I could never write”) this is the perfect chance to crash their party. All you need is a looming deadline, some peer pressure/support, and lots of caffeine. The most important question to ask in order to reach your word count, and one of the hardest things for our goal-obsessed society to get a handle on, is not to ask what are you writing FOR, but ... what are you writing? You're writing a novel! How cool is that?
This will be my fourth year, and although I've never “won,” the experience has always been incredibly worthwhile. And it is like a habit; it's become one of those things I start thinking about and looking forward to when the weather starts to turn cooler, the days start getting shorter, the leaves change, etc. All of that might mean football and turkey to a lot of Americans, and it means that for me, too, but November is NaNoWriMo, and that's really the best of the fall things. In the same FAQ, Lazette Gifford, who apparently displays “freakish noveling speed,” has a great idea for how to be a NaNo winner:
I usually write an outline in October and tape it to the wall beside my desk. During November I mark off each section as I work through it. Outlines are like cue cards. They jog the memory and keep the story moving along without having to stop and wonder what to do next.
An outline!? I sort of thought that was cheating, but look, it's not (scroll down). Now I'm thinking: Brilliant idea! The hard part is figuring out which of the many different ideas in my head is really anything more than a scene or a short story. Some pre-thinking will be happening in the next two weeks and maybe that will be what I need to push me past the 30k or so words I usually stall at.

Posted 07:29 AM | Comments (5) | NaNoWriMo

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