For the last few years I have heard of an event called National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo); never really checked it out to see what it was about until now.
It’s a little intimidating to sign up for an event where you agree to write 50,000 words (yep, that’s 50 thousand words); You will be writing a novel in November 2014. I think that works out to be about 1,667 words per day. But when you really think about it, a review of some of the popular blogs online today run around 745 words in a post. So think of it as making 2 posts per day with a few more words added.
Actually, I am more than a little terrified to do this but I am going to give it my best effort. I believe I have recruited a couple of other people to join in with me this time too. Will you join in the NaNoWriMo writing event this year? http://nanowrimo.org
Having a book in progress, I thought that I would use that for the event and to also get it finished. After spending some time in the NaNoWriMo Forum, I am reconsidering and going to start from scratch as they suggest.
Heather Dudley, one of the admins at the NaNoWriMo Forum states:
I strongly recommend all first timers complete the event by the book their first time. Yes, you can rebel (and literally any question asked on this website can be followed by “but you can rebel and do it your own way”) but you miss out on the free abandon and challenge that comes from doing the challenge the way it was designed. You only get ONE first NaNo, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can write a book anytime, but for NaNoWriMo, you have to write it in a month! There’s nothing quite like it. Many veterans rebel and continue or edit during November, but honestly, if it’s your first event? Do it by the book. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. When you have a lot invested in a WIP, it may not be a good choice for NaNoWriMo. Finish your WIP, or set it aside, and then start something new November 1.
Heather makes a lot of sense in this suggestion and I do plan on following her suggestion which means I need to get to work on planning a new book (participants can plan and outline before November) but no writing until November 1, 2014.
I don’t normally write using an outline but I do plan characters, story lines and situations that I will weave into my stories from notes I have made. I’ve heard that a lot of writers feel that their creativity is inhibited when they tried to work using an outline.
Some fellow writers and I were talking about the different writing techniques we use and I was sort of amazed how different writers are when they work.
I have notes all over the place of thoughts that come to mind that may not seem related in any way to what I am working on but eventually I seem to find a way to work those random thoughts in.
One writer commented that she wrote in a linear fashion but she had ideas that she eventually lost because they did not belong in her story at the time, so she did not make notes. I believe that is possibly a terrible loss to a story. I do hope that writers, in whatever way they write will start making notes of anything that comes across their minds. It may not go in this book, but you will find a place for it at some time.
I would love to know if you plan on participating in the 2014 NaNoWriMo event. My “Create Yourself Writing Workshop” would be a perfect place for you to join and get the motivation on doing something different than you have ever done before. I believe there are 4 members from our group who are going to write in November.
What better way to start something new; with people you already know and will receive support even in these 3 months before we start?
Some tips to get started;
1. Decide on where you will work. Preferably in a place that you do not have to pick up and put away each time you finish for the day.
2. Decide on what method of writing you will do; by hand or computer.
3. Once you decide on a writing preference, try to stick with it and not change around. It will only frustrate you and put you behind.
4. Take frequent breaks so your mind and eyes can rest and you can start again refreshed.
5. Most of all, “Never give up.”
As a little gift to you, I have provided lined sheets for you to print out and start your writing with a number of different pictures of your choice. Just click on the one you would like, save it to your computer and print it out to write by hand or use on your computer to start your writing project.
There are so many different options when you start writing; A journal; A 3-ring binder; A computer using basic word processing software or using writing software, such as Scrivener which is available for PC and MAC. Scrivener gives you a 30 day trial but the cool thing about this software is that it doesn’t count 30 days straight. It only counts actual usage time.
yWrter5 is also another word processing program for writing that is free. Both of the software programs will be a great help with chapters, scenes and characters to keep them straight, especially when you start working towards a goal of 50K words.
Some people have used Evernote as their writing tool of choice but I do agree it is somewhat limited in terms of keeping chapters, story lines, characters and time lines in order so you are not leaving any gaps or holes in your story. Evernote is a perfect tool for keeping research notes and ideas. I suggest trying it, as it may work for you.
So are you going to take that step and enter NaNoWriMo 2014? Let me know so we can all support each other. Join my writing workshop group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/CreateYourselfWritingWorkshop Feel free to download and share any of the journal pages I have provided above to make your notes and thoughts to get ready for your new adventure.
Writing Prompt: A foster child terrifies their foster family. Powered By: Writing.Com
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Don’t Excuse Yourself Out Of The Success You Want – 2013-2014 (c) Monna Ellithorpe
Scrivener which is available for PC and MAC (aff) http://amzn.to/1qGkiPi
yWriter5 (Non-aff) http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html
Evernote (Non-aff) http://evernote.com/
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