Tag Archives: nanowrimo

An inspirational NaNoWriMo Post

I have some open tabs on my computer right now, both regarding the town of Melmond, which I needed to research for my current WIP, that YA novel I’m always yammering about. But I thought I’d take a quick break and talk about NaNoWriMo for a bit.

Back in 2005, after I’d been in college for a year, I decided to give NaNoWriMo a try. Though I’d heard about it many times before, this was the first year I was going to attempt it. (The lead-up to this was that I’d read a bunch of novels over the past year, most of them children’s and young adult, while waiting for the next Harry Potter book to come out. Reading those books made me realize that I wanted to be a writer.)

I wasn’t cocky. I didn’t know if I’d actually succeed. I DID think I was a really brilliant writer, though, and that I’d probably only need to do one draft of my book before I needed to sell it. (This is terrible thinking and no one should think this.) The book I ended up writing was an adult novel. Down the line this novel would eventually lead me to Star Mackie and Hope Is a Ferris Wheel—that’s right! This was the Sixth-Grade Delinquents book.

I did not win. I got about… 25-30 thousand words in before November was up, though in my defense, November is a terrible month to have to write a novel, especially if you’re a student. Anyway, I failed, but those 30,000 words were my first 30,000 words on the way to being a writer. And I didn’t give up on my book, which, at 30,000 words, was not even CLOSE to being done. I mean, I did finish the first part. One part of four. Four parts total.

(I eventually calculated that, had I finished that novel, it would have been around 130,000 words. Before I finally stopped writing it, I reached 102,759 words.)

A little too much to handle for my first NaNoWriMo.

After that, I took it easy. I didn’t enter NaNo again while I was in school. Actually, that’s a lie. I think I tried it again my final year of grad school and failed. I got about 12,000 words in on that novel, a legit YA.

It was the year AFTER that, then, I think, that I finally won National Novel Writing Month. I did the bulk of my writing on this book, an older-MG/younger-YA, in the final week of November that year, and won with about thirty minutes to spare. Kind of terrifying.

Sadly, that novel I wrote was TERRIBLE! I shelved it, and didn’t look at it until last week, when I was reminded of NaNoWriMo again. I was surprised to find that the book started out pretty well before dissolving into meaningless drivel about three-quarters of the way through. I began thinking, “Maybe I can fix this,” instead of, “I want to light my laptop on fire.”

Anyway, if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you the best of luck! I am again attempting to use the month to finish my WIP, hence the Melmond tabs. I’ve got high hopes this year.

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Nanowrimo Update #2: Slacker Edition

I put off posting an update on my dismal, thankfully unofficial NaNoWriMo progress. I’m sure I’ve written a lot of words, but I’ve been deleting them over and over again. What do you do when you get to chapter two and everything starts falling apart?

1. Have an awesome writing buddy. (Mine is my friend Elysia, who was also one of the first readers of HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL. Elysia writes in practically every genre save for non-fiction and is incredibly insightful about writing in general.)

2. Keep bashing your head against the wall. With breaks, of course, because if you bash your head against the wall forever, then you’ll just end up killing yourself. But I’ve prided myself in writing every ding-dang day this week, even if it wasn’t productive at all and I ended up deleting those thousand or so words the very next day.

3. Have a playlist! To almost quote Madonna, “Music makes the plotlines come together.”

I’m not very good at giving advice, and I haven’t even crawled out of my chapter 2 hole yet, but I think these three points are pretty solid. I’ll let you know next week if they actually worked.


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Nanowrimo Progress Report: Week 1

I’m so glad I’m doing this unofficially.


CHAPTERS I HOPED TO HAVE COMPLETED: 2 (I’m setting the bar pretty low, and I still tripped over it)

TIMES I HAD TO STOP WRITING TO RESEARCH SOMETHING: 1 (This is practically my all-time lowest record)

RESEARCH WAS: Were LARPers around in 1990?

ANSWER: Yes (thank goodness!)



GOAL FOR NEXT WEEK: Get to chapter three, Robin!

WORDS TO LIVE BY: “Writing is like stabbing yourself in the face with a spoon.”

Alright. Back to writing.

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I’m not officially doing Nanowrimo this year, but I figured I would use the opportunity to get as far into my WIP as possible. I have an outline, and a rewritten first chapter (that needs to be rewritten again), and I made this amazing* mock-up to inspire me:

paper moon

I’ve officially done Nanowrimo a few times before, and only once did it result in a finished, 50,000-word book. The book sucked. And since I technically never deleted it from my hard drive, the book continues to suck. However, I’m really glad to have finished that piece of crap!


*not actually amazing at all


Filed under Art, Doodle, Writing