Thursday, October 15, 2009

You Tell Me: Why NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is upon us once again.

Only 16 more days to get in your present shopping! Or... whatever it is one does before NaNo. NaNo tree? Manuscript carving? I've got nothin.

I've never participated in this great event, but almost all of my writer and blogger friends have and call themselves addicted. I'm not entirely sure why.

Is it a jump start to a new project? An exercise to get the juices flowing for a month and recharge? A way to crank out a for reals novel?

You tell me: Why do you love NaNoWriMo or Why are you participating for the first time?

As a curious bystander, I want to know what all the fuss is about! :)


SJDuvall said...

For me, I'd say it's about accomplishing something. No excuses, none of that "I have work, I'm tired, I have homework" crap. I use that all year. I, in fact, haven't written a novel all year. I've worked on things here and there, but I have definitely not written a novel. It's sad, and therefore, I decided that I need to push myself, set a goal that not only I know about.

Amanda Acton said...

I've never done NaNo before, but I'm attempting it this year.Firstly, because I'm crazy. Secondly, because I'm crazy.

Truth be told, I'm still trying to find myself as a writer. My Children's MS I did this year has given me the "I suck" headache and I just need to "unwind" and try something different.

Yes, I know, most people wouldn't consider NaNo a way to unwind, but for me, its about letting go, completely and entirely. It's about Quantity and not Quality, therefore, you HAVE to destroy the inner editor and just GO! After all, 30 days isn't a helluva lot to write 50k words. :P

In a nutshell? Total immersion in your craft. :)

Oh, and Pre NaNo activities include finding ideas, drawing plots out, getting to know characters and planning NaNo parties with fellow crazies :P

Scott said...

For me, NaNo was the jumpstart for a new project . . . and the realization that I was capable of pounding out a 50,000 word rough draft in 30 days. I wrote the story from beginning to end in 30 days. Yes. I. Did.

For me, it was an exhilirating experience.

So, whenever I start a new project I normally give myself 30 days and 50,000 words for the rough draft phase because . . . well, I know I'm capable of doing such a task.

BTW, I wrote the rough, 50,000 words of one project in . . . two weeks. I was totally obsessed, and lost weight because I was barely eating. Ah, those were the days when my clothes fit loosely! Sigh!


Anonymous said...

You get to tie up your inner editor and toss him/her/it into the closet, ignore the muffled screams and write elegant, flowing prose while hopped up on caffeine for a month.

Afterwards, you let the Editor out, and discover that none of the words you wrote make sense.

That said: I cannot WAIT for it to start!! EEK! *giggles*

Tere Kirkland said...

I participated in NaNo last year right around the time I finished a first draft of my last novel, which I trunked for being way, way too long, and impossible to trim down. So I thought NaNo would be fun, just to switch gears and stop hating myself for wasting seven months on a book that will probably never see the light of day. Out of that came the first half of EVANGELINE, and while I didn't reach my 50K word count goal, I like to think I still won. ;)

I realized that I'm a writer who edits too much as I write, which is part of the reason I'm pushing myself to finish my current wip's first draft before NaNo starts. I am trying to get myself into the habit of cranking out a first draft and then giving it time to sit, and I hope NaNo will help.

Rebecca Knight said...

Okay, I have to admit... the total immersion sounds pretty sexy :).

This is very interesting! Great points about having an attainable goal to kick start yourselves.

I'd love to hear from anyone who's already working on a novel who is stopping everything to do NaNo. I know you're out there ;). What's in it for you?

(Also, welcome New Followers! So glad to have you!)

Abby said...

I've never participated either and won't be participating this year. Too much craziness in my life to add one more thing. :) Sounds like an good way to learn how to write your first draft without editing though.

Iapetus999 said...

My first year I had no idea...I just liked the idea of creating a new story. I had no plot or outline before I started, I just started writing Nov 1. The story I came up with was terrible.
The next year I did a little more planning, created a new adventure for the same characters, and came up with a much better story.
This year I'm creating a new story, but I'm planning the beJebus out of it. I've got nothing to do but plan, plan, plan 'til then.

It will be interesting to see how it turns out.
The reason I do it is it forces my creativity up to 11. I just come up with crazy scenario after crazy scenario, and it all seems to work.

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

For me it's the challenge.

Without Nano I wouldn’t have started seriously writing. I found out about Nano back in October 2007 about a week before it started. Something struck a chord and decided to give it a try. Came up with an idea and went to town writing. Discovered how much liked writing, letting my imagination take flight. Amazed myself.

I think Nano is a great idea for inspiring folks to write, plus helps form a habit. A habit is supposed to take two weeks to form, right. The habit stayed with me most of the year, except for writing 1600 words a day.

I’m joining in for a third time and loving the creative process, the brainstorming. NaNo works well for folks who need a deadline and work great under stress. Plus by the end of the month, you have 50k words or more that hopefully make up a passable story. Most of all its a challenge. And sometimes you just have to step outside that box and challenge yourself.

Plus putting that internal editor in a box for the month, writing free flow - awesome.

Annie Louden said...

This will be my 6th year (started in 2004), and I'll probably never stop doing NaNo. I've won every year except 2007 (wasn't really trying), so it's a very doable thing. You just have to keep writing.

For the first 4 years I did no planning and just started at midnight and wandered around for 30 days. Last year I continued by 2005 novel, and this year I'm going with the ideas from the 2007 novel but starting over. And I will outline this time and keep planning as I go. I've done NaNo enough to know that writing w/out really thinking produces drafts that are nearly unworkable.

But mostly (sorry this is so long), I love Chris Baty and all the Office of Letters and Light people and just the energy you can feel happening, everyone all hyper and excited in the forums, and I just love it for the event that it is. Chris's pep talks are hilarious, and there are author pep talks too. And NaNoVideo this year! Gah! It's so much fun!

christine said...

I am participating (and have in the past), because there it is just so freeing - writing with no editting for 30 days. Yes, I spend Dec/Jan polishing...and yes it is a little crazy. But it is also fun.

Now this year I am having a serious problem coming up with a plot! SO I may back out. But for now, I'm in. So I am madly finishing reading the mss that have stacked up (should be done next week with them), I'm finishing the current WiP and then it is full steam NaNo!!!

Michelle Gregory said...

not participating this year, but i have a soft spot in my heart for NanoWrimo because it got me writing for the first time in years. 53,000 words gushed out of me in 17 days. in the end, i had a novel i could be proud of (after 3 more drafs and a lot of editing!).

Kat Harris said...

I'm nanoing for the first time this year.

I decided to do it because I feel stuck in a creative rut, and I'm hoping this will give me a little incentive to snap out of it.

good luck this year!

coffeelvnmom said...

I'm doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, but mainly because I'd never heard of it until I began writing a few months ago. My inspiration for doing it is because I've had another idea in my head for a while now, and I've been reluctant to start the writing process on yet another story when the one I'm currently working on has been so time-consuming.

I'm hoping that the satisfaction in the end of seeing my idea completed (hopefully), no matter how rough the draft may be, will keep me inspired to continue with that story as well.