2 November 2009 - 10:27 pm

Kicking off NaNoWriMo

Wheee. Well, it’s 2nd November and I’m way overdue with a post about this. My poor chronicle of my writing activities is sadly lagging behind my reality.

As many of you will know, November means NaNoWriMo for writers. Crazy wordthrashing for one month out of the year, possibly resulting in a manuscript to spend the following 11 months editing before you start it all over again. It’s nuts, it’s fun, and there’s a great community that get involved.

Needless to say, I’m doing it this year. And as for the past two years, I’m also MLing (ML = Municipal Liaison = crazy person who not only tries to write a novel in a month, but also organises events and competitions for the local writers also involved). Thank goodness, I have some solid help this year and don’t have to do it all myself.

So, of course, we got all ambitious and have arranged all kinds of things. Goodie bags for giving out to writers. Sponsorship from local business to get prizes for the competitions we want to run. Two (or more!) write-ins a week. I was even interviewed on the local radio! (Terrifying, by the way, and thankfully not live.)

That’s one reason why the last couple of weeks have been nuts, as I’ve been trying to do my part in getting all of the pieces together. That, and a family reunion at which I was expected to show my face a lot around work and other commitments. Oh, and I had to keep up the Apocalypse Blog posting.

The good news is that it’s all working fine. We had the big Kick-Off Party on Saturday (I had to do public speaking and wrangle 50+ slightly loony writers) and an astounding write-in yesterday. Everything seems to be falling into place. I haven’t missed an AB post and am set to never miss another one again.

I paused and pondered this year’s NaNo a while ago, and knew that I would never be able to handle another writing project this year, especially not one as concentrated and life-sucking as a NaNo novel. NaNo is all about diving in and running with something, and that doesn’t work when you have to stop and write 700-1200 words a day for something else.

So I looked at my stats for AB and the goal I set myself when I started it. It runs to around 25,000 words per month (and more than that lately – I think my posts are creeping longer again), and I have two months to go. It’s not rocket science to work out that I have a NaNo novel left to write right there. So why make things difficult for myself?

This year’s NaNo effort is therefore going into writing the final instalment of the Apocalypse Blog. I’m going to steam through November and December’s posts and bring the whole thing to a sweeping (and hopefully half-decent) conclusion. Whee! What could possibly be better than that?

Of course, I didn’t realise until after I was committed to it that there might be a flaw or two in my plan. First of all, I’m in a rhythm with the blog – one post a day, lalala, off I go. I have to double that – okay, I can do that. No problem.

Secondly, I have to edit. I realised this yesterday, and this presents a couple of extra NaNo-related challenges. You see, you’re not supposed to edit during November – it’s all about pushing past the urge to edit and just writing anyway. Whoops.

Editing reduces my actual writing time, as I have to read over and edit posts before they go up (I always do this, of course, I had just forgotten that it would also apply during November). I often cut things out when I edit, which will impact my wordcount.

Because these posts are going up live (as ‘finished’ articles), I can’t pad them out with extra babbling and tangents. I also can’t use other NaNo wordcount-raising tactics, like throwing in extra adjectives or avoiding the use of contractions.

Not only do I have to write 50,000 words, I have to make it coherent and of a quality decent enough to post. And I’m pernickety about these kinds of things. It’s possible that my attempt to make NaNo easier for myself this year has, in fact, made it a rather different challenge. Whoops.

Oh well! I’m off to a good start (today wasn’t so great, wordcount-wise, but I’m ahead of the target so far), and hopefully things will fall into place more solidly soon. I know where I’m going (mostly) and have a couple of days to get my head down before I have to deal with work again.

Wish me luck! And good luck to all of you out there also attempting this wonderful challenge.

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  1. Week One: Survived : : Adventures in Text says:

    […] shouldn’t forget that I have some additional challenges this year as well. All up, I’m doing […]

    November 7th, 2009 at 5:48 pm