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It's that time of year again... - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
It's that time of year again...
Yes, NaNoWriMo is rapidly approaching and everyone is talking about their projects or deciding whether or not to take part. There's also the question of whether to do it by the book and start something brand new or whether to "cheat" and work on an existing project.

Personally, I don't worry about the rules, but as I've never managed to write 50K in a month, I've never claimed to have "won", so I don't count it as cheating. I regard it as being more like infiltrating a huge marathon, jogging along with the runners for a while and then slipping quietly away as they sprint for the finish. :)

In other words, to me, NaNoWriMo is a huge wave of writing motivation and in the years I have taken part, I shamelessly rode it to help me to write faster than I normally would. But I don't obsess about the word count. I've written several proper novels before, so I don't see the point in writing drivel just for the sake of adding words to the document. As I can't write 1667 words day after day if I'm going to maintain the quality, I therefore usually challenge myself to do a half-NaNo on whatever project is most convenient.

Having said that, the last NaNo I attempted I did do properly. I started with a brand new story and finished up with 30,000 words or about two thirds of a novel. Since then it has sat for two years untouched, so perhaps what I ought to do this year is finish the draft and sort out the end? Hmmm... That's starting to look like a plan...

Of course November isn't the best of months for me and after months of no deadlines, the first weekend of November will be taken up with the TEFL course and I have an essay due for the OU Worlds of English course on 12 November. However, it's usually the case that the more I have to do, the more I get done because I don't waste time faffing around doing unimportant things, so perhaps I ought to give it a go?

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/70213.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]

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readthisandweep From: readthisandweep Date: October 29th, 2012 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Going in for NaNoWriMo (which I never have by the way) & beginning a novel seem to me to be the same thing.

In any case, I really don't get the NaNo 'quantity over quality' premise. It has always struck me as little more than a gimmick.

With 30,000 words to your credit why would you not concentrate on them?

heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: October 29th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Because they are the shittiest of first draft words ever! :)

In my next post I'm going to link to Emma Darwin's thoughts on NaNoWriMo (which I agree with 100%), though you may already have seen them because I think you follow her on Twitter?

Edited at 2012-10-29 02:35 pm (UTC)
readthisandweep From: readthisandweep Date: October 29th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okaaay... ;)

Yes, I follow & read Emma Darwin although not assiduously. I saw that post & skimmed it. I'll go back & take another look. My tolerance for blogs is small although hers is one of the better ones.
From: aulus_poliutos Date: October 29th, 2012 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, I fell into the Nano trap again. I'm never going to win (I can be glad if I get 10-12K of words, and I mean decent words I can edit into something worthwile) and I tried to keep away from it the last two years, but since all my online friends seem to do it (esp. the writing chat), I got caught up with the old addiction. :)
From: aulus_poliutos Date: October 29th, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn LJ posted the thing before I was done.

So I'm going to get a go at Roman plotbunny no. 4 this year. With the first one still unfinished. *sigh* When it comes to writing speed, I'm so GRR Martin; now, if only I could get near him quality-wise, too.
ellarien From: ellarien Date: October 29th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've "won" twice, once last November and once for the smaller "Camp" event in August. I can't resist trying one more time, even though my life is filling up with other things, but after that I need to stop and convince myself that I can, firstly, stick at writing without NaNo momentum, and, secondly, edit my writing. Part of my motivation in doing it last year was to get raw material for editing practice, but so far all I've done with the the thing was to tweak it into a consistent format and fix the obvious typos.

I'm a slow and inhibited writer by NaNo standards -- no dashing off 1667 words in half an hour for me! -- but my 30-day drafts are still rougher than I'd like. The first one was also 15k words short of a story at 75k; the second time I hit the end square on but I suspect there's a lot of characterization missing in the middle.
impropaganda From: impropaganda Date: October 29th, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've never done NaNo before, but this year is the first in four that I don't have school/commitments, so I'm getting ready to go!
brownnicky From: brownnicky Date: October 29th, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I often write a first draft in a month or so - won't join in formally but might allow myself to be motivated by the buzz and finish my first draft of 'The Cellar' a mid grade novel of which I've only done 12k - I need an incentive!
birdsedge From: birdsedge Date: October 31st, 2012 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm going back to the drawing board with the middle grade draon novel. I've got some words but they're not in the right order, so I'm going to ditch most them and start again. I'm currently at around 10k, so I'll bed aiming for 0k by the end of the month.

I've done it twice before and 'won' both times.
endlessrarities From: endlessrarities Date: November 4th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've always got too much to do to get involved! And this year's no exception, though I think for once this is a good thing!!
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