Posted in writing

I Plan to Participate in Nanowrimo

penNext month is November. For most everyone, that means Thanksgiving turkey and travel time. For writers and aspiring writers alike, November is National Novel Writing Month. Nanowrimo for short.

During November, writers of all skill levels put pen to paper, hunker down, and try to write as many words as they can. 50K works is the goal. Basically, write a novel in a month.

It’s been a few years since I’ve participated in Nanowrimo. For the past few years, I’ve been too busy with other things. But I’ve just finished re-editing my current story, and I want to get started on book 2 as soon as I can. Nanowrimo is the perfect time to do that.

Of course, writing that many words in a month is hard, and if I want to accomplish that goal, then I need to prepare first.

Preparing for Nanowrimo

The first thing I need to do–after finishing editing book one (I got maybe a week’s worth of work left on it)–is brainstorm. I got ideas about what my story is going to be about, but I need to write them down before I forget them. Organize them into something resembling a plot. If I’m lucky, I’ll hammer out the plot of book three while I’m at it.

And that’s it.

Ok, it doesn’t look like much, but believe me, having only two weeks to brainstorm and hammer out an outline for an entire, 100,000 work novel? That’s a lot of work for two weeks. A lot of time to waste on self-doubt and double guessing. More than enough time for my muse and inspiration to get drowned out by doubts and fears.

Thankfully, that’s one thing Nanowrimo will be good for. Writing 50,000 words is hard, especially around Thanksgiving. I plan to be too busy writing those words to let doubt cloud my judgement. Or my book.

So, to everyone else planning on doing the same as me next month, good luck. You’re going to need it.

Posted in writing

My Writing Goals for November

November is Nanowrimo

penNational Novel Writing Month–that’s what Nanowrimo stands for. This month, many of my writer friends are buckling down to write their novel in a month. The official goal is 50,000 words, but writers are free to set their own writing goals. Not everyone will meet their goal–November is a difficult month to write in, what with Thanksgiving happening smack in the middle of it and all.

I won’t be officially participating in Nanowrimo, though I have in the past. This year I’m just not quite ready for it. I’ve just finished writing a long, 120,000 word fantasy novel, and I’m in the middle of editing it.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t set any writing goals for November. I have.

One: Continue Editing Book One

Editing, I’ve learned, is a never ending process, especially for those writers who aren’t published. The work never ends, and there will always be work needed done on your story. Since I want to try to get this story published and want to shop for agents next spring, I’m trying to get my story as polished as I can get it. Until I see this book on bookshelves in local bookstores, I will probably always be editing it.

Two: Brainstorm and Research Book Two

While I would probably be perfectly happy editing my first book, I do want to start on the sequel. However, there are things I need to do first before I write a single word. One is brainstorm. I’ve got all kinds of ideas, and I need to get them down and organized. I spent a good four to six months on the first story writing in totally the wrong direction. I don’t want to make that mistake again. I want to know where my second story is headed–in general, if not specifically.

I also have some research that needs doing–though I will probably do the research as I need to, instead of all at once. Fantasy writing often necessitates a lot of research, especially when it comes to character and story-world building. My character is going to a totally different place on the other side of the world. I need to decide what I am basing those cities and places on, and research them. For example, I know that these cities are going to have a higher level of technology than what my character is used to, so I will be researching that technology. In this case, an industrial revolution, similar to what you see in many steam punk novels. I’m not familiar with steam punk, so I’ll be research that as well.

Three: Write About 15-20k Words on Book Two

Then finally, I actually want to do some writing. Editing, brainstorming and researching are all well and good, but they’re worthless if I don’t actually work on the story. Since I have so many other things to work on this November, I’ve limited my word count to only 15-20 thousand words. That should get me started, and hopefully by then I’ll know what the rest of the story will be about.


It’s a busy November, but I’m looking forward to it. To all my writer friends, good luck and have fun!