Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

Roaring into ROW80

I can’t believe I’m doing this.  I’m swamped with spring gardening, planning long-term landscaping, trying to make a still-new-to-us house into a home, periodically bouncing back and forth between Indiana and Oregon, and trying to figure out where college fits into the the bouncing back and forth.  And now I’ve signed up for my first round of ROW80. For those who don’t know, ROW80 is shorthand for A Round of Words in 80 Days, a writerly challenge that takes into account the fact that you actually have a life.  (Read all the details here.)  Don’t get me wrong – I love NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and the group craziness that happens when we’re all trying to write an entire novel in November.  But I missed it the last two years because, well, life was happening.  And I missed the camaraderie that went with it. Then I took Kristen Lamb’s … Continue reading

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Begin at the Beginning – a Plotter Tries Being a Pantser

Which came first – the chicken or the egg? The beginning or the end?  When you write a story, do you start by knowing the characters and the opening, and then write to see where it takes you? (Option 1, writing by the seat of your pants, or Pantser)  Or do you start with the characters, the situation and the ending, and write to get there? (Option 2, plotting the story in varying degrees, or Plotter)  For the first time, I’m experimenting with Option 1, being a Pantser. Well, not exactly the first time. My mind usually percolates a situation, character and end, and I build the plot and the character together until they work.  What-ifs can show up – I definitely don’t outline everything – but I’m still writing to meet the ending I’ve envisioned.  It just works best for me. For NaNoWriMo one year, I did try writing … Continue reading

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Using NaNoWriMo Lessons – Editing by Chunks

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.  There, I’ve admitted it out loud.  I’ve decided to spend my sanity on keeping up with my homework as a “returning mature student,” developing my blog, and finishing (yes, you read that right), finishing my current Work in Progress. But my past years of doing NaNo have taught me a lot.  In a nutshell: To turn off my internal editor (still a constant effort for me, though). To give characters the freedom to take the story in a different direction. To develop the discipline of daily writing.  (Read more at Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo.) I’ve realized lately that I learned one more thing from NaNo:  how to chop big chunks of writing and rearrange other big chunks.  There’s no way anyone gets through NaNo without a big pile of crappy stuff.  We all know that going in, and we learn to go through our … Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo Ends

It’s official.  The November craziness of National Novel Writing Month is over.  My gray progress bar turned gradually to blue as I accumulated words, and 50,444 words later, it flashed green–I won!  Then when the validation process opened up on Nov. 25th and I uploaded my words, it turned purple with a big “WINNER!” inside it.  Hurray! It was an exhausting month.  I set my goal at 3,000 words a day (about 12 double-spaced pages), which seemed a humongous amount to me.  There were days where the writing flowed and I did it in two sessions, and days where I kept forcing myself back to the computer again and again, plodding away until I made it.  I finished by the 22nd, as planned, but I had hoped to keep writing in snippets even while we had visitors.  I was surprised at how quickly I dropped it all when I uploaded … Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo: Idiotic Plot Twists

There are those doing NaNoWriMo strictly for the fun and challenge.  And there are those who are hoping for a workable manuscript out of it.  Both kinds of writers find “idiotic plot twists” showing up when their imaginations take over.  Here’s a sampling from a forum thread that left me rolling on the floor. (MC = main character; MMC = male MC; FMC = female MC) ****** My MC is living in a half occupied house (one of the occupants hasn’t been seen since chapter 3) with a twelve year old girl who obviously is a nutcase and a talking bird who just emailed the MC’s mum and is a major suspect in his abduction. And he doesn’t realise anything’s wrong despite waking up in a room full of mousetraps. ****** My perfectly normal senior citizen was suddenly visited by the Chick-fil-A cows from space and taken to planet Eat … Continue reading

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