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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

NaNoWriMo - Top 5 Reasons To Have A Go - #WriterlyWednesdays 12


Hello and welcome to Writerly Wednesdays 12 and my topic today of NaNoWrimo - National Novel Writing Month. If you would like to do a guest post for Writerly Wednesdays I would love to host you, all I ask is that the post have something to do with writing, be it your book(s) (book tours or a one off are fine) or something else - all Bloggers and Authors welcome. Just fill in this Writerly Wednesdays form and I will get back to you.

NaNoWriMo - Top 5 Reasons To Have A Go

Never heard of NaNoWriMo? It's very simple, the idea is to write a 50k word novel during the month of November. They also have a Young Writers Program, for those under the age of 17.
If you've never done it before that probably sounds like a hell of a lot of words, even to a professional writer that can look like a lot of words for one month, but NaNo is a great way to get those words flowing. Some people probably think it's silly, but I think everyone should have a go and here's why.

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  1. Community
    Sometimes writing is a lonely life. You sit at your desk or with your laptop and you type away all by yourself. There is no one to help, no one to cheer you on. Not with NaNo. With NaNo there is a whole community out there cheering you on. If you join up at the NaNoWriMo website you can link to thousands of other people doing just what you're doing. You can find your home region and sign up with them - you'll get updates from your regional representative and your word count will go to their total. Some regions organise meet ups for during November so you can even get together in person and talk about the woes of writing.

    Even if your novel ends up in a file somewhere never to see the light of day again - you could make some friends :).
  2. Word Count
    I don't know about you, but sometimes I get a little discouraged that I'm never going to finish something. With NaNo there is a word count right there to show how close you are and it tells you how many words you need to write every day to meet your target. It is awesome for keeping you focused.

    Quick Tip:
    If you're writing in Word and not starting with a blank document you'll already have a word count that isn't actually part of your novel (or if you have a few thousand words already on which you plan to build). I create a spreadsheet in Excel and put this number in it before I start, then use a formula to find out what my word count actually is so I don't have to manually work out what to put in at the NaNo word count prompt every day.

    As you can see my spreadsheet is a little more complex than a simple subtraction, but that's just because I use it at other times during the year too.
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  4. Personal Encouragement
    Even if you choose not to interact with the community on NaNo, there are little personal encouragements that make you feel a little better during the sometimes hard slog. There are personal achievement badges that you collect yourself and then there are Participation badges that update as you do things in the system. At all point the NaNo experience is designed to encourage you at a personal level.

    They even have word count widgets you can post to your blog as you go along to show your progress to all your readers.

    Sometimes all you need to keep going is something to make you smile, or something that says, well done, you've made this target. The NaNo badges are very good for that.
  5. Freebies
    NaNo has sponsors and if you succeed in writing you 50k words their sponsors will give you coupons and things like that as well - they'll even give you some discounts for just participating. This in includes things like 50% off Scrivener for all NaNo winners and 20% off for all participants (I prefer yWriter, which is free anyway, but Scrivener is a great prog, trusted by many writers and was designed for Mac) and there are advance memberships for other things and more money off vouchers, all designed to help you eventually get your book to market.
  6. Achievement and Shouting About It
    There is nothing quite like seeing that word count tick over the 50K and knowing you have done it. The sense of achievement is amazing and it can really help to boost your moral and keep you writing. I have never finished a novel for NaNo, but I have succeeded in writing my 50K for the last four years. Out of that I have ended up with 3 finished novels with just a little bit more work.

    NaNo will give you a badge for your website, so you can shout about the fact you've done it and they also give you a certificate and options to buy various winner merchandise. It makes you feel just a bit special :).

    If you are wondering what the little halo on the year means - it's because I donated to NaNo, but that's completely optional.
My Goal This Year

This year I don't have a new novel to work on because I'm at the point of nearly finishing what I am working on at the moment. I don't want to interrupt that flow, so I'm not doing an original novel for NaNo, I have decided to do fanfiction. Way back in 2003 I published a Harry Potter fanfiction called Gold Tinted Spectacles, a 163K word epic. It was quite popular and I started writing a sequel which people have been patiently waiting for ever sine, but I've had 50K of it sitting around all this time, not doing anything. I've decided to use NaNo to try and finish it. It's called "Defence, Pretence, Offence" and please keep your fingers crossed for me :).

If anyone would like to become writing buddies, this is me over on the NaNo site: beren_writes.

Are you a NaNoer? If not, do you think you might have a go?

There is still plenty of time to sign up for the Share a Scare Halloween Blog Hop. It will run on the 31st October as you would expect, but now is the time to sign up.

Have something a little bit scary to share? All bloggers, authors and artists welcome. Just click the link to see all the details:


All Authors might also be interested in this blog hop. The Trick-or-Treat blog hop is run by the lovely Patricia Lynne and the idea is to give away free books to trick-or-treaters visiting your blog.

8 comments:

  1. I am sad that I am not doing NaNo this year, because it has been so great in other years, but I just do not have the time this year and I have to be realistic.I will be setting some extra writing goals for myself. though, so not full NaNo, but maybe mini NaNo :)

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    1. I wish you luck with your writing goals :) I hope they don't keep you too busy at work.

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  2. I was all excited about this post even before I saw what you were writing. I'm over here chair dancing and squeeing now. I hope you get it finished. I'll definitely be rooting for you! :D

    I am playing this year. New Original. Vampires vs a group of non-humans I call the Others made of all sorts of mythical races. :D I'm looking forward to getting that started.

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    1. I have discovered I make a crap planner though - before I shelved DPO I had reached the point where I put in missing scene notes ... and now I have no idea what some of them mean - LOL Shall have to make it up again ;)

      Ooh, vampires and non-humans - sounds like a lot of fun. I wish you luck.

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  3. Having done NaNo in2011. 2012, and 2013, I missed out last year - for various reasons. But I'm giving it a go this year and attempting a totally new version of a mystery titled "Fates Maelstrom". It features my new female Goth detective in North Wales, investigating a Romani - gypsy - girl accused of murdering her rich grandfather.

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    1. I wish you luck and hope you have a lot of fun with your mystery. Sounds like a great story.

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  4. I've gone from thinking I won't ever do NaNo to putting it the "maybe" burner. I'm starting to see the fun in it rather than the stress. But I can't this year. I've got way too many projects to tackle as it is, I really can't add another one. ;) Good luck to you though!

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    1. Thank you :) Maybe you'll join the madness next year :D I find if you can keep on track it's a lot of fun, but the moment you get too behind it's a bit on the stressful side, so discipline seems to be the key. Definitely not something to try when you have too many other things going on though :) Good luck with your projects.

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