Cafe Doom

The Critique Crypt => General writing chat => Topic started by: sylvrilyn on November 02, 2007, 01:48:11 PM

Title: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: sylvrilyn on November 02, 2007, 01:48:11 PM
I am.  :)  My name's the same over there.  I was having such a hard time deciding which story to write (one planned out nicely and one shiny new idea), so I'm attempting to write 2x50k this month.  :cheesy:  The planned one is YA fantasy, but the unplanned one is probably going to have some darker elements, as well as more humor.  I hope.

Anyone else?
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 02, 2007, 02:06:01 PM
Yes, I'm doing it. This is my fifth year of NaNoWing. I'm posting it here as it happens http://sallyq2007nanonovel.blogspot.com/

warts and all... :shocked: Oh and I'm asking people for Plot Ninjas to help prompt me. So if anyone has anymore, I'll add them to the list and link to your website or blog if you have one.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Ed on November 02, 2007, 02:21:35 PM
I keep planning to do it, but haven't got around to it yet. It always seems to come at a time when I'm too busy to spare the hours needed to do it. Part of my problem is that I type too slowly to churn out a useful wordcount each and every night.

Sally - what's a plot ninja? :scratch:

Good luck to all those having a go this time around :afro:
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 02, 2007, 02:40:19 PM
 :D Explanation here Ed, (someone else asked me too) http://quillersplace.blogspot.com/2007/11/ask-sally-23-plot-ninjas.html
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Ed on November 02, 2007, 03:10:23 PM
Ah right, I get it. A while back I remember seeing a writing comp where entrants had to include all sorts of weird things in their story, midgets, pirate ships, all sorts of stuff. Looked like fun, but I wonder how many people could be bothered to do it in a short story. Good idea to keep you interested in your Nano novel, though - I can imagine a few plot ninjas are quite welcome.

Thanks for the explanation :afro:
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 02, 2007, 03:25:15 PM
The Plot Ninja I got from fellow blogger Womagwriter today led to a whole side story, so I'd say it definitely works :cheers:
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: PaulH on November 02, 2007, 04:06:38 PM
I'm doing NaNo as well. Managed it for the last two years, not so sure if I can make it three in a row. Also involved in SlingInk's Eurfiction competition (short story every 2 weeks), plus trying to catch up on college work for my teaching assistant's course and write a story for a collection I've promised to contribute to. I'm just a boy who can't say no!
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: sylvrilyn on November 02, 2007, 04:36:05 PM
Glad to see there are others here doing it.   :evil:  I've won some, lost some.  Sounds like you're *really* busy, Paul!  Yikes.  I did successfully do NaNo last year while in grad school, though, so I have confidence in you!

Took a peek at your NaNo blog, Sally -- looks fun.  I'm going to have to add it to my list of things to sneak reading time for.  ;)

Off to try to get a few hundred more words before work!
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 02, 2007, 04:48:06 PM
Thanks Sylvirlyn! You'll be a welcome visitor. Don't be afraid to leave a message. There's a nice community of bloggers who pop in every now and again.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: PaulH on November 26, 2007, 04:58:20 AM
Thank goodness! One thing off my plate! Nano all done.

Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 26, 2007, 05:10:26 AM
Oh well done, Paul  :cheers:

I've got about 4,600 words to go yet.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 26, 2007, 08:26:26 AM
And I've finished!  :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

That means I can do what I want for the rest of this week and what I want to do now is watch Die Hard 4... :grin:
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: canadian on November 26, 2007, 09:39:29 AM
Oh no! You've written THE END on Planet Zarg? Reading each day's installment was the best fun I had all month.

*thinks* This doesn't mean you'll now have more time for Scrabulous, will it? Quick ... start writing another novel or something, willya?  :bleh:
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 26, 2007, 11:43:56 AM
 :bleh: As if I could ever not find time for Scrabulous!

Thanks for the kind words, Donna. It was a crazy story, wasn't it? And I couldn't have written it without the help of all the plot ninjas (but if someone wants to pay me zillions for it, I'm keeping the royalties, okay ;) No, I'm not holding my breath.)
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Ed on November 26, 2007, 03:04:30 PM
Well done for getting done ahead of time, you two :afro: (and for getting it done at all in the first place)

I keep meaning to have a go at it, but so far haven't, and I'm not sure why, really :scratch: Good luck with the rest of yours Silvrilyn :smiley:
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: sylvrilyn on November 26, 2007, 03:12:06 PM
Wow, congrats you two on getting it done early.  I tried that once and ran out of story before I got to 50k.  Whoops.   :grin:

Thanks for the good luck wishes.  I'm still working...   :P  The first one's pretty much on track, but I've got way more to go on the unplanned one.  I still haven't decided if trying to do two was smart.  I feel like I do nothing but write all day every day (when I'm not at work that is!).  But at the same time, I'm kind of glad I didn't make either story wait.  They were both ripe to be told and I'm still planning to finish both.   ;D
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 26, 2007, 03:26:42 PM
I hadn't realised you were doing two, Silvirin.  :shocked: That'll teach me to scan read.  ::)

Blimey! That's a tall order, but well done on sticking to it. :afro:
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Ed on November 26, 2007, 03:49:48 PM
Wow, yeah, likewise - I didn't realise you were doing two  :shocked: That's a hell of a challenge.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: PaulH on November 26, 2007, 04:39:30 PM
I don't think I could do two if I was schizophrenic!

Could I?

No, I couldn't.

See - I told me so.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Ed on November 26, 2007, 05:24:49 PM
Hell, I'm struggling to write a short story for the flash challenge each week  :grin:
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: sylvrilyn on November 26, 2007, 10:49:11 PM
Sometimes I think it's actually easier to stick to long projects than to manage to write short after short.  But I've been known to think the opposite, so who knows.   :cheesy:

I fell into doing two because I couldn't decide and I saw a thread on the NaNo site where people were talking about doing SIX.   :shocked:  Yikes.

I've spent another day making a ton of avatars I'll probably never use instead of working on NaNo #2, so I can't say I've been entirely good about keeping up....  Ah, well, maybe I'll catch up one of these few days left in November.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 27, 2007, 03:03:49 AM
Six!  :shocked: That's 300,000 words. In a month! Talk about giving yourself a lot to do. I take it they don't work, do housework, go to the loo, eat, sleep...
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: JonP on November 27, 2007, 03:43:00 AM
I am astoundingly impressed by you people who have managed just (just?) one! The most I've ever managed in one book was just over 35000, and that took eighteen months  :'(
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Ed on November 27, 2007, 04:42:14 AM
I am astoundingly impressed by you people who have managed just (just?) one! The most I've ever managed in one book was just over 35000, and that took eighteen months  :'(

I'm impressed, too, having never done NANO myself. Maybe you should try a few different ways of starting you next novel, Jon - see which way works best for you. Why did the last one end short? I remember reading something about writer's block, ages ago, and the writer said something along the lines of, "Perhaps you're not blocked - you've just finished - ran out of stuff to say kind of thing?" I suppose that's one of the drawbacks of an unplanned novel, isn't it? :scratch:
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: JonP on November 27, 2007, 04:47:19 AM
It's generally a confidence thing. How can I justify to myself / my loved ones the amount of time that I'm spending on this thing? The other problem is deciding which project to work on. Writers' block ain't a problem - I'm never short of ideas. But I can never quite commit myself to just one thing.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 27, 2007, 07:26:46 AM
With every novel I've ever tried writing, including NaNo novels, I've hit a patch where I think 'this is crap, no one will want to read it and I haven't got a clue how I'm going to finish it'.  I got over it with one novel by trying to plough on to 80k words even though I thought it was all rubbish. I told myself it didn't have to go anywhere but my hard drive. All that mattered was that I didn't give up on it like I had with so many others.

When I edited it, I realised it wasn't that awful and that the bits that were awful could be rewritten. It's now entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

One thing NaNo does is stops you worrying about whether the novel is any good. It's quantity not quality that counts, so you've got a free reign to batter the internal editor over the head with a soggy stick.

Some writer on the beeb this morning was moaning about NaNoWriMo, because she was afraid the slush pile would grow, completely missing the point that none of us think we've written a viable novel, and that at best it's a first draft. Then on the BBC Breakfast programme showed schoolkids in their school library all writing their NaNo novels together, and adults sat in cafes writing theirs together, and I thought 'What exactly is bad about that?'
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: JonP on November 27, 2007, 10:35:16 AM
That strikes me as precisely what NaNoWriMo's all about, and I'm sure that's how everyone involved sees it. In some ways I wish I'd had the courage to do it, but November always tends to be a busy month for me work-wise and I didn't feel sufficiently organised to have a go (oh, all right, I'm making excuses, I know, I know). Also, there's a new internal competition at our Circle for the first 3000 words of a novel, and I fancy having a bash at that instead. Haven't written a word yet, of course, but there's still a couple of weeks to go. Should be a breeze, eh?
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Ed on November 27, 2007, 03:22:39 PM
It's generally a confidence thing. How can I justify to myself / my loved ones the amount of time that I'm spending on this thing? The other problem is deciding which project to work on. Writers' block ain't a problem - I'm never short of ideas. But I can never quite commit myself to just one thing.

You shouldn't have to justify your free time to anybody, really. If it's something you want/need to do, then you should make time for it and ask for your loved ones' understanding. I say that, but my family don't respect my wishes and leave me alone to write when I ask them to.

I've always been a bit short of committment (generally - I spread myself too thin and then something has to be sacrificed), but I'm getting better as I get older. A few times now, my wife has said to me that she was surprised that I had stuck to things and finished them. I don't know whether it's that I've grown in determination, or whether I'm more discerning about which projects I take on and commit to in the first place. Maybe it's both.

My biggest problem with writing seems to be finding the quiet time to write, at a time of day when I'm not tired and sleepy.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 28, 2007, 03:26:39 AM
I think I'm pretty lucky in that Hubby has his gun club commitments, which take him out quite a lot in the week, leaving me free to do the writing I want. It was much harder when the kids lived at home to find a space to both write and study (I was doing my degree at the time). I eventually learned that if you sit scribbling or typing in the corner of the room they hardly notice you whilst they're watching telly etc. If you try to go to another room to write, they immediately want to see what you're doing.

One day, whilst writing an essay I went upstairs to the bedroom where we had the computer. Everyone else was busy doing something else. I made sure of that. Five minutes later Hubby turned up and lay down on the bed, immediately starting to snore. Then daughter came along to see what daddy and mummy were doing, and she clambered onto the bed with him, waking him up to have a loud conversation which for some reason needed my input. Not long after that, Son arrived to join in the conversation and as if to add insult to my injury, the dog arrived and jumped on the bed too. :hot: I acceded defeat, switched the computer off and waited till they were all out.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Ed on November 28, 2007, 04:24:04 AM
Trouble is, it gets to the stage where you're so bubbling with rage that by the time they get the message and leave you alone, you're too irked to write anything. Dunno about everybody else, but I write at my best when I immerse myself in what I'm writing and enter an almost dreamlike state. That very rarely happens these days. I think I might start building a sound proof room with its own electrical supply, oxygen and tea. That'll foil them :huh:
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: PaulH on November 28, 2007, 06:08:52 AM
I tell them I'm writing. My wife doesn't bother me. My kids (5 & 4) ask if I'm writing when they get to the door. If the answer is yes, they leave me alone. I often sit up 'til 2 or 3 in the morning to get writing done. I think the major thing is, they know I'm serious about it, it's not a wee hobby, so they treat it as work.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Sallyq on November 28, 2007, 06:32:19 AM
Yes, I enter a zone too, Ed. I am in the story, not just writing it. And if I'm writing something emotional I can even shed tears, so I don't like doing that when others are around.

I think my family are coming to realise now that this isn't just a hobby. Getting published helps with that, as they can see the results.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: JonP on November 28, 2007, 06:34:21 AM
In some ways, my family aren't really the problem. The kids are both at Uni now anyway, but when they were around, they were always keen to read what I'd written (in fact, it was having a ready audience there that gave me the excuse to get started). My wife finds it a little peculiar, but after having dragged her along to an award ceremony earlier this year when I actually won something, even she's beginning to understand what I'm up to (although I have a feeling that she still dreads the words "Can you have a look at this?", bless her).

But it's me that's really the problem. I run my own business, with no restrictions on working hours, and I still have some sort of work ethic thing going on that says that I really should be doing something with that rather than arsing around pretending to be a writer. Having said that, the worst period of my life, bar none, was when I actually got commissioned to write something relating to my work. Six months of hell writing a book on software development.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: starktheground on November 28, 2007, 09:34:17 AM
Truth be told, I bribe my five-year-old when I need to write. It's easier now that he's in school, because I have a few hours of uninterrupted solitude before I go to work. If I need to complete something in the evening, though, I make a "deal" with my son. If he lets me write, I promise him I'll play with him when I'm done. (Hey, I'd play with him anyway, but he doesn't have to know that!) The only problem is that he's hyperactive, so he has to remain in the same room with me when I write. Otherwise, I'd become too involved in my writing to notice that he's tearing the house apart. Recently, I became so enthralled in my work that I didn't notice that he had left the room. When I realized my error, I found him in our den, pouring Dr. Pepper (which he's not allowed to have) into a puddle on the carpet and dipping his hair in it! You should have seen his face when I caught him!
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: sylvrilyn on November 28, 2007, 11:52:31 AM
Six!  :shocked: That's 300,000 words. In a month! Talk about giving yourself a lot to do. I take it they don't work, do housework, go to the loo, eat, sleep...

Yeah.  It sounds utterly crazy to me, too.  I wonder how many of them actually finish 6?

In some ways I wish I'd had the courage to do it, but November always tends to be a busy month for me work-wise and I didn't feel sufficiently organised to have a go (oh, all right, I'm making excuses, I know, I know).

*Swoops in to snatch the excuses away!*   :evil:

There are other ones in other months...   ;D  The one I'm most familiar with is JulNoWriMo (http://julnowrimo.thewrigro.com) in July.  It's much smaller of course, but a better time of year for lots of people.

I found him in our den, pouring Dr. Pepper (which he's not allowed to have) into a puddle on the carpet and dipping his hair in it! You should have seen his face when I caught him!

That sounds like something to go into a story sometime!
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: JonP on November 28, 2007, 12:13:58 PM
JulNoWriMo (http://julnowrimo.thewrigro.com)

Thanks for that - I'll bookmark that one.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: starktheground on November 28, 2007, 07:34:02 PM


That sounds like something to go into a story sometime!

Yeah, my son is QUITE the character! He's great, though!
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: Ed on November 29, 2007, 04:11:45 AM
My eldest goes loopy if you let him drink Coca Cola - we only let him drink it when he's somebody else's problem. Like one time he went for a canoing lesson, and from the edge of the lake you could hear him jibbering like a loon, sploshing around in circles at a thousand miles an hour, while all the other kids sat in an orderly line trying to listen to the instructor. In the end, the instructor resorted to flicking water at him with his paddle to make him shut up, which my nipper thought was great, so he started flicking water back with his paddle, and the whole thing turned into a giant water fight :idiot: Anybody would think they still put cocaine in it.
Title: Re: Anyone doing NaNoWriMo?
Post by: sylvrilyn on December 03, 2007, 08:11:32 PM
JulNoWriMo (http://julnowrimo.thewrigro.com)

Thanks for that - I'll bookmark that one.

And if you're looking for something slower-paced where you can choose your own goal, there's National Novel Writing Year (http://www.pro-board.com/index.php?proboard=nanowriye2008&act=idx).  We're starting to gear up for 2008 right now.  :)