nanowrimo – day 3

The pencils are sharpened (rather, the computers are booted up and the word count has been checked, and re-checked), ideas are flowing, words are flowing. November 30 is a looong way away. Today is Day 3 of NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month.

I discovered NaNoWriMo around October 29, 2009 and I started writing on November 1, 2009. I finished around 11:35 PM on November 30, 2009 with just over 50,000 words. Phew. I started with just the hint of an idea–a hint that I was interested in creative writing, a hint of a plot, a hint of a main character, and a hint of a villain.  But I pulled it off and ended up with a story with a beginning, middle, and end.  This story is now my novel and is over 72,000 words (nearly 200 paperback pages and, according to one agent, just squeaking in at the right length for a commercial paperback).

I loved NaNoWriMo.  I found it inspiring, encouraging, hard work, and, at times, like a runaway train. Best of all, it showed me that I can write a long story from start to finish. I was surprised to read a blog posting this morning that doesn’t necessarily dissuade writers to join the challenge, but certainly lets you off the hook if you don’t want to do it or get discouraged halfway through.

NaNoWriMo is voluntary. I repeat: voluntary.  Of course you can quit halfway through. Maybe the story idea fizzles out; maybe you get the flu; maybe you get cross-eyed from staring at the computer: There are a lot of reasons to quit halfway through.

But for those NaNoWriMo-ers that are just reaching 5,000 words by this evening, stick with it! Since committing myself to writing full-time, I have found my biggest challenge is actually sitting down at the computer and working–be it writing or editing– for hours at a time. Distractions abound! (My home has never been cleaner. Baked goods have never been more plentiful.) NaNoWriMo plays the role of the employer, the agent, the publisher: NaNoWriMo is the deadline task master. When else will you write 50,000 pages and a story from start to finish in one month?

Go for it! Write! Buckle down! 1,666 words a day! You can do it!


6 responses to “nanowrimo – day 3

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for the encouragement! So, the book you wrote last year for NaNoWriMo — what was it about? How do you like it? You read my post so you probably have an idea of what I’m doing.


  2. Hi Crystal,
    the result of nanowrimo 2009: 31 y.o. woman gets laid off from her wall st. job in NYC; moves to a Caribbean island; goes fishing and finds a dead body….she and her side-kick are very suspicious and start to investigate. Fires and another dead body contribute to the mystery.

    It took me awhile to get to that plot! I didn’t outline when I did nanowrimo–I just wrote, start to finish. I highly recommend an outline. My current draft has gone through major revisions (and I continue to revise!).
    good luck with your novel and also with applying to those master’s programs!

  3. I’m inspired by you. I signed up last year and then things went out of control. This year, I will pass but there will be a time when I will do this. Sounds like you got a novel done last year and that you’ll have another finished by this year. By any standards, that’s great progress.

    • Thanks! it is tough and only works for some people. When I participated lat year I dedicated the entire month of November to nanowrimo. I went to work. I came home. I wrote. I went to bed. Repeat. For 30 days. Weekends I wrote for about 6 hours a day. This year I’m editing last year’s novel–so I have one novel, not two. (although, if I were to look at the number of words I deleted and new ones I added…yeah, maybe that would add up to two novels!)

  4. Day 4 and I’m struggling (the wee one didn’t give me much sleep last night.) The story is racing in my head though. I just have to get it out. I have 6,240 words so far. Thank you so much for introducing me to NaNoWriMo; I work great on deadlines!

  5. I did Nanowrimo twice (well, I started three times, but finished twice) and loved it. The first time my novel was based on a very small incident that I witnessed when I was 19–a very large woman smelling strongly of vinegar got on a cross-country bus and refused to get off, despite not having a ticket. The second time, I rewrote the entire novel, moving it from a city I barely knew to one I’ve lived in for a long time. In the first one, only one character died (I sat at my computer crying). In the second, I killed off a second one. Yikes!

    Maybe someday I’ll actually edit the finished product…

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