NaNo questions

Nanowrimo Hell (also computer shot for Chase)

Nanowrimo Hell (also computer shot for Chase) (Photo credit: Ingrid!)

Hmm…are you thinking I may be a tad bit excited about this whole Camp NaNo thing I’m getting ready to dive into?  Well, you’d be right.  I’ve done a bit of preparation today since I had the day off work.  But I do have a few questions for you more experienced NaNo participants, if you wouldn’t mind sharing your knowledge with a first-timer…

Did you set daily goals for yourself, taking into account your work schedule…or did you just write as much as you could every day and hope for the best?

Did you use any kind of writing software?  If so, what did you use and would you use it again?  Pros and cons?

Were you alright knowing that some of what you were writing was, well…crap…and that you’d have to do major revisions to get your work publishable?  Did you just keep writing no matter how it was turning out?

Any words of wisdom you’d care to share?

The more I think about this challenge, the more anxious I am to get it underway…but I’m not actually starting my writing until Friday, because…well…that would be cheating, right?  And no cheating allowed…seriously, what’s the point if you don’t follow the plan? At least that’s how I view the challenge…and isn’t the challenge for me??

I think this is going to be fun, nerve-wracking, enlightening, motivational, and just an all-around awesome experience!!  I’m ready for camp!


12 Responses

  1. 1. I set daily word count goals, and fit writing into every spare second of time I had. I’d write on my lunch break. I’d scribble down a paragraph while waiting for a meeting to start. I set my goal to be above what was necessary, to account for some days where I just couldn’t make it happen.
    2. I described using Google Docs on your last post. Beyond that, I usually just use OpenOffice or Microsoft Word. I do own Scrivener though, and I’ve tried Storybook, and at some point I hope to become familiar enough with one of those programs to use them to their full potential.
    3. I was fine with knowing my writing was crap because I was writing just for fun. I wasn’t writing anything I hoped to publish someday. However, I plan on changing that for CampNaNoWriMo. I’ll see how it goes.

    • Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions…I’ve looked into Scrivener, but don’t think now is the time to try to figure out new software…probably just use Microsoft Word…it’s what I have right now.

      I want to wish you the best of luck with your writing goals for Camp NaNoWriMo!!

  2. I’d like to address this:
    Were you alright knowing that some of what you were writing was, well…crap…and that you’d have to do major revisions to get your work publishable? Did you just keep writing no matter how it was turning out?

    First drafts are always lousy (and if yours isn’t, I’ll see you in battle). Good writing happens in the rewriting. Get your story out as fast as you can then roll up your selves and get into the fun stuff.

    • I guess I’ve always thought I had to get it just right the first time around…but I’ve released those thoughts and I’m jumping in feet first (head first would just be dumb)…looking forward to this whole camp/writing thing!

  3. I am a serial reviser. I’m awful about writing a few pages and then editing and editing and editing and editing. With NaNo, I had to learn to put that aside. It was hard the first time I did. It was hard the second time I did it. I have all ideas that I will probably have a hard time with it this year.

    This will be my 10th NaNoWriMo, though I will admit I have only finished 4 times. I have to just remind myself that the point of NaNo is quantity. Get the words down. I can revise to my heart’s content next month.

    There are times when I say, oh no, he/she/it would never have said that. But, I let it go. I mark it with an asterisk and if something better comes to mind immediately, I go ahead and add it.

    I typically do NaNo using Word, though one year I wrote it entirely by hand. (and I actually finished that year!)

    • See, I can see myself doing the constant revision as I go along…but I’m going to do my best to just write, and worry about editing once this is over. I like the idea of marking it with an asterisk though, I’ll steal that one, I’m sure.

      You did the entire 50,000 words by hand? Oh my…your poor, cramped hand…

  4. I used Microsoft Word. I set a daily goal, knowing there were five days in November that I probably wouldn’t get any writing done. Then I wrote as much as I could each day, though I don’t have a job to work around. I had “permission” from the leader of my writers group to write crap, and not take the time to edit as I go which is a habit of mine. The words roll better when you can keep the train of thought on the right track. You’ve got this, give it your best shot!

    • Thanks for the advice, Patti…and, as always, thanks for all of the support you’ve given me!! I’ll let you know how this one goes~

  5. 1. for writing 50,000 in 30 days, the NaNo website counts the words per day? And it’s like 1,667 per day to achieve it. So I always tried to at least write that amount of words to keep up, anything more was just a bonus!

    2. Already commented about writing software, when you asked. But just to add, I wouldn’t worry too much about it and just use what you’re comfortable with.

    3. letting go of quality is probably going to be really hard at the start. For me I finally could let go when I started having trouble getting my word count. Then you realize you really just need to write haha. What also helps is timing. I would do “word wars” with other NaNo’s. It’s basically setting a start and end time and trying to write as much as possible in that time span.

    4. Words of wisdom would be, don’t be afraid to skip parts when you’re stuck, you can always come back to them later. I had a lot of [description off….] parts in my story, because I have a really hard time describing rooms and such. Then when I would have a clear image on how to write it I would just go back to it.
    Also don’t be afraid to side step your story. Take it into another direction for awhile and then come back to the story you’re trying to write. This really helps when you get stuck or feel uninspired. Just put something crazy in to give your brain something fresh to work with so it can focus back on the serious writing again afterward. You can just cut those pieces out later.

    • Thanks, Arisa…believe me, I’ve already done the math…haha!! I tell myself I won’t have much trouble reaching around 1700 words a day, but I’m sure there will be days when I’m banging my head against my desk, yelling “What were you thinking?”

      I like the advice to just let the story go in another direction for a while when I get stuck…kind of frees both you and your characters, doesn’t it?

      • Haha yes, theory is always so much easier than the reality!
        And yes! Letting the story go, does kind of free everyone for a bit. Just to be able to take a breath and come back to the story full force 😀

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