NaNoWriMo 2019

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NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby daughter of the King » Oct 07, 2019 6:32 pm

It's that time of year again, fellow writers! The month we willingly put ourselves through pain and suffering to accomplish a great feat is almost upon us!

For the uninitiated, National Novel Writing Month (alternatively shortened to NaNoWriMo, or simply Nano) is an organized challenge where writers attempt to write 50,000 words (the length of an average novel) in 30 days.

Here's some starter questions to get you in the mood:

Have you dared to join this challenge before? Did you defeat that 50k word foe?

What's your weapon? Computer? Pen and paper? Typewriter?

What's your potion? Caffeine in its many forms? Soothing tea? Salty snacks?

What's your strategy? Do you have an outline? An already developed world? A vague idea?

What sage words of wisdom do you tell yourself to get you through this battle?


For more general information on this crazy adventure, or to help yourself win with some handy tools, or to participate in informal challenges to help you on your way, be sure to check out the official NaNoWriMo website.

I'm planning on participating, but I will be at a conference the first week in November, so we'll see how far I get.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby shastastwin » Oct 08, 2019 7:01 pm

Have you dared to join this challenge before? Did you defeat that 50k word foe?


I have. I've participated in NaNo off and on since 2006. I've not always won, but I did last year, and I hope to again this year.

What's your weapon? Computer? Pen and paper? Typewriter?


Typically, I write on the computer, though I'm not above handwriting scenes and notes. Last year I even typed some on my phone in a few spare minutes before work! I haven't tried the typewriter yet, though; mine isn't running quite smoothly enough to tackle 1600+ words in a day.

What's your potion? Caffeine in its many forms? Soothing tea? Salty snacks?


Honestly, I rarely eat or drink when I'm writing during NaNo. I'm too focused on getting the words down. If I do have anything, it's usually tea or cider.

What's your strategy? Do you have an outline? An already developed world? A vague idea?
I'm currently torn between two potential projects: the third in my Albion series (with book 2 still in edits from last year's betas) or the start of a (potential) new series that's an urban fantasy mystery. Both have been aching to get laid on the page for a while, so we'll see where I end up. Both stories have decent outlines of a sort. I know what happens in each in a broad sense, but getting all the dots connected will be the challenge (as usual, for me).

What sage words of wisdom do you tell yourself to get you through this battle?
Revise later. Revise later. Revise later.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby Arwen_Daeneri31 » Oct 18, 2019 5:40 am

Have you dared to join this challenge before? Did you defeat that 50k word foe?
This would be my first try so that answers the second question as well; no I have not.

What's your weapon? Computer? Pen and paper? Typewriter?
I dont have a typewriter but I have computer and pen and paper.

What's your potion? Caffeine in its many forms? Soothing tea? Salty snacks?
Caffeine, Tea, snacks, music.

What's your strategy? Do you have an outline? An already developed world? A vague idea?
I have a vague idea and sort of developed world but no outline yet. I have a short story in mind too but its still in my head.

What sage words of wisdom do you tell yourself to get you through this battle?
This is your first time with this challenge try and relax.


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It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby MoonlightDancer » Oct 26, 2019 3:29 pm

Have you dared to join this challenge before? Did you defeat that 50k word foe?

I've done it 4 times and won 3 times, I believe
What's your weapon? Computer? Pen and paper? Typewriter?

Definitely computer
What's your potion? Caffeine in its many forms? Soothing tea? Salty snacks?

I'm a big tea drinker, especially this time of year! I drink 2-3 cups a day, non caffeinated, or I'll be up all night.

What's your strategy? Do you have an outline? An already developed world?

In the past I've usually had an idea about what I wanted to happen in the story, general plot and characters, etc. This year I wrote a complete outline, including a summary of each chapter, plot advancement, character development points, the tone that the chapter sets, and the main purpose for each chapter. This is my new strategy and I'm thinking it's a good one, but I'm still frantically editing the outline.

What sage words of wisdom do you tell yourself to get you through this battle?

To be honest I'll probably only get a little bit done when my husband is away flying a plane otherwise it will seriously ruin my marriage (as he's very controlling of my time) so the advice I'm giving myself is not to stress about "winning". :-s Ehhh. :((
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby stargazer » Oct 28, 2019 9:42 pm

I actually learned about NaNo right here on NarniaWeb, and back in the day quite a few NarniaWebbers were active in that as well.

Shameless plug: writers, check out the current Fall Flash Fiction Writing Challenge over in Ditto Town.

Have you dared to join this challenge before? Did you defeat that 50k word foe?

I first did this over 10 years ago and have 'won' several times - but not recently. Too many things are competing for my attention.

What's your weapon? Computer? Pen and paper? Typewriter?

Computer is my primary weapon, though a pen and paper often come in handy for when those ideas pop up when I'm away from my desk. I also enjoy writing outside when the weather is pleasant (but that is a tall order around here in November. Snow might be fun to play in but not too fun to sit and write in. ;)) )

What's your potion? Caffeine in its many forms? Soothing tea? Salty snacks?

Chocolate. And caffeine - though I don't drink coffee at all and take tea only rarely. Good old fashioned Mountain Dew fits the bill.

What's your strategy? Do you have an outline? An already developed world? A vague idea?

My earliest stories were fan fiction with original characters, which helped on world building. More recently my stories are set in a high fantasy/swords and sorcery type world that I've slowly been developing.

This year I have no idea at all for a new story, so I may finish last year's project.

What sage words of wisdom do you tell yourself to get you through this battle?

Turn off the inner editor. Get the words out when inspiration hits and worry about fine details later.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby wild rose » Nov 01, 2019 7:05 am

Have you dared to join this challenge before? Did you defeat that 50k word foe?

I've been actively participating in NaNo since 2011. I first heard about it here on Narniaweb. Every time I have participated I have won. I think I only didn't participate the last two years due to a busy schedule. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it this year, but at the last minutes (literally today) I decided to give it a go.

What's your weapon? Computer? Pen and paper? Typewriter?

I WISH I had a typewriter. How cool would that be? As it is I use a computer. Pen and paper seems a bit slow for me. My thoughts form faster than I can write them down, while I can easily do 90 to 100 words a minute on the computer.

What's your potion? Caffeine in its many forms? Soothing tea? Salty snacks?

No caffeine for me. My heart can't handle that stuff and I get sick. I love eating chocolate while writing, or some freshly baked cookies or cake. Because it's so hot these days (95-100F) I usually go with cold juice as the potion to keep me from melting while I type.

What's your strategy? Do you have an outline? An already developed world? A vague idea?

I can't work unless I have an outline. I often change it as I go, but I've got to have something to work with otherwise I get so lost and nothing gets done. This year I'm not as prepared as I would have liked to be, but I hope to use the first week to do some planning, and then catch up the rest of the three weeks.

What sage words of wisdom do you tell yourself to get you through this battle?

Don't wait for the inspiration to come. Sit down, start writing even if you don't feel like it and the words don't seem to be making sense. Just start writing and the inspiration will follow. (Okay, well, Leo Tolstoy sort of influenced my sage words of wisdom)

Sooo...What are your story plots/ideas for this years projects? Anyone want to share what they will be working away at for the next 30 days?
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby daughter of the King » Nov 02, 2019 4:02 pm

Have you dared to join this challenge before? Did you defeat that 50k word foe?
According to nanowrimo's site, I have apparently attempted this seven times. I honestly stopped keeping track a long time ago. I have never made it to 50k. I might have the first time I tried because I was making really good progress, but I got pneumonia and writing just wasn't really a priority anymore. :p Maybe this year!

What's your weapon?
I prefer my desktop and keyboard, but last year I wrote most of a short story on my ipad.

What's your potion?
Tea. Popcorn. Candy. The same sort of things I used to get me through college. ;))

What's your strategy? Do you have an outline? An already developed world? A vague idea?
My world-building is really lacking this year, but my characters were pretty well planned before I started. I don't really have an outline (I almost never do) but at least the start of it is going to follow a pretty traditional adventure outline.

What sage words of wisdom do you tell yourself to get you through this battle?
Just . . write.


wild rose wrote:Sooo...What are your story plots/ideas for this years projects? Anyone want to share what they will be working away at for the next 30 days?

A group of people meet in a tavern and circumstances through them together. It's a traditional Dungeons and Dragons opening, but that's why it works so well.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby Ryadian » Nov 03, 2019 8:54 pm

Have you dared to join this challenge before? Did you defeat that 50k word foe?
I have, in fact, beaten the 50K beast once! :) It was... 2016, I believe? I'm too lazy to look it up at the moment. :P Other than that, I have beaten other challenges I've set for myself, including but not limited to: 1) Writing a 120,000 word "novel" throughout last year (10,000 words a month, finished in October), 2) finishing 25K goals, and 3) finishing goals of various lengths where I wasn't restricted to one story/project. I'm proud of myself for having beaten it, but the stories I've actually finished this way are such messes that I will have to almost start over if I ever come back to them. :ymblushing:

This year, I'm only doing 25K. I'm trying to focus on one or two specific projects I want to do, but the goal is just to write every day, so I'll switch entirely if I have to to keep momentum.


What's your weapon? Computer? Pen and paper? Typewriter?
Computer, definitely. In 2016, I actually did buy a notebook and set of 7 colored pens, so I could write while at work without my computer and just use a different colored pen to denote which day I was writing. But it's just far too difficult to keep a word count manually, and when I did it that way, I would end up re-typing everything I wrote at work and waste a bit of time. It's a good thing November is the slow season at work and I didn't have to work overtime. ;))

What's your potion? Caffeine in its many forms? Soothing tea? Salty snacks?

I actually avoid snacks altogether if I can. Both because I already snack too much, and because I find that snacks are too much of a distraction - I spend half my time going to get more.

What's your strategy? Do you have an outline? An already developed world? A vague idea?
The year I actually beat it, I only came up with the idea a few days before I started. Usually, though, I pick a project I've been thinking over for a long time and start working on it. I try to avoid outlining, because I tend to get bogged down in trying to make my outline perfect before I've even started writing, and then I never write. I'm trying to teach myself to just write and learn to scrap and reorganize as needed.

What sage words of wisdom do you tell yourself to get you through this battle?
It's already been said, but seriously, turn off your inner editor and just write. Having a first draft that you'll have to largely throw out may feel miserable, but that doesn't mean you didn't learn from it! Now you know what works and what doesn't. That's much better than having a perfect draft that exists only in your mind.

wild rose wrote:Sooo...What are your story plots/ideas for this years projects? Anyone want to share what they will be working away at for the next 30 days?


Mine's a bit of a cliche, but I love it anyways. ;)) It's set in our world, but there are "chinks and chasms" that lead both into and out of our world, that monsters and others sometimes blunder through. The main character finds out that her family is descended from a sort of order of knights that used to defend our world against hostile invaders and help those who wandered through by accident, but she only finds out after she's become the target of those who don't particularly like her family.

This story wears its Narnia influences on its sleeve - I even decided that, at least for the NaNo draft, the main character found her first hint of her family's ancestry in an old wardrobe. ;)


MoonlightDancer wrote:To be honest I'll probably only get a little bit done when my husband is away flying a plane otherwise it will seriously ruin my marriage (as he's very controlling of my time) so the advice I'm giving myself is not to stress about "winning". :-s Ehhh. :((


Honestly, I've done several years "wrong", and I've found that the years where I've decided to do it my own way - the way my schedule allowed - tended to be better for me than the years where I tried to force something that wasn't working. The point should be to exercise your creative skills, not drive your stress levels through the roof. :) Challenge is good, but knowing your limits is equally important! Good luck getting what you can done!
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby aileth » Nov 04, 2019 8:58 pm

Well, here goes:

Have you dared to join this challenge before? Did you defeat that 50k word foe?
Five times, and five times. To complicate matters, I usually have a few other goals, too, such as finishing the whole first draft in November. Seems to work, overall--not that I always achieve the secondary goal, but I have finished all of my first drafts, even if it gets into December. That's helped by another challenge, to write something every day, which continues for as long as I can. (At least five words a day to count. Okay, that's not true--must be at least ten words a day) Two years ago the streak lasted 120 days; last year, 90 (because travel). Clears out all those pesky short stories that never get done otherwise.

What's your weapon? Computer? Pen and paper? Typewriter?
Computer=tablet and bluetooth keyboard, with apricot wood reading stand, home-crafted. Wish I could do paper, as I like the experience--scribbling and crossing out and circling and drawing arrows--really messy, but lots of fun. Takes too long, though, if I type it up as well.

Typewriter? Yeaaahhh! We had an old manual one, which I used for some of my first stories, back in the dark ages. Whiteout and correction tape and pounding the correct key 10 times over the mistake. Bring it on!

What's your potion? Caffeine in its many forms? Soothing tea? Salty snacks?
Last year, it was sesame snaps. A whole box. One package for every 5000 words.

What's your strategy? Do you have an outline? An already developed world? A vague idea?
Fairly detailed outline, in-mind only. With really detailed key scenes, also in-mind. I often use sticky notes to write single-word plot points out, so that I can shift them around on a piece of paper. This helps me keep on track, if I can't think what to write next.

This year's project is my eighth novel--they are all loosely connected, so it probably counts as a developed world, after a fashion.

I have four stories begging to be written--choosing which one to do was a bit difficult. "You're the one," I'd say, and then one of the others would tap my shoulder. "What about me? What about me?" Maybe this year's challenge ought to be to write two books in one month. Yeah, like that's going to happen. :-\

What sage words of wisdom do you tell yourself to get you through this battle?
This is a valuable motivational tool. If you don't make it this year, you'll maybe make excuses next year, and the next, and the next, and never end up writing another book! So get cracking!

That's what I tell myself. To everyone else I say: Do the best you can, enjoy the experience, if you don't make it this year, don't fret, it's not the end of the world--maybe next year will be better. Slightly different story, as you can see.

Oh yeah, and always back up your work.

Anyways, better get back to torturingdeveloping my characters.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby stargazer » Nov 05, 2019 6:09 pm

A group of people meet in a tavern and circumstances through them together. It's a traditional Dungeons and Dragons opening, but that's why it works so well.


Absolutely! My story has a D&D/medieval sort of setting, and while it doesn't open in the inn, there is such a scene later on that allows the characters to meet other adventurers.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby aileth » Nov 13, 2019 12:18 am

How's everyone else doing? With all the site changes at NaNo, I haven't figured out how to successfully find buddies yet, and daren't spend too much time poking around.

Not that I'm doing badly or anything. The story is not just writing itself, it's writing itself with plenty of words a day--averaging about 2500. That was helped by a 7000 word day on Saturday--a new record for me.

So I've licked 30,000 as of today. Problem is that the book (or properly, five books under one umbrella), from which I had hoped to squeeze a bare 50k, is taking on a life of its own, and is not going to be restrained to a mere 50k. Gah! as Mr Goon would say. Oh well, I guess I could have worse problems.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby Arwen_Daeneri31 » Nov 14, 2019 10:52 pm

I'm still new to the site so I haven't noticed. I think that's great you're doing a great job with 30,000!

I've gotten up to 10k so far with my fantasy adventure story I try to get 1,500 a day or more.
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby Ryadian » Nov 18, 2019 9:05 pm

I'm starting to drag my feet a little when it comes to writing my NaNo. So far I haven't missed a day (though I did "cheat" one day - I wrote notes about what I wanted to do in the future instead of actually writing story content; in my defense, that was a very long day). I want to keep it that way, because I know from experience that the first time I miss a day, that's it - I lose all motivation to keep going once that "perfect record" is shattered.

All the same, I wrote myself into such a corner. I just finished a huge exposition dump, and and I don't really know where I'm going next from here. Since I'm doing a non-traditional NaNo anyways, I'm debating just skipping ahead to a point where I have some idea of what's happening, and pretending like I know what I'm doing. :P
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Re: NaNoWriMo 2019

Postby stargazer » Nov 19, 2019 1:28 pm

How's everyone else doing?


In terms of word count, not well at all. ;)) There are so many real-world distractions, at least one of which really demands my attention. I've only written about 3500 words this month.

But I'm actually pleased with what I have been able to write. I'm continuing work on a previous unfinished story, filling in the gaps that I originally skipped because I had inspiration for the next scene. (For example, I might have included a place holder like "They rescue their friends here" and moved on. I'm writing some of those missing scenes).

I've also discovered a couple of plot holes or inconsistencies that I'm happy to fix.

So, all in all, it's been fun if a bit sparse.
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