Friday, October 30, 2009

Twas the Night Before Nano...

I Nano. Do you Nano too?

November 1 is the beginning of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). All around the world, tens of thousands (is it still only tens?) of people are gearing up to spend the next 30 days writing 50,000 words. That's 1667 words a day, every day.

The first time I heard about Nano, I thought it was insane. Later I was intrigued, but thought it was impractical. Then I grew impressed by people who had the bottle to do it.

Then I accidentally talked a friend of mine into doing it. Which meant I had to do it too. And, apparently, so did everyone we knew. Last November was a wild ride.

The most awesome thing about Nano is the sense of community. If you have people close by also participating, you can do write-ins, getting together at cafes or each other's places to write in company. Because you have to get so much done, you have to be strict - only small amounts of talking, using earbuds to shut out the world, you are here to WORK.

As someone who writes all year around, usually without other people across the table from me, it's just lovely.

If you don't have locals in your vicinity who are crazy and wonderful enough to join you, then there are online communities and forums. You'd be amazed at how inspiring it is to have someone there on IM shouting go! and then comparing word counts after 15 minutes of furious typing.

Last year I wasn't able to do 'proper' Nano, which means starting a new book fresh on 1 November (it still counts if you hit 50K and haven't finished the book yet, though the purest Nano experience is to be finished at 50) so I didn't register my "win". I started writing a few weeks early, and hit 69,000 on the 30th - just what I needed for my first draft of a pre-contracted novel. It later took another 6 weeks to polish that novel to submission level quality.

I thought that my book contracts and commitments to the Creature Court Trilogy meant that I would be too busy editing/revising to manage Nano this year, which made me unbelievably sad. But I've managed to get enough ahead of myself on drafting book 2, and finishing up edits for book 1, that I can justify taking November to draft the first 50K of book 3 before I go back and revise book 2. I'm delighted to be able to do this, because to be honest I have no idea what's going to happen in book 3, and it would be nice to find some of it out before I take another pass on book 2.

That, and NaNoWriMo is the most fun ever. For the next month I get to have writing open days at my house, hang out with friends, and drill 50,000 words into my laptop with a baby strapped to my chest. I'm bouncing even thinking about it.

If you're interested in knowing more, or signing up, you need to check out www.nanowrimo.org - if the site doesn't load, that's cos the servers have melted. Don't panic, it happens a lot at this time of year. Nano is... kinda popular. Kinda.

My in person group are writing for the second year running, and the other planned projects include a historical murder mystery, an Egyptian fantasy, a category romance, at least two novels based on life experiences from this year, and one classic No Plot, No Problem, which means she has no idea what she is going to write until she starts scribbling on November 1st.

Are you Nanoing this year? Would you ever consider it?

Love,
Tansy

6 comments:

Michelle said...

first year of nano and I'm so excited!!!!!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

I'd love to nano, Tansy.

I think I'll do a mini-nano. Is there such a thing?????

TansyRR said...

Rowena you can do it anyway you like. You can sign up at the website or just do your own thing. They encourage people to choose a smaller target if it gets you involved.

The main thing is to be writing like a maniac this month!

Kaia said...

I think it's 90-something-,000 people signed up, so close to 100,000!

(So says NaNo-guy on Twitter.)

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Are you going to post your totals, Tansy????

TansyRR said...

I won't do them daily here - bad enough that I do it on my own blog - but I might do a weekly summary?