Friday, October 5, 2012

Reader Friday: Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month ( begins November first--are you planning to do it this year?
What are some of your favorite writing exercises that you use to get your writing brain (and fingers) in shape? And while you're at it, tell us how you've done in the past with NaNoWriMo!


  1. I may be weird (don't answer that) 8-) but I don't really do writing exercises per se. Not in the ad hoc, willy nilly writers prompt sort of way.

    I've always got a dozen novel concepts boiling in my brain, so whenever I write (apart from journaling) it's always on a specific project. Either there's time for writing in my life or there's not, and when there is, I'm working on one of my novels.

    To me the "exercise" may come when I have to rewrite a scene a couple of different ways to figure out what works best.

    No Nano for me this year. The girls in the basement are on holiday at the moment, so I doubt I'll be working on any project in November.

  2. I wrote a novel during NaNo 2010 that was one I had under contract. Had to edit it, of course, but I like the material it produced. So I'm planning on doing it again this year.

  3. I really want to do NaNo this year. I've been doing it for four or five years straight now. The first year I did NaNo was the first time I wrote a book that actually had an ending (and yes, the it was a full length novel coming in around 150K. Length was never the issue). I'd always wanted to be a writer, but that was when I started "getting serious" about things.

    But I'm in the middle of a rewrite so I have to finish that first.

    After that, I'll have to figure out what to work on next. That's going to be the main "exercise" I do, I think. Like most writers, I have tons of ideas and it's hard sometimes to figure out what I want to work on next. There's good advice out there, but for me it's not just what I am the most excited about. It's what angle on this specific idea I want to pursue.

    I don't know if that makes any sense, but that's what I'll be working with come November.

    If I can finish this rewrite. ;)

  4. I have a few ideas for Nano, but my life is kind of in turmoil right now and I'm not sure I can swing it. I wrote two novels in the two summer Nanos already this year.

    To prepare, I do as much planning as possible. Outlines, sequels and scenes, character story arcs. I do much better in Nano if I had a bit of a roadmap. I still go off the rails a bit at times (in my last one, the villain came out of nowhere and I'll have to edit things to work him in properly), but I was very pleased with the result.

  5. I'm finishing the polish edit on my 2nd novel this weekend, and I'm going to do NaNo this year.

    I started last year, but I let my internal editor run me off the MS - this year, it's gonna be visceral, over the top emotional writing with a promise to my internal editor she can have it at the end of November.

    We'll see what happens.

    Like Kessie said, I have the outline prepped - it's loose, because I know it will change, and I'm looking forward to that.

  6. This will be the first year that I plan to participate. I have been watching the site the last couple of years and been really wanting to try it.

    I have several ideas that I keep written down that have a short description of the plot so I can go back later to start writing on.
    I am getting ready by outlining every detail I can on the story before Nov 1. I may also try the phase outlining as it sounds like it could help.

    My writing excersises have been to use daily writing prompts from a couple of different sites and also writing about the moment using scene building and dialogue.


  7. For anyone who did the pell-mell, write-in-a-rush sprint to the finish, did you find that the "rush" caused significant problems during revision? Did the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? This will be my first year trying it.

  8. Na, no na-no-wri-mo fo me. Too much other stuff going on, and I'm already a dozen chapters into the next book as it is. Of course if I finish the other projects I'm working on I might change my mind and take up the challenge, we'll see.

    Perhaps it will motivate me to finish the draft of my current WIP.

  9. At the moment, I'm doing this thing where I break up the polysyllabic words and carry the seamemes through to create this echo in the prose - style of Nicholas Royle, crazy effective. I'm going to try NaNoWriMo, looking forward to the madness - anyone Brighton UK based?

  10. I have not done this because I already put myself on a writing schedule when I'm in this phase. I do a minimum of 5 pages a day or 25 pages a week. When I'm self-editing, I try to do one chapter a day. I believe in a steady pace rather than a rush to the finish.

  11. >>>For anyone who did the pell-mell, write-in-a-rush sprint to the finish, did you find that the "rush" caused significant problems during revision? Did the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? This will be my first year trying it. <<<

    I think if I had written the whole thing seat-of-my pants and gotten stuck, I would have had more problems. But my outline kept me on track. I have some things that need revision and an extra subplot to write in, but overall, the emotional gut-punch of the story is one of the better things I've written in years. I never left it long enough to forget the emotional momentum.

    I also find that taking Sundays off, even during Nano, really helped my creative process. I needed a day to recharge.

  12. I've been plotting out a YA fantasy novel for a couple of months specifically for this year's nanowrimo. I think at this point I have plenty of ideas (and personal excitement) for it that I think I'll really enjoy it, and hopefully end up with most of my first novel's first draft finished by the end!

  13. Good advice, Kessie! I'll definitely get an outline prepared beforehand.