NaNoWriMo and the 10,000 Words…

NaNoWriMo, Day 19.  I am in bed today.  I am in bed today, because my fibromyalgia symptoms are significant enough to keep me in bed today.

I am in bed today although I ought to be doing so much else.  Perhaps I am in bed today because I ought not to have been doing as much as I have been.

Regardless of which it is, there is only one thing that I can do today:  write.

I will be writing many things today, including approximately 5,000 to 10,000 words for NaNoWriMo.  Writing so many words will, apparently, bring me back on track to complete the required 50,000 words by November 30th.

The idea of writing so very many words does not seem daunting at all, but rather enjoyable.  This is what I have discovered as I have been doing NaNoWriMo.  I truly enjoy writing stories.  I enjoy the process of discover that happens with every written word.  What I mean is that even though I have an outline (and thank the universe that I do), I am still discovering new aspects of my characters and of the stories.  I am learning that a story is not a linear experience and involves more trekking off the main road than I had previously thought. In other words, I am recognizing that writing a story is akin to writing a poem, where each word hold innumerable meaning.

Of course, it helps to have a deadline, which one may choose to meet or not.  For me, I am certain that I will meet it.  I understand, however, as I have been writing that getting to 50,000 words is not the end.  Truly, getting to 50,000 means only that I have formed the skeleton upon which the body of my story is to be carried.

The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to ...

The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to be portable. Long exposure lit by sweeping an LED flashlight over the scene. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Really, I suppose I want to reiterate the point made by other NaNoWriMo writers and bloggers.  That is, the point of NaNoWriMo, I believe, is not to force one into writing a novel in one month.  Rather, it is to inspire one to draft a story, on which one will continue to work until its completion.

Truly, writing an entire novel is a daunting enterprise as many, who have tried to so do, can attest.  The standard novel is approximately 100,000 words.  NaNoWriMo’s challenge allows one to get to the half-way mark, i.e. 50,000 words.  Moreover, having to meet the deadline of November 30th aids in pushing one pass the block of procrastination.  I believe that the focus on quantity rather than quality forces one to dismiss the voices of self-criticism and self-doubt, in order to put down on paper the ideas that have been floating in our creative minds.

NaNoWriMo is not about writing a bestseller off the bat, but perhaps getting our thoughts organized enough to write something of interest to ourselves and hopefully others (if we choose to share it).  I am glad that I read Harley Jane Kozak‘s “NaNoNoNoNoNoNoMo” in Write Good or Die that deals with the challenges and humour of doing NaNoWriMo.

English: An Italian shopping list for groceries.

English: An Italian shopping list for groceries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like Kozak, some of us may find ourselves thinking that the “only way to pull it off is to throw grocery lists into my novel, along with my Thanksgiving Squash Souffle Recipe, William’s home phone number, notes to my kids’ teachers, and drafts of the text for my Christmas cards, which need to get to the printer.”

Perhaps, as Kozak ended, we may even choose to cut and past our blogs to make our word count. 😉  Either way, we should try to have fun with it, no matter how it turns out in the end.  After all, as one of my professors recently said to me, “Every month is National Novel Writing Month.”

I hope all NaNoWriMo-ers are also making their way towards the deadline in good spirits.  Eleven more days to go! 🙂

Until Next Time!



YWriter5 & NaNoWriMo

Sono distrutta.  There is no other way to state it.  After studying for some hours at the library, then returning home with the goal of organizing my outline for NaNoWriMo on YWriter5, I honestly feel like my brain is melting.

For those of you who either do not know, or have forgotten–November is National Novel Writing Month.  What, do you ask, is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)?  Well, it is a simple test of will and stamina.  At least, that’s how I see it.  I am certain that other people have more that they could say on the subject.  This is, however, my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, and so…I will leave any further comments about it until after the fact.

According to the official website, “National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30.”

Yes, that’s right… Fifty thousand words…One hundred and seventy-five pages…In one month…Um, should I say “Uncle” now?

No, no, I am actually looking forward to it.  Moreover, I have been diligently preparing.  Hence, YWriter5.  What is YWriter5?  It is a word processor created by Simon Haynes (author and programmer), and is specifically designed to meet the needs of authors as they create their novels.   I first learnt about YWriter a couple of months ago while reading/listening to K. M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel:  Map Your Way To Success.  By the way, K. M. Weiland‘s book is truly amazing.  It really helped me to translate my thoughts (I think in images) into words on paper.  It is a book that I have read many time since purchasing it.

The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to ...

The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to be portable. Long exposure lit by sweeping an LED flashlight over the scene. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, I am still fairly new to YWriter (as in today-new).  My experience with it thus far, however, has been truly great!  The structure of the program really suits my way of thinking.  There are sections for characters, scenes, chapters, locations, etc.  And also, the sections are further broken down.

For example, the Character section includes biography, goals, notes, image, etc.  And even within those sections, there is still some break down.  Thus, the program really pushes you to think about the various aspects of how you are designing characters, settings, or outlining your chapters and explaining your scenes.  If you like to write, then it seems like a great tool try…Plus, it’s free.

Anyway, the point of my ramble today was not to act as a promoter, but to share my success in actually using YWriter to begin organizing my project (I hate to say the word “novel.”  It feels a bit too scary at this time).  Now, what I have come to realize by engaging in this process is that when I write long-hand, I lack organization like nobody’s business.

Seriously, I have notes scratched here and there.  Somethings that were started at the beginning of one notebook  were continued at the end of the notebook, or on a piece of scratch paper.  I am learning to smile at myself…and I am wicked glad (yes, I wrote “wicked”) that I found YWriter in time to organize myself for NaNoWriMo.


November (Photo credit: kurafire)

Well, I am off to search for more loose pieces of paper before heading off to bed.  Also, if you have ever thought to yourself, Man, I think I could write a book/novel/short story/whatever, then consider joining me on my NaNoWriMo journey…we can cry and laugh together.  Twelve days and counting…Until Next Time!