Friday, November 6, 2015

How to plan for NaNoRiMo

World wide writers summon their creative selves, their writing how-to and their persistence to tackle

National Novel Writing Month 

From Wikipedia comes this explanation: 

- an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words (the minimum number of words for a novel) from November 1 until the deadline at 11:59PM on November 30. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing and keep them motivated throughout the process. The website provides participants with tips for writer's block, local places writers participating in NaNoWriMo are meeting, and an online community of support. The idea is to focus on completion instead of perfection.

This year I am not formally registered but have declared my goal within my writers' circle and now here to the world at large.

  • I calculated that I need 1,666 words per day to reach 50,000. 

  • I have a list of possible scenes stated in a few sentences each. 

  • I have Scrivener set up and my blank page ready to accept words.

  • I got my lucky hat ready.


  • Day 1. My brain yelled at me: "Start the the car, start the car and drive away quickly." A big black hand banned me from my writing program.    I wrote 0 words.

  • Day 2. 0 words 

  • Day 3. 0 words. 

  • Day 4. I visited with a writer friend (BC Deeks) and we discussed the problem. Brenda's suggestion: make a goal to write just one sentence. We hammered out what that sentence would be. When she left, I sat down and wrote it. And, surprise, surprise, another 710 words followed and I had my first scene. 

  • Day 5 - Sat to write one sentence. Did 317 words -- but it only took 15 minutes.

  • Day 6 (today) I wrote that one sentence and got a total of 314 words in under 15 minutes.

Is it my 1,666 words? NO

The Point:

A few words are better than no words.  

By setting a (ridiculously) manageable goal in the face of an unnamed reluctance, I managed to start. And I am continuing and that big black hand saying "NO" has faded to mere wisps of smoke.  For now I'm focusing on one 15 minute chunk at a time. November 30th will show the result. Check back then to see my total word count.

Are you writing for NaNoRiMo? 

How to you keep at it? 

What fears try to sneak in? 

Let us know how it is going.


  1. I did NaNoWriMo in 2010 and succeeded. It was so fun. I've tried twice since and stopped. Back when I did it, when I got stuck, I pulled out a file of magazine pictures I'd kept for story ideas. I'd randomly pull one out and then work it into the plot. A jewelry store add for a crystal cat figurine was good for another 3000 words. Another thing you might try is going to a thrift store. I found a car in one after a Writers' Conference that gave me the MC's dad's occupation. Best wishes, Mahrie, as you attempt NaNo. You can do it! I bought the T-shirt too then!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Melodie. I did the summer camp last year where you set your own limit. That time I exceeded my projected 30,000 words. I'll have to see how I do this time. Funny you mention a Thrift Store - I volunteer in charity one a couple of times a month and spent the afternoon there today. Perhaps over night my brain will knit together some extra details to round out my story.

  2. Hi Mahrie, While I've never participated in NaNoWriMo, I have great admiration for anyone who can write 50K words in a month. I'm more comfortable staying in the 20K-30K zone. Good luck! Joanne :)

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