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Q&A with G

Posted by on Aug. 19, 2007 at 3:50 PM
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Hello everyone!
If you have a question about NaNo...any question, I will be more than happy to answer it to the best of my ability. I've participated in NaNo since 2003 and I will keep participating for as long as I possibly can.

I will answer any question you have, whether it's divulging secrets to winning (and I have a few of my own *winks*), the process in itself, or if you get stuck and your word count slows.

Thanks,
G
by on Aug. 19, 2007 at 3:50 PM
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syuratick
by on Aug. 19, 2007 at 4:04 PM

Thanks for posting this! 

I have one question.  Something that I have been wondering about that I would love your opinion on.

Since you have done this for three years already.  How do you make sure you reach your goal?  Have you reached the 50,000 words every year?  Do you set a daily goal for yourself and make sure you reach that?  Or do you just keep going when the words are flowing freely so you can allow yourself to have down days without worrying so much?

I know one other person who does NaNo, and she mentioned that it is 1667 words per day.  I almost got the impression that that number is kind of set in stone for her, and she makes sure she reaches it each day.  To me, that almost seems like adding pressure on top of pressure!  I don't want to get myself too stressed out, but I also don't want to get too lazy!

~~Sarah

FictionalGypsy
by on Aug. 19, 2007 at 4:30 PM

Quoting syuratick:

Thanks for posting this! 

I have one question.  Something that I have been wondering about that I would love your opinion on.

Since you have done this for three years already.  How do you make sure you reach your goal?  Have you reached the 50,000 words every year?  Do you set a daily goal for yourself and make sure you reach that?  Or do you just keep going when the words are flowing freely so you can allow yourself to have down days without worrying so much?

I know one other person who does NaNo, and she mentioned that it is 1667 words per day.  I almost got the impression that that number is kind of set in stone for her, and she makes sure she reaches it each day.  To me, that almost seems like adding pressure on top of pressure!  I don't want to get myself too stressed out, but I also don't want to get too lazy!

~~Sarah



I have an added benefit that most NaNo'er (or WriMo's, if you rather) don't have....I'm a SAHM and since all my kids are school age (and stationed in Korea)... and my husband works from 3 PM to 2 AM so I can spend a lot of time at the computer typing away.

Yes, I've reached all 50,000 words every year. It's not really as hard as it sounds. The best thing to do is write what you can, when you can. Don't panic is the main thing. If you get stuck, just keep typing...for example:

"It was a rainy day and your main character was watching the rain through her living room window" here you get stuck...try: "The rain was as grey as the stray kitten who lives up the street that gets into my garbage when I set it out for pick up. It fell to the emerald green grass that desperately needs mowed."

Go off on a tangent, write whatever comes into your head. If you want to submit it to a publisher at some point, you can remove it when you edit.


The 1667 words a day is the MINIMUM you need each day to finish NaNo by November 30th. There is no really set word count...if you can write 5,000 words a day, go for it! Since I have a lot of time, my word count varies day to day. If you can take a whole Saturday or Sunday and do nothing but write, go ahead and do it, it does help to pad the word count on these days....One weekend, I was able to knock off around 10,000 words...one fifth of what's needed! That way if there are down days it's not such a big deal. Padding the word count before Thanksgiving is very good...that way you can spend the day with your family.

If you don't have a lot of time to write....try this: Wake up, type for 15 minutes (after coffee, of course!), stop, clean the kitchen or whatever, when you get more time, type for another 15 minutes. Depending on how fast you type, the word count really does add up doing this.

And one final thing....Get a Writing Buddy! I will be everyone's writing buddy if you wish.
Edited to Add: A writing buddy is your "lifeline" through November and possibly beyond. This person should offer encouragement, a rough push when you need it or a sympathetic ear.

G

ontheroad
by Group Admin on Aug. 24, 2007 at 2:17 AM
Hi FictionalGypsy,

My question relates to after the month is over.  What happens to the novels that have been so furiously written?  what did you do with yours?  Keep it filed away for future reference?  Edit and submit for possible publication? 

I think that after all of that effort I wouldn't be able to throw it away.

Please let me know that there is life after Nanowrimo.

Ontheroad

FictionalGypsy
by on Aug. 24, 2007 at 10:20 AM
There is life after NaNo! Many NaNo novels have been submitted and accepted for publication. There is a list on The Basics page of NaNo'ers who have been published (it's toward the bottom):

http://www.nanowrimo.org/modules/xoopsfaq/index.php?cat_id=1#18


I, personally, haven't submitted yet, mainly because I find editing very painful. LOL I still have all but one, maybe two, of my novels written in November. I'm editing....okay, totally rewriting....the one I mentioned in the Plots thread.

You can do whatever you wish with your novel. Chris Batty said (I believe in No Plot? No Problem!) that his first NaNo (they had less than 10 participants that first year), he took it down to Kinkos printed it out and had it bound himself. Then I believe he said it's not steadying a wobbly table. LOL
ontheroad
by Group Admin on Sep. 9, 2007 at 1:28 AM

Hi!

you said that you made the 50,000 word requirement every year you participated.  How much of those words did you have in notes beforehand?  Was it all winging it at the computer?  I realize that this isn't for the Nobel Prize, but having decided to make the effort, I would like to start with the confidence that I can complete it. 


FictionalGypsy
by on Sep. 9, 2007 at 1:58 AM


All 50,000 words of my novels were started on November 1st. I don't outline, I don't use notes, and I have never written a single word of the novel before then. The one year I did outline....on November 3rd, I trashed the novel and started over.


From NaNoWriMo's Q&A section:
I have a lot to do in November. Can I start in October and end early?
No. One of the best things about NaNoWriMo is the way it spreads the agony of creation throughout a large community of co-sufferers. For the pain to be properly distributed (and thereby diminished), all participants must be working on the same deadline.

Do I have to start my novel from scratch on November 1?
Yes.
This sounds like a dumb, arbitrary rule, we know. But bringing a half-finished manuscript into NaNoWriMo all but guarantees a miserable month. You'll simply care about the characters and story too much to write with the gleeful, anything-goes approach that makes NaNoWriMo such a creative rush. Give yourself the gift of a clean slate, and you'll tap into realms of imagination and intuition that are out-of-reach when working on pre-existing manuscripts.

Does that mean I can't use an outline or notes?
Outlines and plot notes are very much encouraged, and can be started months ahead of the actual novel-writing adventure. Previously written prose, though, is punishable by death.

Well, okay, not death....I'm almost sure they're making fun here...though I couldn't be sure...LOL
It's easy to make it through November, when you think about it, if you type 80 WPM...1667 words a day is roughly 21 minutes worth of work. A good support system is always helpful, your family may not understand, but other NaNo'ers do...you're not alone.

The words:
Don't Get it Right, Just Get It Written should be your mantra all through November. Lock your Inner Editor (IE) and Inner Critic (IC) in a closet and have fun. Set goals for yourself...fun things...."Today I will write 2000 words and when I do I can have 2 candy bars"  Last year, my son dared me to finished by the 18th and if I did he would reward me with The Phantom of The Opera DVD. I got the DVD. Something to look forward to is always wonderful....every year the winners can print out a nice certificate from the website...on October 28th or so, I buy my frame for my certificate. That way, I have my own goals to meet.
I hope this helps!

ETA: There may be NaNoWriMo's getting together in your area headed by a ML (Municipal Liason) check your Regional Forum Threads when you sign up...Many get together for "Write Ins"...I went to one once, it was a lot of fun, though not much writing got done. LOL

syuratick
by on Sep. 10, 2007 at 12:08 AM

Quoting FictionalGypsy:

It's easy to make it through November, when you think about it, if you type 80 WPM...1667 words a day is roughly 21 minutes worth of work.
Do you actually type 80 wpm????  I thought I was a good typist, and I type around 65-70 wpm!!!!  WOW!!!!!

I can't imagine that I will just type non-stop like I'm just copying something written on paper though.  Even though the point is to just let the words flow, don't you find yourself having to stop and think some??  Or do you really just type whatever comes to mind???

~~Sarah

Attention writers! Join the challenge!!! Come check out my new group: NaNoWriMo



 

FictionalGypsy
by on Sep. 10, 2007 at 12:35 AM

Quoting syuratick:


Quoting FictionalGypsy:

It's easy to make it through November, when you think about it, if you type 80 WPM...1667 words a day is roughly 21 minutes worth of work.
Do you actually type 80 wpm????  I thought I was a good typist, and I type around 65-70 wpm!!!!  WOW!!!!!

I can't imagine that I will just type non-stop like I'm just copying something written on paper though.  Even though the point is to just let the words flow, don't you find yourself having to stop and think some??  Or do you really just type whatever comes to mind???

~~Sarah

Attention writers! Join the challenge!!! Come check out my new group: NaNoWriMo






I've never actually timed myself typing. Last time I was timed was in 8th grade...I was typing around 63 WPM...I will admit I'm much faster now, but my fingers tend to move faster than my brain so I hit the backspace button a lot...LOL so that tends to slow me down.

Sometimes stopping to think is necessary, but I tend to just let it flow...if my character wants to make a speech on how to make a pot of coffee to a child or whatever, I just write it out step by step. Last year, I had a character sing parts of All I Ask Of You from Phantom of the Opera to the girl he was in love with...lol.
Even Chris Batty in No Plot? No Problem! says: If your character can read, you can cite. Give your protagonist a copy of Beowulf and an annoying habit of reading poetry out loud on their long commute to work, and you've suddenly added thousands of words to your count. This also works with songs, newspaper articles, and-gulp-other novels.

Also...stutters, long names used constantly over the novel (Lord James Waldorf Remmington Thor Sunderbund...6 words!), temporary deafness, dream sequences, and things like that adds to the count.

If you must stop to think about your next move....do it..sometimes clearing the cobwebs can help refresh a stalled section.


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