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Looking For a Clue

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Since it was brought up on the board and I saw that some folks didn't understand it.  I decided to blog about it.

Hi, I'm a Nanowrimo participant this year.  My first year was, I think, 2005.  I won that year.  Meaning I completed 50,000 words in 30 days.   Yes, on one (rather bad) project.  I did it to see if I could.  In other years I have crashed and burned out the gate.  And in others not even attempted.  Normally I think about it.  Some years are better than others.  I have documented wins in 2008 and last year.  

Nanowrimo is short for National Novel Writing Month - which is November.  The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Being a numbers sort of person this means 1667 words per day for the 30 days.  I personally find that keeping that words per day bit in mind makes the big goal feel more attainable.  

Why do I do it?  Because honestly, for various reasons I don't write consistently.  Yes, I should.  But I don't.  I used to.  But life has gotten in the way.  I found that my depression (actually the meds) sort of rewired my creative brain and it was hard to write for years.  I also have an overloaded schedule due to work during this time of the year.  And in some years it is just too much.  Lately I find that giving myself a diversion (Nano for instance) helps keep me sane and gives me a distraction (or outlet).  

I know of published authors who do Nanowrimo?  Why - it is a good time to focus on something new.  For me this year I've jumped out of my comfort zone of mystery/suspense into some sort of weird Sci-Fi/fantasy something or other.  I've jump started past projects.  Move ahead in a series (nope, not published).  Or gone back to the drawing board on some things.  

For me, planning is key.  So while Nano is technically in November, my planning and thought process begins months ahead of time.  My process is a bit character driven and there is a magic combo that I cannot explain of the right character and the right spark or seed.  Once I have those I need time to wallow with my characters and figure out what they want or where they are going.  I've long heard the term Plotter (people who outline the whole novel in detail) and Pantser (people who just start writing and fly by the seat of their pants).  I'm a bit in the middle.  I need to know what we want and where we're going.  I  typically use a loose 3 act structure and need my 5 plot points.  I have been known to toss said plot points aside in the middle of writing but at the start I need them for a guide.  From there I am a bit more loose and let the character(s) drive the story.  Sure it leads to more editing but in the world of writing it is what works for you.

I hope this gives some of you a better feel for what Nanowrimo is.  


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