View Full Version : Nanowrimo

10-25-2011, 09:29 PM
If you're an artist who always wanted to write a book, come join me at Nanowrimo (http://www.nanowrimo.org). It stands for National Novel Writing Month even though it's worldwide. The goal is to write a 50,000 word rough draft novel within November.

I've been doing it since 2000 and met a couple of other WC members who participate, so I'm posting this thread for other Wrimos who want to get together and share our word counts, our triumphs and troubles.

We have one awesome advantage too - we artist-writers can illustrate our novels and do our own covers!

10-26-2011, 12:31 AM
i've heard of this ... a friend of mine has done a couple of them.

here's a ? for you ... what percentage of your novels thus far are dialogue? approximately - half? a third? two thirds?

i can blather on forever and tell a pretty decent story, but integrating dialogue is my nemesis and i'm thinking it's a pretty important factor ... writing 'script' has been suggested as a tool to progress dialogue ... any other tips you'd care to share on that would be most welcomed.


10-26-2011, 08:42 AM
I have considered participating in this a few times. I have done the 3-Day Novel writing contest a few times, so a whole month might not be too bad.

But then I think of how to juggle that, and getting into the studio. A place where I already get to spend far too little time.


10-27-2011, 08:28 PM
Oh gee whiz. Could this be a sign? I've been torn about wanting to take part in this. The weird thing is ten minutes before I signed into WetCanvas I had been on the site. I read a bit, then I clicked out and told myself no. I come here, and there is the Nanowrimo thread staring me in the face. Aye-yi-yi. Decisions, decisions, decisions. :confused:

Will you keep this thread going with your progress?

10-28-2011, 12:45 AM
I sure will! This is a great place to gather with questions and goals and progress and anything to do with Nanowrimo. We could even post illustrations into the thread if we start drawing our characters. That can help with visualizing them. When I did "The Necromancer's Tale" I did the young black Necromancer in his white Egyptian style robe in Conte crayon and taped him up on the wall above my writing area - it helped remind me what he looked like and who he was.

That's a fun book, I should go back and edit it to send it out. Great little fantasy romp with romantic comedy subplot.

I think dialogue in mine runs about a third. I put in some action and descriptions too. I blend the dialogue with other things - the fight's action goes on through it, or something, the characters move around. If I get bored with "he said" then I start using Action Tags.

He shrugged. "I'm not sure. Maybe the answer is somewhere up there..."

"Are you talking about asking God or the IT department upstairs?" She rolled her eyes.

That sort of thing. I visualize the book as a movie in my head so the dialogue and action tend to flow together and I describe the bits you'd look at and pay the most attention to from the point of view character's filter - the POV character's ideas, depth of information (did they just meet? Is this an old friend?), attitude in life, goals.

If it starts running short because of too much dialogue I add action tags and more concrete details to the descriptions. If I'm running long I look for redundant descriptions, excess words that don't give necessary information, just tighten in general. Result, length doesn't usually change much in edits unless I decided to change the length. Like finding out a chapter is twice the length of the others sort of thing.

Get the rough draft done so you know what happened and then go in and add more detail if you think there's too much dialogue. Write new dialogue in the edits to show not tell if you have too little. It may be your style has a comfort level about dialogue. It shouldn't read like a radio play or like a silent film, try to avoid those extremes.

Purr and thanks for jumping in, both of you! I hope more of us do, Nanowrimo is a lot of fun!

10-28-2011, 02:15 PM
I did 2009 and 2010 but this year I'm moving so may be in too much chaos, and I know they say that makes you censor less and there's definitely merit in that . . . however, I have had this novel idea I've been saving as a "reward" to start after settling into my new place. It's one I want to go slowly with and not rush.

However, I have been known to change my mind about things like this. NaNoWriMo is rather addictive. So if I do, maybe I'll see you there!

10-28-2011, 09:10 PM
Robert this looks like fun, I've always wanted to write a book but have no idea what I'm doing. Is 50,00 words a lot??

I'm really busy at the moment, would this be doable if I only spent an hour or so a night??

I know what I want to write about (an adventure my son had in Bali) but I've never written anything more than posts on my blogs. So I'm not sure I can.

Is there great shame in trying but never getting close to the 50,000 words :o ??

Thanks for sharing the link:D

10-28-2011, 11:21 PM
OK I went and had a look and I'm all signed up!! Same user name as I have on here, I have two stories in mind either "A bed full of pillows" or "The watch"
Hope I finish and don't have a nervous breakdown from all the things I'm doing in November:eek:

10-29-2011, 10:21 AM
Good luck to everyone who signed up...I'm still waffling...don't know...I am doing so much already.

11-01-2011, 02:21 PM
Deborah, it's entirely doable if you only have an hour a day to do it. The trick is to write continuously during that hour. Don't stop and worry about what to write next. Just get it down. If you can't think of what to write, just keep going describing the last thing that happened until you think of what to write.

It doesn't have to be good at this stage. It just has to be down there in words. Editing comes later.

It helps to go a little over the 1667 words and finish the scene or chapter you're in, that'll give you elbow room if you get a day where you don't even have your full hour to write. Doing a little extra on weekends helps too.

So glad you joined!

Catjoe, hey, sign up and do it. You'll never know until you try. If you don't finish, it's not like police come knock in your door to take away your computer or something - you have half a novel and you can keep going till it's done, maybe take two months to write it instead of one. You're ahead either way.

I made a good start last night - started at midnight and I've got 3,389 words. I kept going till the first chapter was done because I couldn't sleep. I've been having trouble getting to bed at night anyway so I might as well use it to get more writing done. That was in about two hours, I got to bed at two in the morning.

"Trouble in the City" is my title, Trouble is also the name of the magical cat that just walked into Brian's life through the fire escape. He moved in on his own and took over. Just like a cat.

11-02-2011, 09:20 AM
Wow Robert, Great start. I'm probably not going to do it this year, I know it would cut into my painting time. I'll be watching your progress...Happy writing.

11-03-2011, 02:25 PM
Purr thanks! Did another 3,000 words this morning so now I'm up to 7,893. If I get in another writing session this afternoon after I go out to do all my tax paperwork, I'll probably go over 10,000. If not, I'll get that tomorrow.

Word counts from other participants?

11-05-2011, 10:07 AM
Word count 3,188

Well I never read the rules, who does :rolleyes:

So after I signed up wrote my synopsis and got all exited I realised it is meant to be fiction and I was writing nonfiction. I was really upset until i found out I can be a rebel :clap: so I'm still in.

I know I'm a bit (well a lot) behind but I'm painting in the day and writing at night. I think i might actually get close to finishing.

My book is about a month long trip we had in Asia this past Dec/Jan and how people on the forums help each other.

'The Watch'

...Floating by on the warm hazy breeze butterflies colour our days, at night fireflies skip through the rice fields.

Then during the last few days, Riley and his best friend Brent see a watch, itís a strange looking creation, copied from a Franck Muller design. They both want it but there is only one, so they leave it. On the second last day, Brent buys the watch.

Is our month long trip going to end on a sour note? I donít think so!

With the help of my on line TripAdvisor friends, Iím out to show that the world can be a wonderful, magical place.

This new world, with Internet friends we never meet, really is remarkable.

Thanks again Robert I had never heard of this before, now my son, mother and her partner have all signed up :D

11-10-2011, 04:54 AM
That's awesome progress! Go go go! Remember, you can tweak it. You can change names and fool around with it a little to fictionalize it too, or do it in realism but just change some of the names a bit. Plenty of fiction is semibiographical. If anything sounds like it'd go well in the story, put it in!

I've gotten to the end of Chapter 4 and had some days without working on it, due to other things interfering. But I can still catch up. I made a strong start so I compensated for the days I didn't work on it.

I am exactly at par. If I do 1667 words today I'll be exactly on par and most of a day ahead. Actually I'm less than 25 words short of what I should have at the end of today (the tenth) so I'm on track and as soon as I write Chapter 5, I will be roaring ahead again. A chapter for me is worth 2 or 3 days of word count and I tend to finish a chapter in the day I start it.