If you travel in the blogosphere you’ve probably seen this word on writers’ blogs and wondered “What in the heck is that?”
It stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s a novel (no pun intended) approach to writing a novel. Participants began writing on November 1 and the goal is to write a 50,000-word book by midnight November 30.
The internal editor is tossed out with the trash and your biggest goal is not quality but quantity. Write, write, write and get to that 50K mark so you can have bragging rights. You can edit in December. By creating a thirty-day window, writers must be persistent in order to meet their goal. That means writing 1667 words every day (or double that if you take a day off). When they picked November, did they forget about Thanksgiving and my son coming home from grad school to visit? And maybe the grandbaby being here for a day or two?
NaNoWriMo is a worldwide effort, so all around the globe writers are chained to their desks, bichok-ing (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) and maybe doing a little griping and screaming too.
The Playfriends are all participating (you will be able to monitor our WIPs -- works in progress -- with the word meters in the sidebar). Angel and I are each writing a book from scratch (though to be legal I had to re-write the first chapter I wrote a couple years ago). We (along with some of our other RWA chapter mates) have worked on plotting boards to guide us along the way.
Here's my plotting board. It's divided into chapters with sticky notes containing the key elements for each chapter, both from the hero's and heroine's point of view. If one of the secondary characters appears in that chapter, she gets a sticky note too. Hearts indicate S-E-X.
This is my hero and the woman who is his office manager. You can see the key elements of chapter one. Are you hooked yet?
This is my heroine and her best friend/co-worker. Can you tell I've been on a Law and Order SVU kick since February. Guess SVU can be my Tuesday reward if I've met my word count, huh?
Here's the first of those heart notes. You'll have to wait til Chapter 6 for them to do the horizontal mambo, but they'll be plenty of sexual tension before.
We had our first "write-in" on Monday at Angel's house. Four of us attended the four-hour session. It. Was. Awesome! I had my best daily word count to date. I'm convinced your own home or office is the worst place to write, though eventually I need to overcome this. I can't always escape to the library or Starbucks or someone else's house.
We had all the necessary tools available as evidenced by this photo. Here's Mary at the table with the laptops, notes, incense, magical mystical mojo beads (how's that for a mouthful -- NaNoWriMo Mojo) and caffeine. It seemed to work well because I wrote more in four hours on Monday than I wrote all day Saturday or Sunday. I can't wait to schedule the next one.
Of course, others have their own writing poses. Witness Angel in her recliner with the Alphasmart. She has some sort of holder with a gel wrist rest (she can probably tell everyone what it is) and when she was reclined, she was rocking and rolling on her Alphie. Sorry I didn't get a photo of Kathy on the sofa with her lap desk and uber-small laptop.
Instigator is working on the sequel to her debut novel from Blaze. Problem Child is working on her next book for Modern Heat. And Smarty Pants is writing 25K on a book that’s been requested and 25K on a new project.
Be warned that we may all write blogs that don’t make sense or even forget altogether until someone emails and says, “Hey stupid! Where’s your blog?”
Have you ever undertaken an intensive project like this? Anyone else participating in NaNo? Tell us about your book and keep us updated on YOUR progress too.
For more info on plotting boards, check out Angel's article on the Writing Playground website.
P.S. The following commenters have won books from Michelle from Monday's blog: MV Freeman, Sherry Werth, Kammie, Cheri2628, Rebekah E and Virginia. Please send your name and snail mail information to the Playground Monitor ASAP and she will forward it to Michelle.
P.P.S. Liza is Lori's winner from yesterday. Please email Smarty Pants with your name and snail mail info.