34

This is not really a question, but I'll try to address your point. NaNoWriMo is a challenge with yourself. It is a personal commitment you take with yourself and with your idea, promising that you will work hard and focused on a project for the whole month. This can be a silly thing for a professional writer, but it is a huge effort for non professionals, ...


14

What's gained from NaNoWriMo? Obviously for some, motivation through a social event. For some, it is like running the marathon, not to come in first, and even if they come in last, they want to be able to say they did it, on that date and when everybody else was doing it and with everybody else doing it. Would they get up and run a marathon down the ...


12

There is no harm in starting Nanowrimo with a basic plot outline. Writing without plotting is very hard, and few people other than Stephen King can pull it off, as I said in another answer. The reason many people fail at writing is because they fail to finish anything. Everyone has great ideas, about books that will become best sellers, movies that will win ...


12

As a past "winner" of NaNoWriMo, I can tell you what this did for me. It set a lofty yet achievable writing goal for me to reach for It forced me to write, even when I didn't feel motivated (or when my inner-muse decided to sleep in) It put me in a community of others who were pursuing the same goal. This provided both support and encouragement. It ...


10

The rules say that if you think of it as a novel, it counts as a novel. If you don't think of the whole 50,000 words as a novel, it doesn't strictly fit the rules. I've known lots of people who write 50,000 words of short stories and call it good. It may not strictly satisfy the rules, but so what? You wrote 50,000 words of short stories and had a lot of ...


10

Do not put pressure on yourself by saying "Oh, I can write more at the weekend to compensate what I've missed during the week." You will throttle your motivation, you will strangle your creativity. You will get, what you fear most: writer's block. Should you write in the evening and risk to get not enough sleep? Well, why do you think they call it "Thirty ...


10

I think NaNoWriMo is a great idea for beginning writers, those who just need to get their butt-in-chair time taken care of. But I don't see a point to it for established writers who already have a system in place that works for them. What's your ultimate goal for the project? Do you want something publishable, or are you just trying to get words on a ...


10

This may be opinion based. My advice is to at least finish it - and here's why. If you allow yourself to not finish, you are setting a precedent for yourself. You are patterning to you that you don't need to finish. Likewise, if you finish it, even if poorly, you are disciplining yourself to finishing the project. Finish it. Commit to three weeks of ...


9

I suppose the question of "what's gained" for participating in NaNoWriMo is quite subjective, but I always felt it was good particularly for 3 reasons: Being in November, which has 30 days, it allows anyone participating to have a short-term goal that is easily digestible. Writing 50,000 words sounds daunting, but writing 1667 doesn't seem so bad. It just ...


8

One planning task I find useful is listing out all the chapters and a 1-2 sentence overview for each of what happens. If I have a better idea of what it'll be about, I'll also say what I want to reveal in that chapter, eg. Shows Character A's weakness for peanuts. What you end up with is a pretty good idea of the plot and how it progresses, but it's still ...


7

If you are following the daily wordcount rules, NaNoWriMo is explicitly not about quality. It's about committing to getting stuff on paper so you can work with it. So many of us start a novel and never finish it, or never start it at all. Being part of the NaNoWriMo sprint gives you a concrete goal and a community to cheer you on. There is, in fact, ...


7

There is absolutely no reason not to start the book with NaNoWriMo. In a recent discussion I was having about the writing process, someone brought up the idea that there were two types of writers, those who write like architects, and those whose writing style mirrors a plant germinating out of a seed. The architectural style requires a great deal of ...


7

So you like NaNo's credo, you embrace the idea, that you are allowed to write a crappy first draft. But it looks like you haven't understood it. I do not know you, but interpreting your question you sound like someone avoiding the real stuff (writing) by finding an excuse that sounds reasonable (prep work). In reality it's only the little sucker in your ...


6

The way Nanowrimo is designed, you are supposed to write by the seat of your pants. The idea is you just write, without analysing or thinking much. You can create a short 1-2 page plot summary, but plotting the whole story and all the characters will take too much time. The reason for this is- most people fail at writing not because of poor plotting / ...


6

No, actually, I think it's perfect. NaNoWriMo kills your excuses for Not Writing. You've done homework, you've done plotting, you've done character sketches, blah blah blah fishcakes, just start writing the bloody thing already. The benefit of NaNoWriMo is that it encourages/forces you to dump onto the page. Don't worry if it's any good. Seriously. Just ...


6

I've never personally participated in NaNoWriMo --like you, I don't find it of personal benefit --but it has been immensely helpful to many people. It's essentially a (voluntary) psychological tool to help people overcome writer's block, fear of inadequacy, the intimidation of tackling a full-length work, the tendency to let writing be prioritized right our ...


5

I keep a second word processing document open where I scribble down ideas and thoughts which don't fit into the current point in the story. This document is a grammar-free, style-free zone. I record the ideas as quick as I can type them, then jump back to the main document and dive back into its tempo and style. I make no promises to the ideas in ...


5

Perhaps an appropriate amount of prep work would be to establish your main character (or characters). Then you can put them into a series of situations and explore what happens to them, while keeping true to the characterizations you initially set out. Each chapter can be a different situation, follow the characters as far as you can. Situations: Winning ...


5

NaNoWriMo would never ever work for me, because without the prep work, it's just logorrhea. But if you're trying to use the butt-in-chair time as a motivator, then instead of "when timer dings, start typing your book," maybe it should be "when timer dings, start working through your prep work." If all you want to do is get into the habit of writing, then ...


5

Do I need to go as far as doing all the prep and planning I would for a "regular" novel-writing effort? It depends. If you really just want to develop the daily habit of sitting down and spitting out words, then you don't need any planning at all. If you want a usable draft at the end--one that you can revise into something that meets your usual standard--...


5

I was under the impression that I was a great pantser and had little to say on this matter. Then I realised. All my "pantsed" efforts used to run into the muck about 20k in and many never came back from that terrible limbo. So when I first sat down to do Nano I was determined to find a method for making sure I made the magic 50k. Here is what I did: I ...


5

I'm in a similar situation to you. I wrote the first 50,000 words of a novel during a NaNoWriMo (I can't remember which at the moment) and then finished it up during a Camp NaNoWriMo. If you are looking to finish an old story you started during a NaNoWriMo, I would highly recommend doing a Camp NaNoWriMo. There is one in April and July. You can set your own ...


4

There is no reason for you to not do any advance preparation for this. If you are more comfortable working out a full outline and developing out your characters, then you can do all of that in advance. The primary objective is to write your novel during the month of November. Any advance preparation you do for that will only help you to succeed at that goal. ...


4

It's important to understand what NaNoWriMo can and can't do. In a way, NaNoWriMo is all about quantity, and not at all about quality. That's really important, because quantity is something a lot of writers really struggle with - sometimes without even realizing it. Some of NaNoWriMo's big goals are: Get yourself into the habit of writing consistently. ...


4

Lastly - the world seems to have moved on and the issues in my novel don't seem as relevant to a readership and they once were… Respectfully, it may be the author who has moved on (but yes, I think for many people the world has changed so I am not saying your point isn't valid). You have something of length that can be analyzed. That's an opportunity to ...


4

I am a discovery writer (and find the term "pantster" as pejorative as "plodder" instead of "plotter."). All writers must go through a phase of discovering their story, whether it is inventing a detailed plot or inventing the plot as one writes so it fits the characters, culture, and world as they are getting introduced. That said, I have abandoned stories, ...


4

Jack Kerouac's On the Road was famously typed in one long paragraph on a single 120ft scroll of paper, over 3 week coffee and Benzedrine bender. The story isn't entirely true – it had been previously worked out in drafts, and the whole thing was edited after-the-fact, but there really is a long (taped) scroll of paper, with pencil notes and strikethroughs. ...


3

It depends on what kind of writer you are. NaNoWriMo doesn't have anything to do with it. Some people are "pants" or "discovery" writers. Whether they write the whole thing in a month or a year or a decade, they sit and type to see what happens. Some people are plotters. Again, the amount of time they spend to get a word count is irrelevant; they have to ...


3

Motivation is the same regardless of what race/being they are. To make reasons for people who are unlikely to team up, team up... They need a common goal. Often in stories, we read someone who is suspicious tempt the MC into teaming up with them (LoTR with Frodo/Smeagol) because they both share what appears to be a common goal. It was unknown to Frodo that ...


3

Sounds like you shouldn't try to plan tho story since that tends to block you. I've won Nano twice. Both times I wrote by hand in whatever scrap of time I had--not typing it up until the month was over. (You'll want to type up a page or two to figure out how many words you write per page, though.) Don't worry about messy handwriting or misspelled words or ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible