NaNoWriMo 2013

by Amanda Linehan on October 28, 2013

in Writing

In just a few days, I will be participating in my second ever NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month). I “won” NaNoWriMo in 2009, which I wrote about here, but I haven’t done it since. I’m getting excited. :)

During NaNoWriMo 2009, I wrote my first novel. Since then, I’ve written two others, so this will be my fourth.

In 2009, I was trying to see if I could simply complete a first draft, with really no regard to quality, and I was able to do that. This year, I also want to complete a first draft, but I would also like to have a workable story that I will eventually publish.

The thing that makes this a little tricky is that I’m also going to go into this with no written notes or outline for the story. This is the main thing I’m experimenting with – seeing if I can write a publishable story with no plan. This is my first time as a “pantser” for a novel, although I have done it before with short stories.

I find that NaNoWriMo is a great time to experiment, especially because there is simply no time to fret and worry over what I’m doing as I have barely enough time as it is to complete the draft! Also, the external motivation to “win” pushes me forward in a way that nothing does when I’m writing on my own time. (And let me assure you – “my time” can be slow and winding depending on my whims!)

The working title of my novel will be “North” and, in a nutshell, it’s about a young woman who robs the store where she works and then takes off on the run. So, I think the entire novel will take place on the road, which I’m excited about. This is an idea that I’ve had for several years, so I’m glad to finally see it come to fruition.

I plan to blog periodically about my progress, probably once per week, and before I know it November will be over and I (hopefully) will have a complete first draft of a novel.

Is anyone else planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year? Would love to hear from fellow participants! You can leave a comment below.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ty Unglebower November 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm

As you already know, I am doing Nanowrimo, so that’s not news to you.

I have a brief outline for mine, based on something I found in a book. It bases a novel on five key scenes or events, so I figured I’d give that a try. I decided those five events, and sketched out the characters beforehand, and that’s about all I did. So it is mostly a pantsing effort…which is usually the case when I do Nano anyway.

2 Amanda Linehan November 6, 2013 at 9:46 am

Hi Ty – That’s interesting. For previous novels/stories I’ve done something similar – decide the ending (in a general sense), decide the beginning and then make a list of things I want to happen int the middle. Then I know I just have to get my characters from point to point. For what I’m working on for Nano, I’m doing this somewhat, but none of it’s written down. It’s just in my head. So far so good!

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