Get Ready for the Countdown to NanoWriMo!

Image by Tojosan via Flickr

Get Ready for the Countdown to NanoWriMo!

Traci Kenworth


It’s here. That magical time of year when millions of fingers poise over the keyboards, press that pen or pencil to the paper, or whichever method you prefer to pursue NanoWriMo. Nano is a once a year writing challenge to help support those who choose to come up with a 50,000 word novel. I’ve done it once a couple years ago and won the challenge. I came away with an 85,000 count book which I’m readying to send off to agents now.

Yes, there must be rewrites for what we do during the challenge. We can’t just rush our work out there, hoping to find a home. SH has gone through several versions of rewrites. My female character needed strengthening, a lot of the backstory needed cut, the secondary characters needed brought to the forefront to complete their roles in the story instead of just popping up at the last minute to announce their deeds in it all. Yep, it’s come a long way; but now, it’s something to be proud of. Just as yours will be, if you put the time and effort into it.

I suggest going into the challenge with an outline, character charts, setting boards, any handy clippings or print-outs about characters/scenes etc. you feel might help you in the course of things. Adjust your time. Don’t sit and write the whole word count out at once, if you struggle doing so, do it in increments. A half-hour here, half-hour there. It’ll add up. If you do about 2,000 words a day, you’ll nail your goal.

My experience was that it was both easier and harder than I thought. Easier, because I managed double the word count, so I overshot my goals, harder in the wear-and-tear it puts on you but let me tell you, in the end when you hold that book in your hands, it will all be worth it. You will have accomplished something most people only dream about. Writing a book is hard. Anyone can say that they’re going to do it but to actually do it, and write one that sells? It takes skill and hard work. Nano can point you on the right path. Why not sign up today. And stop by my page and say, “Hi.” I’m always willing to welcome more friends along the way.

10 thoughts on “Get Ready for the Countdown to NanoWriMo!

  1. You know I just might do it! Because I think I can manage 2k words a day…I will just have to see how it goes but if I at least try, I will be further ahead in my novel than I would be if I haven’t tried! The perfect thing is I DO have an outline ready! So, hey, who knows!

    Okay, I think ill do it. 🙂


  2. I can’t swing it in November. Too much going on. But I’m thinking of doing my own NaNo in a more reasonable month. Of course, I have thought this before…

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see what you end up with, come December!

    Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse


  3. It is awfully difficult with Thanksgiving in there but the fun and scrambling around are worth it. Taking time for your own month would be good and can be done. But what I like about Nano is all the support at your fingertips, you know so many others are suffering through the same thing as you at the same time and are available if need be. Oh, I won’t have this ready by Dec. It’ll take me about a yr. to rewrite and edit it to where I’m satisfied with it. I like to write fast and correct slow. But it’s okay, I put it aside for a breather, while I finish my former story (that’s taking a breather right now.) This way, I always have something I’m working on.


  4. I’m thinking of making November NaNoPlaMo (pla=planning). I haven’t finished planning my next project, and I want to finish this round of edits to my current wip before starting the first draft of my next book.

    I feel sorry for agents come December and January. And then we have those who jump into self publishing without thinking through the consequences of not editing first. Eeek!


  5. Planning is good. I’ve been working on it for weeks now to pin down where I want to go with my next wip, who the characters are, etc. I won’t be sending my Nano work out in Dec. and Jan., my final edits are being done on 2009’s Nano project. I guess you can say, I like to be thorough. Actually, though, I’ve found since starting to write that my voice is best suited to first person instead of third, so it’s taken some work to turn the book around to where I want it. I’ve also learned so much since that first time around. So, yeah, my advice? Write fast, but edit slow.


  6. One of the things I like most about nano is actually the nano forums, Everyone is so great and supportive and there is such a great energy there. Too, there are a ton of great resources on the threads–it’s literally a treasure trove for writers!

    You’re going to do great!!


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