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message 1: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Jason, Lady D and a few others here made me aware of NaNoWriMo this year.

Recently, I learned that NaNoWriMo was having a summer camp. It's going to run this month and next month. If anyone is interested, I think I may try to take part.

Camp NaNoWriMo is supposed to be the same as regular NaNoWriMo, just in a "camp-like" setting.

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2010, we had over 200,000 participants. More than 30,000 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, to recap:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.

Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins 12:00:01 November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at 11:59:59. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

message 2: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments :)

Maybe you should try regardless? Just putter about until August?

message 3: by Leighann (new)

Leighann | 159 comments Hmmm let's see

there once was a man from nantucket...

Oh wait i think that's been done. :(

message 4: by Leighann (new)

Leighann | 159 comments I think we should just pick the story of Gralant back up. And then submit our "joint" effort work!

message 5: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments From what I've read it seems to be a 50,000 word goal for both months. *shrug* I've never done this before. Shoot, I barely can get started on my opening paragraph!

message 6: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I'm 5 paras in! *look at me now* *look at me now*


message 7: by Casey (new)

Casey I've done NaNo the last couple years and I always have bunches of fun, even though I haven't gotten anywhere close to winning yet. A summer camp sounds neat.

message 8: by Laurel (new)

Laurel I may be over thinking this, but I'm going to spend July reading up on the craft of writing, putter around with an outline, etc. If I can get through that, I'll try writing in August! It's one of those major life goals to strike off of the 'ole bucket list :)

message 9: by Denae (new)

Denae (whimsicalmeerkat) | 0 comments I'm sort of doing this, but it's the first time I've written anything in roughly a decade, so I went with terrible WoT fan fiction. I'm learning to abandon my shame though. So far, it's a bit slow. I'm still under 3500 words. That being said, it is the first thing in a decade.

I may kind of take it easy until August, when they get the friend stuff going on the site.

message 10: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I actually already have two different outlines for two different books that I never touched after starting the outline. I don't have any character sketches for the characters (which is a no-no I guess but who cares? Not me right now).

I'm only about 600 words in - but I just started yesterday. I'll see how far I'll get...I've never actually completed 175 pages before.

message 11: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments That's good that you've gotten that far! close are you to your outlined finish?

message 12: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (last edited Jul 08, 2011 06:22AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) I'm definitely going to sign up in November, so we should have a thread for it when November rolls around. Honestly, I'm swamped right now. But I will be here to cheer you on!

message 13: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Tracey wrote: "...





I've tried outlining; like you said, it's not me. I don't really do character sketches, either. I've compared my writing style to juggling spagghetti...."

LOL! I know what you mean. I can't give you any advice (esp. since you've gotten much farther than me) but I can tell you the advice that Piers Anthony gave me: you have to have the ending written/planned out or you'll never get there.

I had a teacher tell me the same so I tried to start doing outlines...I'm not really good with them but I try (it doesn't always happen either). far are you from your planned ending? :D

message 14: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Tracey wrote: "...

Planned ending?


I've never had a clue how I'm wrapping this all up. It's going to be as big a surprise to me as anyone else. At least, I know most of what happens: how I'm going t..."

This is true. That's one of the reasons I get some satisfaction from just writing the outline by itself. :)

Reason I was asking about how far you were...I think that it maybe a good idea to just finish up your current work.

If it helps to clear the brain any - maybe you can start a new one based on the paragraphs and stuff you have put to the side but with only 150-200 pages left...that last 50,000 words would really help cap everything off.

message 15: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I need to do some world-building. Gah. It's always harder to create fantasy than to use what's already there.

*sniff* I didn't do any real world building in my outline and all the names I made up were filler just to have something and I hate them all.

I never understand how "literary" writers can ever say that fantasy isn't work. It's harder to create a new world than to use the one you were born into.

message 16: by Casey (new)

Casey MrsJoseph wrote: "I need to do some world-building. Gah. It's always harder to create fantasy than to use what's already there.

*sniff* I didn't do any real world building in my outline and all the names I made u..."

I always do the opposite. I spend hours thinking and writing about fantastic scenery and all sorts of amazing climates, and then realize that I haven't figured out the plot.

message 17: by Denae (new)

Denae (whimsicalmeerkat) | 0 comments I think I'm going to largely let things slide for the rest of this month, writing only as it interests me, but pick up "for real" in August.

message 18: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Casey wrote: "MrsJoseph wrote: "I need to do some world-building. Gah. It's always harder to create fantasy than to use what's already there.

*sniff* I didn't do any real world building in my outline and all ..."

:D Plot? Who needs a plot??

message 19: by Denae (new)

Denae (whimsicalmeerkat) | 0 comments My plot seems to currently consist of "I'm going to make this girl's life kind of suck because I'm sick of RP/fan fic where people just breeze through becoming an Aes Sedai"

message 20: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Denae wrote: "My plot seems to currently consist of "I'm going to make this girl's life kind of suck because I'm sick of RP/fan fic where people just breeze through becoming an Aes Sedai""

Hmmm, feeling rather GRRM like, huh?

message 21: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I'm at 7700 words! That's just shy of 15 single spaced 12 point Word pages! Yaaay! My personal best until this moment has been 15 pages and I think I will pass that on today. :-D

message 22: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Tracey wrote: "I'm going to ask the dreaded question - which is hypocritical of me because I hate it when people ask me - but - - - what's it about?

I should start planning for August ... Hopefully I won't spa..."

That's a great question, lol!

Let me ponder that and get back with you! O_o

message 23: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Tracey wrote: "LOL!

At least if it's a fantasy it's not hard to talk about it here. I confessed to the writing in a job interview once, and the interviewer asked The Question, and I think my answer was along..."


I've got The Question in several different types of interviews and it always ends badly. *sigh* It's just really hard to explain that your MC is the Child of Light and that they're on a High Adventure to find the Special Object that will allow him (or her!) to Save the World from the Dark Evil God who has come again.

Yeah. They never get it, lol.

message 24: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments *nods frantically*


message 25: by Denae (new)

Denae (whimsicalmeerkat) | 0 comments Tracey wrote: "I like the idea, Denae. Are you thinking difficulty mastering the One Power, or harassment by teachers and fellow apprentices, or both? And can we see it one day?"

Probably a bit of both. As for sharing, well, we'll see how I feel when/if I finish it. I'm not sure at this point it'd be worth the time to type it up, let alone edit it. Still, we'll see! Like I said, probably not going to do much more on it until August.

message 26: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (amandamlyons) I can identify with the dreaded "What do you write question" for me its tough because a lot of my writing is horror which gets you an even blanker look than the one for elves or good quests.

"Um well my completed one's a vamp novel that has a sequel I'm halfway into. Then there's the Apocalypse one where the MC writes the end of the world by using an evil spell and then tries to save it. The one about a teen girl who talks to her dolls and they dolls kill people but only bad people. Uh and the sorta fairy tale one about a boy that follows his mom into another world trying not to lose her. Um yeah those are what I have going..."

I usually get:

"oh ok..."

"um I'm not much for horror."


"I really love Stephen King is it like SK?"

All of which makes me go *facepalm*

message 27: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Cotterill (rachelcotterill) I've done NaNo in November four times. It wouldn't take much persuading to get me to sign up for August.... :)

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

So, I think I may take some friend's advice and actually give this a run this year. Is there such a thing as two people writing a novel together on the site? Like sharing the same login and going back and forth or editing one another etc? I think that would be rather fun :)

message 29: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments You're totally not supposed to, but who really cares? LoL! You do the work on your own, the site just provides forums for emo support and a word counter. I've been doing all of mine in WORD.

You can use Google Docs, though...that will allow for collaborative editing.

message 30: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Tracey wrote: "Write Or Die"

?? O_o

message 31: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments That is complete and utter BS!!! What if you run into a block? What if a character starts fighting with you and won't do what you want? They could erase gems!!


But then again, if you think that you need the computer to erase your work if you stop...maybe its doing a good thing...

message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Tracey wrote, "'Course, we don't need 'em - we have you, Grant"

Lol....I'm pleased to see that I have a true calling in life ;)

message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

I do still like the idea of a collaborative effort but I guess it would be hard to find someone who writes in a similar manner or complementary manner or who would desire the same storyline as you. If I do it, I think I'll try to go with some very action packed and intense. Either S&S or detective noir :)

message 34: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Whoo hooo! I finally broke 11k!

message 35: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments :-D

So, I was sitting here at my computer and thinking about trying to get some writing done. I realized that I'd already broken my personal best AND my characters were all fighting with me and I wasn't churning out the words like I used to...

...and I wanted to take a in just forget it because there is NO WAY I'm going to make 50K by the end of the month.

Out of habit I logged onto Camp and there was this mail message for me:

"Week Three: "And then..."

I mentioned in my previous pep talk that I spent three weeks of each summer at camp in North Carolina. Invariably, I got pretty homesick before those three weeks were up. So what if people were picking blackberries or building birdhouses or squirting each other with cow milk? (Or was that just at my camp?) While everyone else was charging around camp having a great time, bashing each other in the head with cow pies, I couldn’t stop thinking about everything I’d be doing if I were at home where it was safe and familiar and mosquitoes the size of my fist weren’t feasting on my face all night long.

Campers, Week Three is a lot like this. Suddenly we’re wondering why this sounded like a good idea in the first place. Instead of consuming caffeinated beverages by the gallon and reattaching our typed-out fingers with scotch tape, we’re yearning for the days of watching “Antiques Roadshow” reruns and cooking up elaborate variations of the PB&J. (My suggestion? Add potato chips!)

But here’s the thing: You have your whole life to watch syndicated TV and engage in the sandwich arts. You recognized roughly two and a half weeks ago that NOW is the time to get your story down on the page. Just as we all have stories to tell, we also all have an endless arsenal of excuses for why we can’t make—or simply don’t feel like making—the time to write them.

But here you are, already at your computer! You’re booted up, presumably with all fingers intact, and nothing, but nothing, is going to come between you and your novel (not even cow pies). Go ahead and open the document (or notebook). Move the cursor or pen to the last sentence you wrote. Now add, “And then...”

My heart is already racing with the possibilities!


message 36: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I think I'm starting to love her, too. :)

I'm starting to fizzle out. Well, maybe a second wind is coming...

message 37: by Denae (new)

Denae (whimsicalmeerkat) | 0 comments Tracey wrote: "You're not supposed to work on an in-progress novel, either, but I did. *takes up Cool James Dean Rebel Pose*

I did everything in Word too. I looked at some of the software others were talking..."

I'll definitely be continuing the little bit I wrote this month in August rather than starting from scratch. That Write or Die thing sounds absolutely horrifying. So far, I've written everything by hand. It's the only way I won't go back and edit/delete while writing, which is the only way I will stick with something. Like I said, this is the first writing I've tried to do in more than a decade, so it's a very rough start.

message 38: by Casey (new)

Casey Ack, I forgot about the camp. Ironically it was because somebody is paying me to make them an embroidered bookmark. xP Ah well, August here I come!

I've used Write or Die before and I love it. It's a great motivational tool. I'm thinking of getting the full version to use for essays at school. I was scared at first, but Kamikaze Mode is fun. It's like sprinting for your hands. :D You should try word wars too. Those have helped me a lot in the past and you can do them with almost anyone.

message 39: by Denae (new)

Denae (whimsicalmeerkat) | 0 comments August 1st! I'm going to start writing just as soon as I get another hour or so of sleep...m

message 40: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments :-)

message 41: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Camp has started!

Who's doing Camp for August? I (personally) need to finish out my July book - so that means I am back to finishing my work in progress...

message 42: by Denae (new)

Denae (whimsicalmeerkat) | 0 comments I'm whimsicalmeerkat. I'm starting over for the month, doing something completely different. So far, I'm happy with it, but that's at 3 pages in. :/

message 43: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments For the month of August until Sunday September 4, 2011, Jack Matthews’ new ebook about the craft of fiction writing will be a free download. Normal price is $2.99 (still a great deal).

Download Link is here.
The ebook is available DRM-free.

About the Ebook
Since the early 1990s, Jack Matthews has distributed a photocopied version of this 75,000 word writing guide to students in his fiction writing classes at Ohio University. This guide offers insight about how successful writers mold raw experiences into a story and how language helps you to do that. It offers lots of good examples and practical advice for getting a story idea off the ground; it analyzes several stories (including one of Matthews’ own) and offers several paradigms for understanding how stories work. Erudite, witty, idiosyncratic, serendipitous, mischievous, sesquipedalian, entertaining, introspective and colorful: these are adjectives which come to mind when reading this book.

About the Author

86 year old author Jack Matthews has not only written more than 15 works of fiction, he was distinguished professor of Fiction Writing at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio for over 4 decades. Winner of Gugenheim and several arts grants, Matthews has been anthologized widely, translated into several languages and nominated for a National Book Award. In July 2011, Estruscan Press published his novel, The Gambler’s Nephew, a dark 19th century tale about slavery, guilt, memory. In Fall 2011 Personville Press will be republishing his 1967 novel Hanger Stout, Awake (which was praised by Time Magazine and people such as Eudora Welty).

message 44: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3204 comments I did this a year and a half ago. I succeeded, too! The novel I wrote for it was really, really bad, though. LOL

I didn't do it last year because I didn't a novel idea ready. I might this year. I'll look up my handle and share with you all. If not participating, I can at least support you guys! :)

message 45: by Chelsea (last edited Oct 06, 2011 03:52PM) (new)

Chelsea (rocktopusjones) | 338 comments Does anyone want to try this challenge this year? I was planning on doing it. Can we make a team on the nanowrimo site?

message 46: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3204 comments I was thinking of doing it this year. I have a novella outlined, and so all it would take is for me to simply write while following that.

message 47: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 262 comments I'm going to be doing it this year. I toohave a novel outlined (and started) so I'll subtract off the pages that are already written before Nov 1 and then see how it goes. I'm not the "fastest writer in the world" and have a fair amount of distractions for Nov (My Orbit book, Theft of Swords debuts) but I've never tried NanoWriMo before so I'm up to give it a try.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) I'm definitely doing NaNoWriMo next month. I have an embryonic idea for my story. November is going to be interesting, as usual.

message 49: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (rocktopusjones) | 338 comments Maybe if enough of us finish, we could post our results up in FA.

message 50: by Jason (new)

Jason (darkfiction) | 3204 comments Sounds like an idea, Chelsea!

I'm not sure if I'll be participating this year. I'm currently writing a novella, and I doubt that it will reach 50,000 words. That, and I've already started writing it. lol

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