Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NANOWRIMO!

November is officially National Novel Writing Month! I never thought I'd be someone who participated in NaNoWriMo...writing with wild abandon, forgetting about my rule to "edit as I go" and letting my fingers fly, never seemed appealing to me. I have a rhythm that seems to work so I go with it.

I'm not a test taking person.

I tend to freak when there's a time limit set on me. And nothing says pressure like 50,000 words in 30 days.



Yet here I am.

I'm officially giving NaNoWriMo a shot.

And it's not because I've lost my mind, although some might be inclined to argue otherwise.

It's because I've made a HUGE mistake. I signed up for the Golden Heart Contest hosted by Romance Writers of America...only I made the mistake of signing up my CURRENT work-in-progress instead of Enemy, Beloved (the finished paranormal waiting to go out).

People unfamiliar with the contest might be wondering why this is such a mistake. Allow me to fill you in...

The manuscript has to be finished, polished, perfected, and received in Houston's glorious offices no later than December 2nd, 2010. This means I have until the end of November to finish my novel. And as of this morning I've only written 30,000 words.

There are no refunds.

No going back. (No matter how many times I pound that Back arrow, the RWA site won't forget about my error.)

I have to somehow manage to write, not 50,000 words like the crazy contest requires, but 60,000 words. And they can't be unedited sloppy words. They've got to be good. Great. Intriguing enough to final me in the contest.

Come hell or high water, lack of sleep, endless nights, and pots and pots of coffee, NaNoWriMo, here I come.

I've got to blast the lid off this thing.

And I have no idea how the hell I'm going to do it.

10 comments:

Brenda Pandos said...

You can do it! Go Go Go!!!!!

Jamie Gibbs said...

I won't lie, that's a hell of a task ahead of you. But the good think about NaNoWriMo is that you've got a huge amount of support, so I think it's totally doable. Difficult, yes, but it'll be worth it in the end.
Best of luck to you :) I've signed up for my first NaNoWriMo this year, and I don't really know what the hell I'm gonna write about. Eep!

Summer Ross said...

You are going to do it the way any writer does it...keeping pounding the keyboard, keep scratching the pen, and you will get there. because you want it, because you hope for it, and because its a need within you...so go for it and don't look back.

Kristin Miller said...

Thanks for the support ladies! I always thought that the people who volunteer for such an insane writing month are insane, themselves. I'm, like, the worst test case for this type of manic-writing-thing because I just don't write that way. It's going to be quite an interesting experience, to say the least...now let's just pray something PHENOMENAL comes out of it! :)


And good luck to the other Wrimo's out there!

Kaitlyn said...

You can't email RWA and ask them to change it? The entries aren't closed yet, so I don't see why they wouldn't let you do that.

Lisa said...

You go girl! I might try and keep up on my own. I need something to kick my butt and get this manuscript moving. I know you can do it!

Kristin Miller said...

Lisa--Thanks! And I totally think you should join in the craziness with me! ;)

Kaitlyn--The problem is I already entered Enemy, Beloved. I was going to enter both, but for some reason I had the requirements for the Golden Heart confused with another contest. (The Daphne, maybe?) I thought they only requested the full manuscript if you final...I figured I had another three months to finish it (in the hopes I made it that far), which would be no biggie. When Golden Heart sent the reminder email saying they needing everything upfront by December 2nd, I about had a heart attack! LOL! No going back now...either lose the money or finish the story. :)

Kaitlyn said...

Oh goodness! Well I wish you lots of luck! I'm currently at a little over 30,000 words on my WIP too and I want to finish it by the end of November, so I'm in the same boat--except with no financial consequence lol. I have literally no time to write with school in session and I really wont next semester because I'll be co-teaching a creative writing course (yay!), so since school will be winding down in Nov I'll be able to write hopefully and then I can use the month I'm off in December to edit =D I'll be rooting you on!

Lola Sharp said...

No worries...it's totally doable. Last year during Nano I wrote 72,000 + words...and I edited as I went. And...wait for it...I had NO idea what I was going to write about the morning of Nov. 1st. Not one clue. (I was finishing up a previous MS until the last minute...which I am again in the same position this year)
I made my goal 2,000 words a day EVERY day. Which is totally doable, and fairly professional industry standard. (except most writers only do that M-F and take weekends off.)
If I'm reading your numbers correctly, you have 30,000 words already (which is sorta cheating for Nano, but we won't tell) and you need 60,000...so you only need to write another 30,000 words in the month of November? Dude, that's easy, breezy. Cake. (if I'm reading this wrong, and you intend to do 60,000 words in November, it's still very doable, but admittedly more time consuming. (I'm assuming you don't have a day job. If so, this will be very hard, with kids and life and stuff.)

Sooo, I'll tell you how I do it. (and you can buddy me, if you like...'racing/competing' with others is often helpful...at: the-sharp-pen )

Here's my tips...what works for me:

1) I plan for 2,000 words/day 7 days/week. (you will need to make your calculations based on your total goal)
If I know I have plans, or need to spend time with the family on, say, Sunday (or Thanksgiving, for example), then I 'bank' words ahead of time. I will make a point to write 2,500 /day for several days in a row, or 3,000...you get the point. (I try to always do a little more than the 2,000 each day, anyway, in case something unknown (sick/emergency/child needs me) pops up. Sort of a saving for a rainy day insurance. I especially do this if I'm on a roll on a given day.

2) Shop and clean the house now, in preparation. Put pizza delivery on your speed dial. Get support from husband on your sequestered November. He can bring home dinner, or take the kids out (and bring you back food...slide it under the door) And come up with some EASY recipes for the crock pot. After you get the kids off to school (I'm making assumptions that they're school age...which is ideal), you can make dinner, throw a load of laundry in the wash and scurry off to your writing cave.

3) Seriously, stock up on all essential food NOW. put extra loaves of bread in the freezer. Buy organic, ultra pasteurized milk with expiration dates for Dec./Jan., and load the fridge with it. 3 dozen eggs. Whatever your staples are, STOCK UP. Utilize your freezer. Buy lots of easy-to-crock-pot meats, put them in the freezer.

4) Do NOT have Thanksgiving at your house, if possible. Hopefully one of your parents/in-laws are close-by and will have it. If not, don't invite anyone, have it be just your nuclear family and keep it simple. Why? Because all the CLEANING (!) and shopping, planning and cooking will usurp way, WAY too much time. Days and days.

5) Prepare husband and kids that the house will not be up to the usual standards. They can pitch in and wipe down their bathrooms, etc.

6) Let friends know you are not available for social calls during November. Phone chit-chat is deadly to reaching this gaol.

7) Back away from the beloved time-sucks of Twitter, and other social networking. A quick pop-in for word count updates is okay IF you are ahead of schedule. No using it to procrastinate.

8) If you have an outline and all that already done, you're in good shape. Since you've already started, you're ahead of the game and ready to rock. (I'm never in good shape on that front.) (luckily I'm a good wing-it-under-pressure kind of girl)

I'll stop there. Those are the most important tips I have to offer. There are lots of small things I could add, but you know your writing style and habits and household lifestyle.

Good luck!
~Lola

Kristin Miller said...

Wow! Thanks so much for all your input Lola! A lot of those are majorly doable and will be a great help this coming month.

I'm aiming for 2000 words, 7 days a week and I figure over and under days should balance out by the end.

And the 30,000 words (or however many words I get done by November 1st) are not going to count against my NaNoWriMo total. My WIP needs to be around 90K, so I was counting on an additional 60K. :)

I'm ready! Thanks again Lola, we'll be in touch. :)