My NaNoWriMo Master Plan

Yes, I do have a plan for attacking the massive project that is NaNoWriMo.

First, it is important to understand that the point of NaNoWriMo is to get 50,000 words on paper. The goal is not to create 50,000 publishable words. The goal is to get a rough draft. The project instructions specifically say that editing anything you write during NaNoWriMo is a big no-no! The goal is to get a big chunk of words written that you can then go back and edit after November.

That said, here’s my plan…

To achieve 50,000 words in the thirty days of November, you need to write 1,667 words per day, every day, to achieve the goal. If you take weekends off and lose eight days of writing, you need to write 2,273 words on every weekday to hit the mark. Don’t forget…the Thanksgiving holiday is in there, too. More potential days off. If you take those days off, your daily goal for the remaining days goes up.

img_20150912_082649_350My particular writing style is that I always do my rough drafts in longhand, in notebooks like Moleskine or Picadilly. I’ve tried to compose on a keyboard, but it never goes as smoothly as longhand. I find myself editing as I go, and that is a huge anchor when you are attempting a word count goal.

One of the most important lessons that I learned in the California Conservation Corps is that the way you accomplish big goals is to break them down into smaller pieces that are easily manageable. 1,667 words per day is an intimidating number. A much easier number to work with is 500. I know I can write 500 words pretty easily. I am pretty sure that I can write 500 words before work, 500 words after work, and 500 words before bed, for 1500 words. That leaves about 167 words to account for at some other time during the day. I can round that up to 200 words. I can find time for 200 words during breaks at work and on lunch. That would give me 1,700 words per day, and I should be able to achieve my goal comfortably. Right? (That dull roar you are now hearing in the background is all of those NaNoWriMo veterans laughing at my cute and tidy plan.)

Since I’m going to be writing longhand and won’t have the handy word count feature at the bottom of my page as I write, I had to personalize my production math for this project. What I discovered is that I average 171.8 words per page in my notebooks when I fill a page. Three pages are 515 words. There are about 80 pages in every notebook. I should fill four notebooks by the end of November.

There is my target. Ten or eleven pages in my notebook, every day. Three pages before work, three pages after work, three pages before bed, and about a page-and-a-half whenever I can during the day. Here is where the beauty of my notebook comes in: I can fit it in my back pocket. It is always with me. When I come out of FoodMaxx, before I start the car, I can knockout a couple of paragraphs. Easily.

And there you have my NaNoWriMo Attack Plan.

Military planners say that no plan survives initial contact with the enemy. We shall see.

Fellow NaNoWriMo writers…what is your plan? Share it with us!

-Geo.

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Ambushed by NaNoWriMo

It was supposed to be an easy project. I was going to write a piece on NaNoWriMo for Writers Forum. Then for the next day, I was going to post a link to a podcast or YouTube video on NaNoWrimo. I was going to look around to see if there were any local writers participating this year, or if there were any NaNoWriMo events in Shasta County, and write a short blog post on them. For research, I went to the NaNoWriMo website to dig a little deeper into how it works.

Before I knew what had happened, I had signed up to actually participate in NaNoWriMo. Now I’m on the hook for 50,000 words in November.

What have I done?!

So…on Wednesday, I join the mad scramble of writers all over the world going for 50,000 words on their projects.

Right now I find myself at Madayne Eatery and Espresso on Hilltop Drive on a Friday morning, trying to clear several other writing projects off my desk/laptop to make way for the What-Have-I-Gotten-Myself-Into Project.

NaNoWriMo Laptop

Seriously, I am looking forward to this challenge. I have been aware of it for years, but I’ve never had the guts to give it a shot before. Even if I don’t make 50,000 words, the worst that can happen is that I make some progress on my Big Writing Project.

If you still haven’t gone to the NaNoWriMo website to check it all out, you can find it here:

https://nanowrimo.org

Are any other Writers Forum members along for this ride? Anybody else from the North State who reads this blog? Share your stories with us!

If you know me at all, you know that I believe that everybody has a story worth sharing.

-Geo.

An Interview With Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo

Hopefully,  yesterday’s post piqued your interest in writing your novel during NaNoWriMo.  Hopefully, we can coax you a little further along in your writing project today.

Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA interviewed Executive Director of NaNoWriMo, Grant Faulkner. They discuss NaNoWriMo and Grant’s book Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo.

Here is the interview. Click on the ‘play’ button at the end of the first section.

https://diymfa.com/podcast/episode-169-grant-faulkner

 

The Challenge: Write your Novel in a Month

Are you up to the challenge of finishing the first draft of your novel in one month? Would you like some accountability partners to help you get there?

You’re in luck.

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, as participants call it. The goal is to write down 50,000 words for a first draft of your novel between November 1 and November 30.

Are you curious? Interested? Intimidated? Read the press release from the official NaNoWriMo organization.

 

Unleash Your Creative Superpowers with National Novel Writing Month

 

Berkeley, CA (September 25, 2017)—One part writing boot camp, one part rollicking party, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) celebrates its 19th year of encouraging creativity, education, and the power of the imagination through the largest writing event in the world.

This year, NaNoWriMo expects over 400,000 people—including over 70,000 K-12 students and educators on our Young Writers Program website—to start a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. Throughout the month, they’ll be guided by this year’s theme: Superpowered Noveling.

Join the League of Extraordinary Writers

“NaNoWriMo ignites people’s superheroic creative powers every year by empowering them to write their stories. It takes courage, grit, resilience—and wild imaginative leaps—to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. Our stories save us from villainous forces that we encounter every day. Our stories determine the future of our world,” says Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo.

Last year, NaNoWriMo welcomed 384,126 participants, in 646 different regions, on six continents. Of these, more than 34,000 met the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month.

This year, participants will be inspired by weekly “pep talks” penned by published authors, including Roxane Gay, Kevin Kwan, Julie Murphy, and Grant Faulkner. NaNoWriMo will also provide participants access to mentorship from authors including Emily X. R. Pan, Mur Lafferty, and Jasmine Guillory.

Our Mission Statement

National Novel Writing Month is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes your story matters. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.

PressContact

Katharine Gripp, CommunicationsManager

katharine_gripp@nanowrimo.org

WebPresence

Websites: nanowrimo.org and ywp.nanowrimo.org

Facebook:NaNoWriMo

Twitter:@nanowrimo

Instagram:@nanowrimo

For further details about the NaNoWriMo youth program, please see NaNoWriMo Press-Release-2017 .

We will post more stories related to NaNoWriMo throughout the month of November. Let us know if you are participating this year!

Our Pilgrimage of Poetry

About forty Writers Forum members and guests attended last Saturday’s meeting, a presentation by poet Anna Elkins of her workshop, ‘The Pilgrimage of Poetry’.

anna

Anna opened her presentation to likening poetry’s search for the right words and images to a pilgrimage. Participants were then given an assignment: Go outside and find something that interests you. Then capture the sensory images…from all five senses…you can of that thing.

By the end of the program, participants had crafted those images into poetry.

writing

Several participants shared those poems with the group.

reading

reading2

Here is the poem by WF Secretary Vickie Linnet:

 

The Little Library

You are another world, hiding in plain view from the rest of the world.

You are the chatter coming from the pages of the books.

You are the flowers and trees that surround your stand.

You are the raindrops that trickle down the shingles of your roof.

You are intriguing, luring us to enter and wander through the pages of the books.

Bring me the stories that tempt me to lose myself in.

I give you credence and appreciation for these books.

Vickie Linnet

If you were at last Saturday’s meeting and would like to share your piece from the workshop, send them to writersforumeditor@gmail.com .

 

Book Signing: Darbie Andrews

Darbie AndrewsLong time Writers Forum member and former WF Secretary Darbie Andrews had a book signing at the Redding Barnes and Noble this afternoon.

The event was for her new book, ¿¡HIM?!. The book is about fifteen-year-old Clarissa Cruz, her broken family, first love, and a Qinceañera. ¿¡HIM?! was released this year by All Things That Matter Press.

Darbie said that her book project took about five years from start to finish. She encourages diligence for new authors. Darbie sent her book to many agents without success before finding a home for her book at All Things That Matter Press, which is a small press, but is not self-publishing. She also pushed through some life circumstances that make completing a book project difficult. Darbie emphasized the importance of her writing group for feedback and accountability. She said that she could not have finished ¿¡HIM?! without their support.

Her success was there on the table at Barnes and Noble.

Congratulations, Darbie!

Darbie Andrews Book

Writers Forum Presents Poet Anna Elkins

Writers Forum will host a presentation tomorrow with poet Anna Elkins. Anna Elkins 2MB Crop for print

Anna describes her presentation as follows: “What is the difference between see and seek? What is the quest at the heart of the question? This session will explore where writing takes us by delving beneath our surface impressions to the underglimmers, the spirit-aquifers, and the paths of the heart. It is there—deep into the interior roads—where we make pilgrimage to the sacred with our words.”

 

This program will include optional audience participation with writing exercises throughout.

Writers Forum meets at All Saints Episcopal Church, 2150 Benton Drive, Redding, California. Doors open at 10:00 AM. The program runs from 10:30-12:30. Guests are welcome.