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NaNoWriMo 2021

Discussion in 'NaNoWriMo' started by A. E. Lowan, Sep 11, 2021.

  1. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    Flash fiction?
     
  2. Mad Swede

    Mad Swede Inkling

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    Pewrsonally I think that short short fiction (drabbles, flash fiction and the like) is even harder to write than a short story. The problem you as the author have is putting in enough hints about the wider setting and story background to enable the reader to fill in those gaps in the story and (especially) character arcs that you can't develop because of the word limits. Done well that sort of fiction is wonderful, but I sweat blood every time I try to write it - and I never feel the results are good enough.
     
  3. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    I think novels are harder than short stories because they're longer—in words and in the time they take to write. I can write the first draft of a short story in a day or two. Polishing it takes longer, of course.

    Does any writer feel the results are good enough? I'm not sure. Perhaps some do, but I always look back and think I could have written a story better. Not that I want to get into the endless loop of reviewing, rewriting, reviewing etc.
     
  4. SolLilja

    SolLilja Dreamer

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    I've sort of been set on participating this year too. Last year was my first, and I finished at 25k words about mid-november, by then I was kind of burnt out and didn't know where my story was heading... Unfortunately, now there is a lot of other things going on in my life, so I might not have much energy to reserve for writing. But I know it would be good for me to spend time on creative projects, so I will try :) And count every word as a win!
     
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  5. Arranah

    Arranah Troubadour

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    To me participating National Writers Month prompts bad writing. I can see if a person wants to force themselves to write a full novel, but writing that quickly produces poor results. Yes, a person can rewrite, but.... I have a friend who had never finished a novel. Her writing was improving. Her style was improving. In all ways she was getting a lot better. She was actually getting good at it. Then she wrote a novel in a month. She thought it was wonderful. She rewrote it for a bit and then published it herself. She knew it was God's gift to her. Well, all the good writing she had learned before was gone in this book. She gave me a copy and wanted to know what I thought of it. So I pointed out some of the good things. She pushed me harder and harder. I finally told her what I thought. She didn't want the truth. She wanted to be praised. She then decided that everything that came to her was gold, right out of God's mouth. It was sad.
     
  6. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Archmage

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    I disagree that writing fast produces poor results. Speed of writing and quality of writing are not linked in that way. There are many great authors who write fast and produce amazing books and there are many writers who write very slowly and write very crappy books.

    Stephen King writes something like 60k words per month, which is well above the 50k "limit" of NaNo, and while he might not be your taste, he's got enough sales to say that his books are pretty decent. I think Brandon Sanderson is another person who easily makes the 50k per month, and again they're pretty good books. Many self-published authors easily publish a book a month. And while not all of them are good, plenty of them are. It's often just about time. I can do about 750 words an hour. Which means that to win NaNo I needs 2.5 hours a day for a whole month, which are just hard to find with a full time job, 2 kids and a wife.

    There is two things here. The first is that all writers and all projects are different. Some write fast and some write slow. Nothing wrong with that. Also, some people really benefit from working on 1 project and having an external deadline and an incentive to write each day. Those people benefit from the discipline and the structure. Others don't work that way and completely freeze with the deadline or need to work on different projects at the same time.

    And the second is that it sounds like it was more a case of your friend simply publishing her first novel without actually doing any editing and getting serious feedback than anything to do with NaNo. NaNo helped her finish her novel, which is a skill in itself which you need to learn. So that's a bonus. But the fact that she then simply considered it perfect and put it out there has little to do with NaNo and mainly just shows a reluctance to learn and see the truth.
     
    SolLilja likes this.
  7. Arranah

    Arranah Troubadour

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    As mentioned, my friend did edit it. She actually edited it for a year and a half. I didn't say all fast writing was bad. It was directly related to her participation in National Writers Month. To each his/her own.
     
  8. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Archmage

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    This for sure.
    I guess part of it depends on your approach to NaNo. Some people only aim at getting 50k words down on paper. In the process they ignore everything they know about writing and plot and all they. They just put words down and don't care about what those words say. A novel written like that is very probably not worth publishing.
    Others just try to write as much as they can in a month, but they do so mainly by increasing the number of hours they write, not by changing the rest of their process. Doing it like that gives you the same novel you would get as you would outside of NaNo, you just get it done faster.
     
  9. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    For me, it was a self discipline thing. Prior to NaNo, I had lots of fragmentary novels, one or two really horrible rough drafts, and a stack of short stories. The initial aim was to finish a novel during NaNo (which never happened), Instead, that morphed into finishing a passable first draft in a sane amount of time (couple months). That did happen...several times.
     
    Prince of Spires likes this.
  10. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    Is anyone outlining their story for NaNoWriMo yet? How's it going?
     
  11. SolLilja

    SolLilja Dreamer

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    I'm still trying to figure out what I want to write, which project... Maybe I will cheat and work on the two ongoing projects I have. One is the novel I started last year for NaNo, currently just short of 30,000 words. The other is a novella, about half-finished. The novella is fairly outlined already, but the novel... I got stuck last year because I didn't know where it was going, really. And I still haven't decided :whistle: Maybe I will pants the hell out of it and just write what comes to mind, let the story unfold as it will. But, I'm not an experienced writer so I really don't know if it will work. Maybe I'm a super-planner and doing it pantser-style will be an epic fail o_O
     
  12. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    I like the idea of working on shorter works. Less stressful, at least for me. My choice is between a short story I've outlined or a novelette that I've already finished the first draft for. I've not looked at the novelette for 7 or 8 months.

    I've tried both outlining and organic writing. Outlining usually works better for me but not always. I think the only way to know is to try both several times.
     
  13. Jenn

    Jenn Acolyte

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    I like to write a lot and consider myself a pretty fast writer- if I have a solid idea, that is. Normally, I get a spur of ideas, but then I'll begin to wonder where I want to take the story. I like outlining, but only to a certain extent; if I outline with too many details, my writing is rushed and doesn't feel natural, but if I don't have a clear ending point I tend to end up with a weak plot.
    My choice is between something that's been outlined or something I've already written a few chapters for. Not sure which I'll go with yet, though.
     
  14. Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast Minstrel

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    I've decided to do it this year but I'm not that far along yet: I'm trying to clear the decks so I have a month of finishing work on time and no extra jobs to do in the evenings. I've got a roof that needs fixing (properly this time) and a mountain of paperwork. Novel planning will commence at 2100hrs on the 31st Oct!

    (But I do know it will be a YA book based on an idea I had a few years ago)
     
  15. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    I think this is why I'm not usually a fast writer. I usually have to explore and map out the territory of the story.
     
  16. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    I've been there too!
     
  17. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Archmage

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    I think I'll skip this year. I'm still in the middle of editing my current WiP. I expect I'll only get through the 4th draft somewhere halfway through the month. I know what I'll be working on next, and part of that is already planned out, but I'll never get 50k words in half a month.

    As for planning or not, I think NaNo is a wonderful place to experiment and discover your process. Because it's such a confined thing you can try something to see if it works for you. And if it doesn't then you'll probably not win NaNo, but at least you'll know.
     
  18. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I'm excited. Good luck to everyone.
     
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  19. Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast Minstrel

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    0000GMT 01 Nov

    [​IMG]
     
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  20. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Writers, start your engines... unless you're in Australia and there abouts, and then your engines are already overheated. :D

    I'm in the US, Central Time, so I have a few more hours, yet.
     
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