1. First Time Writer
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    First Time Writer New Member

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    First attempt at writing during NaNoWriMo

    Discussion in 'NaNoWriMo' started by First Time Writer, Mar 27, 2013.

    Hi everyone!

    I'm Matt and I'm about to attempt my first serious effort at writing something of real length during Camp NaNoWriMo which runs through April. Has anybody else had experience with NaNoWriMo and have any advice or tips? Or just anyone have any tips for a first time writer about to commit a serious chunk of time each day over the next month or so to writing?

    In terms of planning I've decided not to do an extensive plan, rather plan in sprint style by reviewing what I've written at the end of the day and planning the next days writing. I have hit a bit of a snag though, I had my idea of what I wanted to write decided in my head and was more than happy with it - but the other day I was struck by an idea that I think may be better, although it would provide more extensive planning. Should I ditch the old idea and work with the new one, or leave the new one until I have more planning time? I do want to write both, I just don't know which first! I'd really appreciate some advice :)

    I've gone into it in a bit more detail on my blog over at www.firsttimewriter.co.uk - feel free to check it out!

    Thanks

    Matt
     
  2. Thornesque
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    Thornesque Contributing Member

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    As far as NaNoWriMo itself? My advice is to never stop just because you hit your word count for the day. There's going to be a day when you just can't seem to get the words out, hard as you try, and when that day comes, you're going to be glad that you didn't stop at 3,400 words and instead went on to 4 or 5K.

    DO NOT REVIEW YOUR WRITING! Don't even re-read anything. Keep in mind that the point of NaNoWriMo is not to turn out a perfect or even decent novel. The point of NaNoWriMo is to give you a huge chunk of writing that you're going to have to edit the living cripe out of to even make presentable to the world at large. So don't even bother going back and looking. It's a waste of your time, given the purpose of the program.

    As far as your plot...once again, we're considering NaNoWriMo here. So if you think you can get more out with the planned novel, do that. If you think you can write more with the unplanned novel, then write that. That's my advice.
     
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  3. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    What Thornesque said.

    I did a NaNoWriMo in 11/2008 (50000+words.) The object was a word count - not specifically a novel/novelette/whatever - a challenge to get 50000 words on to paper. How you do it is up to you. If you have an idea and it can flow, get it down. If not, write anything.

    Nobody is going to read your submission but you.

    I remember writing a few pages and then getting stuck. Answer? I wrote some alternative scenarios involving the MC. Just get words on paper.
     
  4. The Bee
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    The Bee New Member

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    Hey Matt!

    I'm really glad to see another newcomer to NaNo. I've been doing NaNoWriMo since 2008, and I love every minute of it. Last year was my most successful year yet. I've yet to finish during a Camp session, but we'll see if maybe I can manage it this year. :)

    Plot wise, go with your gut. Choose one that you'll have fun writing, and don't worry about the rest. I've planned extensively, and I've not. I found the best balance for me, and you will too. Another good thing to do is definitely not look over your writing after you're done - your inner editor will jump out and make you doubt yourself if you do. You'll ask yourself why this and that sound so terrible, and in general have issues continuing. Trust me on that one. Editing is for after! ;)

    Another good idea is to find people you can talk to on a regular basis who are doing it as well. Cabin mates, the forums, friends, etc. Find people who will push you and want to be pushed to accomplish your goal.

    Oh, and one last thing - find people who are doing "word wars" and "sprints". If you don't know what these are, look them up on the forums. It's amazing how many words you can write when you're "warring" against somebody else. Is the actual material you produce beautiful prose? Well, probably not, but it does help you get the words you want out onto paper. ;)

    I'm right there with you this year, so if you ever need someone to chat with just shoot me a message on the Camp NaNo website (brookew86). Maybe we can help each other. :)
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I wrote my whole first draft Nov before last during the NaNoWriMo challenge. A couple false starts and then, bang, I wrote 45,000 words in the last week in November. At that point, NaNoWriMo faded into the background. I had 134,000 words and the full draft of a duology by the end of Dec. I've been working on book one since then, I'm very happy with the progress, lots of changes, lots of skills to acquire. The pace has been satisfying and I'm still in love with my story.

    Last Halloween I went to a local NaNoWriMo event to celebrate. Wow there are so many would-be writers out there. But I refuse to let it discourage me. I had a good time but at midnight people just started cranking out words and within minutes people were calling out they'd gotten to 1,000. Little prizes were handed out. That was my cue to leave. I'm not a group writer. I don't need to be with a group of people who are also writing to write. Guess it works for some people.

    I remain forever grateful for the NaNoWriMo challenge and may even mention the group in my novel's dedication.
     
  6. lettuce head
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    lettuce head Active Member

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    You guys make me want to try NaNoWriMo for myself.
     
  7. The Bee
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    The Bee New Member

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    GingerCoffee - Not everyone is meant to write in a group. I pretty much did virtual write-ins due to being out in the countryside, and with a toddler. I just couldn't be bothered to get out, but I kept in touch by other means.

    lettuce head - Please try it out! It can be really fun.
     

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