1. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    So How Do You Do This?

    Discussion in 'NaNoWriMo' started by Lewdog, Oct 24, 2013.

    Is it important to have daily word goals? Or is better to have weekly goals since life can bring so much up? If you get on a roll one day do you forget the goal and just keep on going? I really want to do my Lollards story during this, but I'm not sure I can hit the daily goal with all the research I might need to do. Do people choose simple plots to do during this so that it is easier to write? So who is doing this, and what is the best thing to do?
     
  2. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think while continuously writing is important a word count isn't. Writing for the sake of writing can result in drivel. Strive for quality and include research time as well spent so long as you stay submerged in your story.
     
  3. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Write, just write. Don't look back. Don't edit. 1,667 words per day. 30 days. Pants it or plan it, doesn't matter, just get it done.
     
  4. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    What you want to avoid is not writing for several days; if you get 1,000 words behind, finding an extra hour to catch up isn't that bad. If you get 10,000 words behind, you'll probably quit.
     
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  5. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    While I agree that you shouldn't fall behind in your writing, falling behind by 10,000 words is only an issue if you stress about meeting word limits and catching up if you miss a day. I'm not saying people don't need goals just that stressing about meeting goals can put people off.

    Personally I'd be far more inclined to give up on something if I had 43,000 words of which 80% needed to be cut than 20,000 words I was happy with.
     
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  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    That's like saying you must produce a certain number of paintings per week/month to be an artist.

    If you avoid actually sitting down to write you certainly won't get anywhere much. But as long as you're crafting your actual story, play, poem, whatever, I'd say don't stress over how fast you're producing words. This only matters if you're a professional, under contract to produce words at a prescribed pace.

    I've always felt sorry for published novelists whose contract requires another novel within a relatively short space of time. If it took them 6 years to write the first one they sold, they may struggle to produce one of similar quality every year after that! They may agree to such a deal, in their first flush of published success, but I bet they regret it later on.

    I can't think of anything worse, from an author's point of view, than knowing you only produced one really great book in your life, and all the subsequent ones have been churned out to meet a deadline.

    I'd say write at your own pace, whatever that is. Enjoy the process.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    As a NaNoWriMo failure=success story, for me what mattered was having something to write.

    People who've heard the next paragraph a dozen times, my apologies.
    After 2 false starts I began almost three weeks into November. Then I started with a story idea that worked. I had 45K words at the end of November so I didn't make the challenge. But I kept going, finished a solid draft of a duology before the end of the year and I've been happily working on book one for two years now. I call that a success.

    I may not have written the draft if it weren't for that little push of NaNoWriMo, I don't know. For me, the motivation and a story were more important than slogging out a daily word count. When I got going, I just wrote and wrote.

    But for people who have been writing a while, I think the discipline of that daily word count might get them past a slump, and for people whose heads are filled with stories, the challenge might get one of those stories out that would have otherwise taken much longer to emerge.
     
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  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Yes, except if that 80% were a completed rough draft that needed to then be turned into a completed book. There is a lot of stuff in my first draft I've changed, but it laid the story out nonetheless.
     
  9. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Is it ok to have an outline, character sheets, and the setting all drawn out before the 1st?
     
  10. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    My understanding is that, yes, it's alright to have a plan, including outlines, title, character sheets, etc. as long as you don't start work on the actual writing until midnight Nov. 1st. I've never done it before this year, but the NaNoWriMo site allows you to add info for your project in October so....
     
  11. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Cool thank you, I'll have to look at it more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  12. Emily Logan
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    Emily Logan Member

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    As someone who has participated 6 times, won 2, and read at least part of No Plot? No Problem! (Chris Baty on NaNoWriMo) I can say I have a pretty good handle on NaNo.

    Planning is permitted, but over planning comes with a warning. You can talk yourself out of forcing out a book that you've planned so carefully in only 30 days, or get down right bored of it before November 1st. You don't want to tire yourself before November starts. I wouldn't start planning until October, at the earliest.

    As far as actually writing is concerned, write out as much as you can daily. If you can write more then 1667 words in a day, by all means, go for it. In fact, people set crazy numbers to beat in the first day or two (obviously optional). The point being that the more you get done in the first few days, the easier the rest of the month will be on you- missing a day or two won't be so detrimental. And you'll have more time to work through writer's block. And remember the holiday. You want to get out as much as you can as quickly as you can.

    The challenge is 50k words in 30 days. Although, other goals can be set if you chose. Avoid editing. It's not editing month, it's a month to get that story written. I have to say that the greatest lesson I've learned from NaNo is to simply sit down and do it. It has given me encouragement to work in other months. December is the "ahh!" month. You've completed a novel. You can enjoy it as you prepare for the holiday and, when you're ready, edit it to finish and possibly publish. Most of all, have fun!
     
  13. S S
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    S S Active Member

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    One word at at a time.
     
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  14. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I like this bit a lot. I think over-editing too soon is a bad writing habit many people ought to break.

    I know some folks work well that way, and more power to their arm if they actually finish their story eventually. But I've also seen SO many who can't get past the first couple of chapters because they keep going over and over them, wanting to attain perfection before they move on. Of course perfection isn't attainable, so they just keep tinkering with words, rearranging sentences, get stuck wondering about their style, etc etc ...and years go by and nothing more happens. They don't actually know where the story is going next, so they don't actually know what to keep and what to cut. And then they get ANOTHER story idea....

    If NaNoWriteMo does anything for people, if it breaks that habit, and gets writers to write through their problems and come out the other end with a completed story ready for editing, then it's a wonderful opportunity.

    I don't write to a deadline—and I need to do lots of research in the process of constructing my story, like @Lewdog mentioned—so NaNoWriteMo is not for me. But for everybody who plans to participate, good luck! I hope you start December with a big smile on your faces and a completed (or nearly completed) first draft on your computer or in your hands. Nothing like that feeling of 'having written.'
     
  15. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    How do you 'win'?
     
  16. jonahmann
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    jonahmann Active Member

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    By writing 50,000 words.
     
  17. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Oh. I was hoping there was more to it than that.
     
  18. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    As a change from 1,667 words a day...there are 10 weekend days this November, so 3,000 words per weekend day = 30,000 words plus 20 days at 1,o00 per day...job done
     
  19. marshipan
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    marshipan Member

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    I'm doing it different this year: week goals. I set up an excel to keep track of my percentage towards the week goal. I like it a LOT better than daily goals. Those can be depressing instead of motivating, and I feel less accomplished with daily goals. Come a little short one day and you feel down. There is no coming short on a single day with weekly goals.
     
  20. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    Geeze! How could I have forgotten NaNoWriMo!

    Personal life drama and work drama and baby mama drama bringing me down(just kidding on that last one)!

    Funny how I chose November to get back into writing. Guess I'll be playing a bit of catch-up, but I've already written over 3k words in the course of that time I got home from the pub to the time I woke up at my computer desk :D
     
  21. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    I did NaNo. Won.

    I think a good tip for anyone (remember this for next year) is that if a scene is kicking your ass, and you are struggling to get the words down, simply jump to another scene where you know precisely what you want to say.

    I jumped about all over the place, coming back to earlier scenes, writing the ending, going into the middle and adding another scene which I felt it needed. Basically, writing in a linear fashion forces you to handle each scene in turn, and can easily slow you down.
     
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  22. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I just read 2k to 10k. She averages 10k / day writing ~ 1500 words/ hour.

    Is the 1667 words / day meant to be an hour's writing or ...?
     
  23. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Averaging 10k/day = 300k in one month = one monster book that's too big to get published (unless you're a known author - in which case, what are you doing NaNo for?) = several months of red-pen editing.

    I've read of people doing their 50k in the first weekend, and then proceeding to churn out another 200k or so, trying to be what they call an "overachiever".

    I can't help feeling that they'd already got a good chunk of what they were going to write already totally mapped out (possibly even written - the wordcount is on the honour system) beforehand. But what's the point? Are they going to lose 90% in editing? And all so you can say "I won NaNo."
     
  24. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    The 2k to 10k has nothing whatsoever to do with NaNoWriMo, just FYI. Not sure why you went all mathematician and judgemental on it :D

    My question was "Is the 1667 words / day meant to be an hour's writing or ...?"

    Is this challenge for people already working full-time?
     
  25. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Coz 1600 words per day full-time sounds damn slow?
     

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