Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Do I have that right? Is it the National Novel Writing Month? Or something like that? Anyway, I think I'm going to do it. I'm not sure if I should feel like a dork or not, but honestly, I need to kick myself in the buttocks if I am ever going to get some kind of novel length work on paper. I've had this idea kicking around in the back of my brain for literally 20 years. I've written bits of it from time to time but never made it past 60 pages. For some reason the vision in my head never transfers to the page the way I want it to and I stop writing. So I thought maybe the NaNoWriMo would be a good way to give myself permission to write crap and keep going. Has anyone else ever participated in the NaNoWriMo? Was it worthwhile? And does anyone ever publish a novel written in a mad dash over the course of a month? Hell, if half of what I end up with isn't crap it would be worth it. QUICK NOTE: Tia at Fantasy Debut had a copy of "The Book of Joby" to give away. Sign up! You won't want to miss this book.


DesLily said...

you really don't plan on eating or sleeping during the month of November! Good luck with the writing sqt!!!!

Asara said...

Good luck!!! You can do it!

Avery DeBow said...

I think it's an excellent chance to help you make the transition from shorter works to novels. Even if you get out only a half-coherent piece of writing, you'll still have a novel to build on once the event itself has ended.

Facing a novel is daunting. Might as well do it like getting into a cold pool--just jump in!

Good luck.

S.M.D. said...

Ohh, well good luck with it :). I wanted to do it but I'm a fourth into a new SF novel that I think I might actually finish because I think it's actually good, so I won't have time to do it :(.
I've always wanted to do it though. Good luck!

Charles Gramlich said...

I've never done it. I don't think a lot of people completely finish novels, but they probably get considerable first draft stuff done. If I ever do something like this it'll be on my own. I'll just give myself a deadline. This time of the year is impossible for me anyway, with school and all.

SQT said...


Sleep? What's that?


Thanks! I guess we'll see huh?


That's kind of the idea. I have to stop over-editing and just get something done.


I'm sure it is good.


Time is a factor and it's going to be hard to do it every day. But if I don't try now I'll just keep putting it off. I need to stop doing that.

Mo said...

SQT: I tried to do it last year.
I actually got several chapters written for NaNoWriMo... but November is NOT the best time for someone in retail to try to write a book non-stop...

Ian from E-Dog's everything page has a NaNoWriMo novel published "The Milkman" -- a sci-fi humor adventure. A fun read. I interviewed Ian & we discussed the book on an episode of the Mo Show on Blog Talk Radio.

Carl V. said...

Hey congrats! I think several folks around our blogging community are doing this and I cannot wait to hear about people's experiences while doing it.

Di Francis said...

I started Path of Fate as a 'book in a week' challenge. At that time, a number of romance writers had started doing essentially a weeklong NaNoWriMo. The idea was that you could probably get time off work, away from family, general obligations and etc, to just write. The idea was that you'd know in a week whether this was a worthwhile project, whether you wanted to keep going, whether it was crap or not. Then you'd only waste a week.

In the end, obviously it worked out as a publishable novel (though it took more than a week to complete.). I guess the point is that yes, it is worthwhile because you're right. It kicks you in the but and forces you to write and not let your inner critic hammer you to a standstill.

I have hanging by my desk a sign that says: Abandon all Standards and Write Fast.

So go for it.


Fab said...

I say "put that 20-year old idea on paper!" and go for it! It might seem scary but grab the chance! Good luck.

SQT said...


I'll have to check it out.


I'm sure I'll be telling everyone more than they want to know about the whole thing.


Wow. That means there's hope for me yet.


Yeah, if an idea has hung around this long then it's meant to see the light of day at some point. At least I hope so.

Stewart Sternberg said...

When I first heard about this a couple years back, I was excited. I thought to myself: well...this would be a good prompt.

The problem is that if one has little talent, then forcing oneself to write by quantity only guarantees that instead of a small dung pile, one will end up with a very large dung pile.

Writing is hard work and probably the most important part of writing, at least for me, is the rewriting, the editing...I wonder how many people who do the marathon turn back to their work to rework it?

You're a good writer, SQT. I recommend working at your own pace, doing a little bit a day, and some days doing more. I recommend you do all the usual hard work that you know goes into writing something of quality. Why not send out some short stories and see what happens. Short stories, even with the vanishing markets, are, in my opinion, an easier sell.

Many people will be pounding the net in the next month, bragging about how many words they've thrown onto a sheet of paper. That many words can be dangerous. For most, they'll require a plunger and a can of Drano.

Kate S said...

I tried it last year, but didn't finish. Whoever thought November was a good month for this was off his rocker.

Nevertheless, my friend Amber wrote a fabulous novel that month. I saw a huge increase in the quality of her writing by the time she was finished. That book is making the rounds now, and I'm willing to bet it will be picked up.

Good luck if you decide to give it a shot!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

I did it...wrote a 50,000 word novel my first Nano time out. And I did go back and edit it in July.
I've allowed eight people to read it, and plan to write the second part of three part story this Nano.

Ever heard of the book Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen? It is a best seller, she wrote the basics during Nano, and had a 5 mil contract given to her to write a second book, during nano last year.
There are about 20 books that have had their first draft written during Nano which were later picked up by serious publishing houses.
I copied the list of published Nano authors on my blog last November.

Yes there is a TON of crap written during this project. But if every musician waited until they could play masterfully before they began, the world would have little or no music. If everyone took up a musical instrument, then more folks would appreciate great music when they hear it, even if they realize they themselves can only play for their own amusement, and for the enjoyment of their friends and family.

Entertaining yourself and your friends and family, or maybe, just maybe writing a master piece...isn't that a good enough reason to give Nano a try?

SQT said...


Thanks for saying I'm a good writer, that means a lot. I fully expect to write a bunch of crap. My problem is that I am not disciplined and writing in a mad rush might be good for me.


You know, I hadn't thought about it, but I bet just doing that volume of writing would improve my skills.


That's a higher success rate than I would have expected to be honest. Something to think about. Thanks for stopping by..

Stewart Sternberg said...

thoughts on life...

yeah, I'm sure Sara Gruen just wrote her little heart out and submitted without having contacts up the wazoo in the field. Oh wait, that was her third novel wasn't it? And oh..wait...didn't she, in an interview, talk about all the research she did for this book?

Get your information straight, babe.

Mahud said...

I signed up for NaNoWriMo. I've also had a fantasy world I've been messing around with for 14 year. Mostly in my imagination.

Over the past 6 days I've written more fantasy that I've done it my like.

I guess I needed a kick up the butt too ;)