By Dan Wells | November 1, 2008 - 3:14 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

November 1 is the first day of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The basic idea is to write an entire novel of 50,000 words or more completely during the month of November. It’s a fantastic program, a great way to get yourself writing, and comes with a vast, ready-made support group. How many of you are doing NaNoWriMo this year? What are you writing about? How can the rest of our Writing Excuses community help?

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38 Comments

  1. November 1, 2008 @ 8:21 pm


    I’m not sure if I will live up to a full 50,000 as the writing contest I am going to try and enter is for under 50,000, but I am going to try and blast out as much as I can.
    Stupid day job, robbing all my time and brain power.

    Posted by WEKM
  2. November 1, 2008 @ 8:24 pm


    I’m working on it even as we speak. Had a lot of fun doing it last year, don’t know if I’ll finish this year, but I intend to try!

    Posted by Sean
  3. November 1, 2008 @ 9:08 pm


    Im going to give it a go again this year. Last year I was ably to complete the 50K words, but I’m not so confidant this year. I have a pretty busy November ahead of me with family obligations and a new baby. The story I’m writing this year is follow up to my vampire detective story. I did last year. One thing id be interested in is hearing a podcast on sequels, how much back story do you need in them? Should you expect the reader to have been through the first book?

    Posted by David
  4. November 2, 2008 @ 12:26 am


    I did something potentially kinda dumb and signed up as well. I may or may not have accidentally commited to writing not one, but two novels for classes this year anyway (yes, these things can happen accidentally, apparently). Again, I don’t know if I’ll actually make the 50,000 target. (Well, I’m actually starting at 41,000 so I don’t know if I’ll actually make the 91,000 target.) But I’ll be writing like a madman anyway you slice it, so really, it seemed like I might as well.

    Posted by Raethe
  5. November 2, 2008 @ 12:36 pm


    I’m doing this. I did it last year and managed to hit the 50,000 word mark a day before the last day of November. It was so worth it.

    I started writing my next little novel yesterday. I’m almost to the 7,000 word mark at the moment.

    I’m going off of an outline I created over the past 2 months. It’s meant to be 30 chapters, but so far the first chapter was almost 4,000 words and the second chapter is looking to be almost the same length. So I might go over the 50,000 word mark if I finish the whole thing.

    It’s nothing particularly spectacular, just normal heroic fantasy tale. I have goals to work on description and dialogue while writing this time. Having little daily goals besides just writing X amont of words seems to help me.

    Posted by 42
  6. November 2, 2008 @ 1:06 pm


    Ok, I’m in. I’m picking up in the middle of my current project, but I’m going to try to finish the next 50,000 words by the end of November.

    Posted by Ruthann
  7. November 2, 2008 @ 3:33 pm


    I won’t explicitly be working in NaNoWriMo style, but I have my own fantasy novel to work on. At least, NaNoWriMo gives me an excuse to try to focus on it as much as possible. However, November is a busy month as a college student, so I doubt I will write 50,000 words in it. Still, I will really try to make a concerted effort to make progress.

    I’m not officially signed up, though. It’s more of a personal game for me.

    Posted by Chaos2651
  8. November 2, 2008 @ 4:59 pm


    Yeah, November is hell month for university students. I’m personally justifying it by the fact that I’ll get marks if I write those 50,000 words…

    I wasn’t going to officially sign up either, but a friend of mine emailed me and said he was doing it, so I figured what the hell.

    Why don’t those of us signed up swap profiles? (Even though I’ve pretty much ignored mine so far.) Mine’s http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/447071 if anyone cares to add me.

    Ruthann: I’m doing the same thing you are. Picking up this project right in the middle of plot holes galore. Whee!

    Posted by Raethe
  9. November 2, 2008 @ 6:29 pm


    I had already signed-up. I figured this was a way I could actually finish or at least get a good chunk writen. So far I’ve writen 4,154 words, if I can average 1670 words a day I’ll have it licked. I’m giving it my best shot so we’ll see how it goes. The best of luck to all involved.

    Raethe: I’ve added you as a writing Buddy. I’ll put my up as well, seems a good idea.
    http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/414056

    Good luck once again and keep writing!

    Posted by Ben
  10. November 2, 2008 @ 7:45 pm


    This is the first time I’ve posted, although I admit I’ve been hovering for pretty much as long as this podcast has existed, but, since I am indeed participating in NaNoWriMo and need all the support I can get I figured I’d post.

    Mostly, I just need enough people to know about it that I will feel really embarrassed when I don’t do it because I know tons of people will ask.

    Luckily I passed the first hurdle today. I got 3600 words written, which was my goal for my first official day for myself. (It may be 5 am here in Israel, but I’m still going to count it as Nov 2). I will be without access to a computer for two weeks at the end of the month, and that puts me at a word count of approximately 3600 words a day, but now that I’ve done it once, I can surely do it again, right? Right?!?

    Posted by webbindathewitch
  11. November 2, 2008 @ 9:05 pm


    I won last year and hope to do it again this year! I’m writing a young adult fantasy just for fun and practice.

    Posted by Liz
  12. November 2, 2008 @ 9:53 pm


    If anyone is setting writing goals this month, I definitely recommend signing up. Even if you don’t think you’ll make it through 50,000 words, or if you don’t feel like playing by NaNoWriMo rules, you’ll find lots of support and encouragement from other writers, and that could give you a valuable boost. There certainly isn’t anything to lose by it.

    Raethe, Ben, I’m adding you as buddies. My profile is at http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/448827

    Good luck to everyone!

    Posted by Ruthann
  13. November 2, 2008 @ 10:04 pm


    Aside from the networking, I’d say one thing NaNoWriMo has got going for it is competition. I confess I actually haven’t started writing yet (too busy scrambling to get assignments done so that I can devote the rest of my week to writing before buggering off to another country for the weekend – argh!) but I have logged onto the website once or twice to glare at people with higher wordcounts than mine.

    I mean *cough* What?

    Ruthann, Ben, consider yourselves officially buddied.

    Posted by Raethe
  14. November 2, 2008 @ 11:50 pm


    I’m participating the unofficial way. (couting without signing up) I was told you’d need to start a new project in order to participate officially. But if not…

    Posted by Chris
  15. November 3, 2008 @ 12:14 am


    Chris – theoretically, yes, you do. And they have an interesting point as to why on their FAQ. But I think for things like this it’s the spirit of the law rather than the letter that’s important.

    Besides, it’s not like you have to TELL them what you’re doing. Ahem.

    I’m gleefully ignoring that rule myself. I’ll just pretend those first 41k words don’t exist for a while…

    Posted by Raethe
  16. November 3, 2008 @ 3:51 am


    So… I’m three days late, have no way of counting my words as I’m writing the old fashioned way for the first draft, have university and Fallout 3 competing for my spare time… any suggestions? ;)

    Posted by Flo_the_G
  17. November 3, 2008 @ 9:55 am


    I keep trying to log in to their website, but it times out every single time. Is it super crowded this year, or is my connection just crappy? Either way, assuming I can ever get in I’m going to friend you guys who’ve posted links.

    And yes, I’m doing it this year, and yes, I’m bending the rules. I’ve already written around 7k words last week on my new book (#3 in the trilogy) because I didn’t want to wait, but the end result is going to be around 75-80k so there will be at least 50k written within November. Of course, I’m writing full-time now, which is totally cheating.

    Flo_the_G:
    Count the number of words on your first page (or some other representative page) and then just pretend like every page has that number of words on it. That’s how the publishing industry still did it as recently as five or six years ago: a typed page in 12-point Courier was 250 words, regardless of how many actual words it contained. Of course, the NaNoWriMo word counter is also digital, so you wouldn’t be able to prove it at the end of the month, but unless you want their little PDF certificate that’s not a problem at all. We’ll believe you.

    Posted by Dan Wells
  18. November 3, 2008 @ 10:20 am


    I think the website does have a huge amount of traffic. I keep having time out problems too. It seems to be getting a little better, though. I guess traffic spikes at the beginning of November.

    Posted by Ruthann
  19. November 3, 2008 @ 11:01 am


    Flo – yeah, what Dan said. I write the old fashioned way too. Of course, since I have to submit it for class I’ll be typing it out as I go, but I sure can’t write on screen.

    And don’t let the fact that you’re starting three days late scare you. (Hell, so’m I.) Just write a little extra each day and you’ll be fine!

    Dan – it’s not just you. Those poor servers are way overloaded. I have to refresh a page a couple of times on average to get it to work.

    Posted by Raethe
  20. November 3, 2008 @ 11:01 am


    Dan:
    The certificate is probably somewhere on pirate bay anyway. ;)
    Oh well, I just signed up. But I’ll be aiming for 25k. According to my plot outline I’m halfway through already, and the rough word count came to ~25k words. Should I be finished in the middle of November (which is highly unlikely) I can always use the time to type the stuff up.

    You other people:
    I’ve added you all as buddies, should I have missed someone, this is me:
    http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/453963

    Posted by Flo_the_G
  21. November 3, 2008 @ 11:41 am


    I’m working on Wierde, my second fantasy universe…which will hopefully spawn a fully-fledged plot…or maybe not. We’ll see. All three of my computers got infected and crashed this weekend, so I’m off to an inauspicious start, but I did manage to cross the 2,000 word mark last night.

    I’m Jendragon, if anyone want’s to add me to their buddy list-I’ll be adding you guys up above.

    Posted by Jen
  22. November 3, 2008 @ 12:13 pm


    Since I was only 15k into my MS I now had no more qualms about signing up. I’ll be adding people next morning (the EU one) when the site works a bit faster. Till then this is my profile.
    http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/454143

    Posted by Chris
  23. November 3, 2008 @ 1:39 pm


    I’m participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time. I was in the middle of writing a book but luckily I’m at the point where I need to write the back story to a place one of my POV characters from my current WIP ends up.

    So, I’m spending NaNo writing the back story that will really help out my WIP. So far I”m just over 11,000 words after the opening weekend.

    Posted by cedunkley
  24. November 3, 2008 @ 2:11 pm


    I finally got in. Here I am: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/27942

    Posted by Dan Wells
  25. November 3, 2008 @ 2:45 pm


    I’m in this year as well, AND doing 70 Days of Sweat. … Good thing I don’t have a conventional job. (I’m a photographer.)

    I’m writing the second book in a fantasy series for Nano, and a Historical Romantic Comedy for 70 Days. It should be fun. As for how the community can help, I’m not sure…. If the NanoWriMo server ever speeds up a little, maybe we could all be writing buddies? Or we could also do weekely word count checkin’s here?

    Either way, you guys already help a lot, but the weekly podcasts you do. (Thanks btw.)

    Posted by Bitter
  26. November 3, 2008 @ 3:03 pm
  27. November 3, 2008 @ 4:35 pm


    I have signed up but won’t start till the 6th as I have an Electrical Engineering exam on the 5th.

    Good luck to everybody.

    Posted by Russ
  28. November 3, 2008 @ 5:30 pm


    I finally got on; here’s my address:

    http://www.nanowrimo.org//eng/user/405748

    Posted by Jen
  29. November 3, 2008 @ 8:07 pm


    I’ve decided to sign up. I’m two days late getting started and have just the tiniest germ of an idea. I’m going to take an old sci-fi idea I toyed with in short story form years ago and see if I can blow it out to novel length. I didn’t know I was doing this until today so I have no outline. I’m not going to make one, either. It’s going to an exercise in discovery writing. No guarantees I’ll make 50K, but I’m going to give it a shot. I still have a big fantasy idea that I want to world-build and outline but that will have to wait until December.

    I’ve added everyone as a buddy. I’m here if you’re interested: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/455276

    Posted by Sam
  30. November 4, 2008 @ 6:03 am


    I’ve added everyone who posted their userlink. I’ve even been so bold to add Brandon himself when I spotted him on Dans profile.

    Posted by Chris
  31. November 4, 2008 @ 7:28 am


    I added every body. Here’s me: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/261603

    Posted by webbindathewitch
  32. November 4, 2008 @ 2:56 pm


    I’m not doing it this year, but I’ve done and won the past four years. For the people who are starting a bit late, don’t worry: I started over a week in last year and still managed to win!

    Instead of NaNoing, I’m just trying to write more and to rewrite my 2006 novel, which needs a major overhaul.

    Posted by Clare K. R. Miller
  33. November 4, 2008 @ 11:14 pm


    Clare – thanks for that reassurance. By the time I manage to get any serious writing done we’ll be at least a week in…

    Posted by Raethe
  34. November 5, 2008 @ 4:49 am


    I’m like Raethe. I was going to write last night and got caught up in the election results. I’ve already completely changed my idea, btw. :-)

    Posted by Sam
  35. November 5, 2008 @ 10:59 pm


    Yeah, I added everyone as well and here is mine: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/413161

    Posted by jjb
  36. November 7, 2008 @ 1:47 pm


    I’ll be doing this too but this is my first year so I’m not sure if I’ll make it.
    http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/411412

    Posted by Tim Nielsen
  37. November 8, 2008 @ 1:46 pm


    I now have a new appreciation for those who do this professionally. It’s been a lot harder than I had previously thought. I mean always thought that yeah, I can do this, and I can, but it is a lot of work. My wife says she misses me. =(

    Thank you for the podcasts that take you away from your work and art.

    9,325

    Posted by Ben
  38. November 8, 2008 @ 7:41 pm


    Its been a tough slog so far this year. I’ve gotten behind in my word count last week but im planning on using this weekend to battle through and catch back up.

    Here is my profile on nano,
    http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/249705

    Posted by David