You’re doing NaNoWriMo, right? Well, Brandon and Mary took time out from World Fantasy to record this special message for you. Is it a pep-talk? Sage advice? Or is it just a pronunciation pointer? You decide! But don’t take long. You need to be writing.

Two minutes and forty-eight seconds long, because it’s NaNoWriMo, we’re ALL in a hurry, and hopefully this minimizes the distractions.


This entry was posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 8:52 am and is filed under Career and Lifestyle, Season 7, Theory and Technique. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. November 8, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    As of this writing it is day eight, 16703 down and a few to go.

    Just what do you do with a knife four feet in diameter and a hundred thousand miles long.

    Kevin… Gunns on nano

    Posted by Kevin E.
  2. November 8, 2012 @ 10:14 am

    My First nano doing it in french and i’m doing pretty good, day eight and 14825 words written. I CAN DO IT. Thans guys for the pep talk. but you got me distracted with that podcast. :)

    Posted by Jeannot S.
  3. November 8, 2012 @ 10:53 am

    When time starts slipping off your hands and you find yourself running around your room in panic, it is nice to hear about people with even less time working it out. Somehow, you have managed to stuff your activities in those little packages of time that consists in your days. Well, for me it is day 8 and I am at 15000 words aiming for the 18000. I can’t belief it. I roll up the document, and then roll it down. Yes, those are my words and I wrote them. And I can’t belief it. Then I dig through the piles of books, homework, projects and garbage to find my calendar. For my dismay, the month is barely starting and there is only a bumpy road ahead. But somehow it doesn’t anymore. The only thing that matters is keep writing. Thanks to you magical people that live at the other side of the microphone.
    Listening to your podcasts had made realize that as long as my fingers keep moving on the keyboard, and my butt stays on the chair, being a writer is not so far away. Fifty thousand words don’t seem like an impossible challenge anymore. I can’t wait to write them. I can’t wait to keep writing in December and January and so on. I don’t think I would ever stop.
    I hope this doesn’t sound like a creepy and long message from a crazy fan that steals your socks to smell them. This is just a grateful message to you guys that keep fueling the minds of scared writers like me. Because you do not only create wonderful worlds in which we can enjoy a great narrative experience, you show us, the little baby writers, there are no excuses to stop writing. Keep on the great job.
    Sincerely, an inspired writer that cannot stop typing.
    (I never said I did not steal your socks. 😀 Sniff )

    Posted by Ana P.
  4. November 8, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    So you’re posting advice for how to do week 1 at the start of week 2? That’s interesting…

    Posted by Rashkavar
  5. November 8, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    Huh, I used to mispronounce NaNoWriMo too, though not quite the same way Brandon did. I think I actually first heard the correct-ish pronunciation from you guys.

    Posted by krizzaro
  6. November 8, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    Preach it. I almost lost camp NaNo this year, despite a fast start, though I did manage 60k this year despite the middle blahs you guys mention.

    This November I’m trying to just barrel past any such problems through sheer will and determination. It’s working better than I dared hope, as before doing any writing in week 2 yet I’m at 28.5k+.

    Mind you, one thing that helped a ton was the rules for what to ensure were in scenes someone posted from a workshop of Mary’s (ref: Everything there is technically obvious, but having it together in a list made my outline WAY more useful.

    Posted by Patrick Sullivan
  7. November 8, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

    This is the first time I’ve done NaNoWriMo. I thought it might help get me over my eight months of writer’s block. I’m writing it all out by hand so that I don’t get distracted by the shiny internet. I got to tell you the first day was really hard, but I wrote 162 words and completed my prologue. Now I’m at 1504 words.

    Thanks for the peptalk. Tomorrow’s goal is 400 words



    Posted by David Lein
  8. November 9, 2012 @ 5:57 am

    And if you want a copy of the peptalk to pin to your corkboard over your desk (well, someone must still use paper and corkboards and stuff like that)…

    Here’s a transcript, hot off the web…

    Posted by Mike Barker
  9. November 9, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

    Just over 20,000 and am delving deep into the lair of my office to crank out another 2k….MUAHAHAHA

    Posted by Joe
  10. November 10, 2012 @ 12:11 am

    Thanks for the pep talk! It’s day 9 (well, technically day 10) now and this is one of the most paradoxical experiences I’ve ever had.

    I have 21,000 words written, and I’m amazed and exhilarated that I’ve gotten this far. At the same time I am kind of freaking out because the STORY IS SO BROKEN. 😛

    If anyone else is having the same experience, know that you’re not alone. My solution is going to be just cranking out more words, letting the story go where it takes me, and fixing it all later.

    Kind of seems like one gigantic marathon where everyone has one serious knee injury and we all have to drag each other across the finish line. Ha.

    Posted by Nathan Boole
  11. November 10, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

    Nathan – as long as the story isn’t so broken it’s giving you writer’s block, keep going. NaNo’s all about shutting off the internal editor and just getting thoughts down in a (semi) coherent form.

    Of course, I’m hardly the one who should be giving advice. I only ever seem to come up with settings that I’d like to write a book in, not the plot or characters to put in it. Probably at least partly because I’m almost as picky about my own writing as I am about the books I buy, which means I’m holding myself to far stricter criteria than any newbie can reasonably be expected to meet.

    Posted by Rashkavar
  12. November 10, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Rashkavar: have you seen the video from Ira Glass about taste and creating things?

    Posted by Patrick Sullivan
  13. November 11, 2012 @ 12:02 am

    I’m on 28966 words, and pushing it.

    Posted by Kush
  14. November 11, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    Rashkavar, have you actually completed a NaNoWriMo, i.e. produced something about the right length?

    Posted by Ed
  15. November 11, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

    Novembers a really bad month for me, with midterms to study for, and essays due, and then at the end of November exams to study for. I consider all of those are very good excuses.
    So I’m thinking of trying to do basically NaNoWriMo in January.

    Posted by Shauna
  16. November 11, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    Shauna. While it isn’t January, did you know there are two ‘camp’ NaNoWriMo sessions? One in June and another in August? The feel is slightly different as you get assigned to 4-6 person ‘cabins’ with private boards, but the basic premise is the same.

    Posted by Patrick Sullivan
  17. November 11, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

    Patrick I heard about that last summer. While deciding whether or not to do NaNoWriMo this November I got all excited about it, but really can’t afford to do badly on any of the midterms/essays/exams, and January’s closer than July but is lighter than November on work. Also, at least for me January in Canada is better writing weather than July/August.

    Posted by Shauna
  18. November 11, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

    @Rashkavar The fear of producing subpar work also acts an excuse for me to not write. But NaNoWriMo is all about first drafts, and not crafting polished final drafts of ready to publish material. That will come. For now, just write.

    Posted by Wendy
  19. November 11, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

    Patrick: No, I hadn’t come across that video (and, given that I had no idea who Ira Glass was, probably never would have). Thanks,

    Wendy: Like I said, the problem I have is that I tend to develop a setting first and then try to stuff character and plot into it, which is probably the worst order to do things in. (And, quite frankly, it shows in published work too – a lot of novels based in established worlds (Forgotten Realms, Star Wars and Star Trek come to mind) are pretty poor…not everything, but a lot of it.)

    Ed: No, I haven’t. Thus my qualification about not being the best person to be giving advice. However, I think this podcast is where I first heard the point I was making. Plot holes making it impossible to write is personal experience, since I often don’t look anywhere near far enough ahead; the imperative to turn off the internal editor is not.

    Posted by Rashkavar