Mark My Words

Writing, flying and yawning my way through motherhood

No Plot? No Problem. It’s NaNoWriMo time again! October 9, 2008

Who wants to write 50,000 words in a month? I do, and so do over 100,000 other people. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and the whole point is to put 50k words down on paper. It’s not about winning a Pulitzer Prize, it’s about pushing yourself to get the skeleton of the story out. Participants aren’t allowed to edit until December.

I participated for the first time last year mostly because I’m a lousy creative writer and I wanted to force my story out. I did it. It was an amazing experience. Each day I required myself to put down 2,000 words in my compositon notebooks.

My NaNo 2007

My NaNo 2007

I got a lot of writing done at work because November is notoriously quiet. The flights are empty until the first few days before Thanksgiving, getting my word count in was easier than I expected. I went to a couple of local write-ins, where other “WriMos” got together to participate in writing exercises and caffeination. I was featured on the NaNo homepage in their writer Q&A section. This year will probably be tougher with the new baby. I have a hard time updating a blog, sheesh 🙂

Learning about my characters as I went along was surprising. I learned things about them, I learned about their families and their jobs, I also learned that the story I wrote had already been done in 1939. Halfway through I had to change things, reorganize, regroup. I thought my NaNo was over, but I made changes and completed the challenge. At the end of November I was able to say I wrote a novel.

Despite my good intentions, I haven’t touched my manuscript since then. It was just a few weeks after NaNo I found out I was pregnant. I suddenly had to reschedule my wedding and plan for a baby. Even though I haven’t followed through on editing it (or titling it), I plan on writing another one this year.

Why don’t you join up with me? Go to NaNoWriMo.org and sign up. I’ll share my buddies with you.

Read about what others are saying

Michy’s Forum

Associated Content Forum

And here are some of the novels that were written during NaNoWriMo that went on to publication and for some, bestseller lists.

  • Jon F. Merz—NaNoWriMo novel: The Destructor (Pinnacle Books, 2003)
  • Lani Diane Rich—NaNoWriMo novels: Time Off for Good Behavior (Warner Books, 2004) and Maybe Baby (Warner Books, 2005)
  • Sara Gruen—NaNoWriMo novels: Flying Changes (HarperCollins, 2005) and Water for Elephants (Algonquin, 2007)
  • Rebecca Agiewich—NaNoWriMo novel: BreakupBabe (Ballantine Books, 2006)
  • Francesca Segre—NaNoWriMo novel: Daughter of the Bride (Berkeley Books, 2006)
  • David Niall Wilson—NaNoWriMo novels: Vintage Soul (Five Star/Gale, 2007) and The Mote in Andrea’s Eye (Five Star/Gale, 2006)
  • Gayle Brandeis—NaNoWriMo novel: Self Storage (Ballantine Books, 2007)
  • Kimberly Llewellyn—NaNoWriMo novel: Cashmere Boulevard (Berkley Books, 2007)
  • Geonn Cannon—NaNoWriMo novel: On the Air (P.D. Publishing, 2007)
  • Lisa Daily—NaNoWriMo novel: The Dreamgirl Academy (Plume/Penguin Putnam, 2008)
  • Jacob and Diane Anderson-Minshall—NaNoWriMo novel: Blind Curves (Bold Strokes Books, 2007)
  • James R. Strickland—NaNoWriMo novel: Looking Glass (Flying Pen Press, 2007)
  • Kathy Cano-Murillo—NaNoWriMo novel: Love Shine (Grand Central Publishing, 2007)
  • Ann Gonzalez—NaNoWriMo novel: Running for My Life (WestSide Books, 2008)
  • Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen—NaNoWriMo novel: The Compound (Feiwel and Friends, 2008)
  • Jessica Burkhart—NaNoWriMo novel: High Jumps at Collins Academy (Simon & Schuster, 2007).
  • Jenna Bayley-Burke—NaNoWriMo novel: Just One Spark (Mills & Boon, 2006)
  • Teryl Cartwright—NaNoWriMo novel: A Sensible Match (Vintage Romance, 2007)
  • Dave Casler—NaNoWriMo novel: The Story of the Great American Flying Broomstick, Book 1: Genesis (Mt. Sneffels Press, 2007)
  • Liz Hegarty—NaNoWriMo novel: Salt River (Scholastic New Zealand, April 2009)
  • C.J. Lines—NaNoWriMo novel: Filth Kiss (Hadesgate Publishing , 2007)
  • Moondancer Drake—NaNoWriMo novel: Worlds Collide (PD Publishing)
  • Simon Haynes—NaNoWriMo novel: Hal Spacejock No Free Lunch (Fremantle Press, June 2008)
  • Farhan Devji—NaNoWriMo novel: The Hockey Farmer (Cacoethes Publishing, June 2008).
  • Kalayna-Nicole Price—NaNoWriMo novel: Once Bitten (Bell Bridge Books)
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    5 Responses to “No Plot? No Problem. It’s NaNoWriMo time again!”

    1. Hi there! I’m NaNo-ing again this year…with a baby. Never tried that before…

    2. Heather Says:

      Good luck! One of my friends is due in November. I hope she’ll make it!

    3. carrie Says:

      water for elephants was birthed from nano-world? i started reading it recently. interesante.

      i would join in, but fear i would struggle to come up with an idea to get the thing goin’…

    4. Good luck…it’s become a ritual for me to participate now. I’ve even created one website where I just talk about Nanowrimo, tips, ideas, and the books I’ve written (and sold) during November.

      Vintage Soul the Website

      and another where people who are interested can sign in to read along with me this November when I write “THE LEDGER” – this year’s Nano project. I usually give away books during the month – the readers help keep me plunking away at the keys.

      The Nano Book Read Along

      November is nearly upon us!

    5. Heather Says:

      Carrie, I know you could do it. Some chick lit perhaps?

      David, thanks for the links! I look forward to seeing how it comes together for you.

      🙂


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