Tag: NaNoWriMo


Writing Promptly

 NaNoWriMo starts November 1. To encourage writers to start thinking about their upcoming writing odyssey they ran a month-long Instagram challenge featuring daily prompts. Writers were encouraged to post ideas for cover art, describe what their main character had in their pockets, and choose their main character’s theme song, among other ideas. The Career Authors blog posts a writing prompt every Sunday. Last week’s was about replacing unnecessary dialogue with a gesture or action that conveyed the same message.I don’t use writing prompts to help me with my work in progress. But sometimes I’ll use a random writing prompt as a creative warmup, a way to get the ideas, and the words, flowing if I’m in a dry spell. Sometimes, like with the NaNoWriMo Instachallenge, I’ll join in for fun. I asked my fellow Missdemeanors their opinions about writing prompts. SusanI use a lot of writing exercises in my teaching. So often when my students are working on them, I work on them, and it’s very helpful. But mainly I love filling out character dossiers. I love those little details that crop up about characters and find I have to go hunting for them and the dossiers really help. The […]

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National Novel Writing Month

  NaNoWriMo is a big deal. If you are a writer you’ve heard of it and likely participated – or at least swore that you would this year. Essentially NaNoWriMo is one great big on-line writing prompt. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel between November 1 and 11:59 pm on November 30. According to the organizers: “Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.” Taken at face value this is a great thing! Daily emails and an online forum to keep the writer motivated. Published authors use it to kick start their next project, dreamers use the schedule to dive in. The sheer speed of the daily word count makes you forget to worry and just get words on the page. (For anyone who is writing their first novel the blank page is not your friend. Every word past the first one gets easier. Finally you are lost in the story and the end is near.) Take the concept a step further and the value to elevating discourse about creativity is immeasurable. NaNoWriMo is much more than one month a year. The Young Writers Program takes the notion of creativity […]

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NaNoWriMo & Me

 My first introduction to NaNoWriMo was not auspicious. I was teaching a novel writing class at night and one of my students kept handing in manuscripts that didn’t have contractions. Plus there would be lots of extraneous little words in her pages. It. It. It. Finally I said to her, “For Pete’s sake, why don’t you use contractions?” And she explained that she was doing NaNoWriMo (in which you try to write 50,000 words in the month of November). She needed to bulk her word count. “I see,” I said, thinking that that sounded like a colossal waste of time in order to get a really bloated manuscript. Years passed.  Then, I had a deadline ahead of me. It happened to be November and I thought, why not give this a try? Maybe it will inspire me to write quickly. That was three years ago and after that I was hooked. This year I’m working on a draft of Maggie Dove 3. What I love about NaNoWriMo is that it forces my mind to go in unexpected places. The fact is, I probably write 1,700 words a day anyway, but usually I’m revising things. Trying to make things perfect. Or good, anyway. Shuffling things […]

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I first heard about nanowrimo some years ago when one of my students kept submitting manuscripts without contractions. Take it from me, that if you read twenty pages and there is not one contraction, you notice pretty quickly. The writing seems formal and stiff. Anyway, one night I asked why she was doing this and she said it was because she was participating in nanowrimo and needed to write 50,000 words in a month, and if she didn’t use contractions, her word count would go up. So from that I deduced that nanowrimo was for people writing awful manuscripts.    However, time went on and more and more of my students began talking about it and I noticed everyone spoke about it with enthusiasm. No one had a bad thing to say about nanowrimo, and in fact, everyone seemed energized by the whole process. So I began to think about it more seriously, but I wasn’t tempted to do it because the fact is, I write a lot anyway, so I didn’t think I needed an inducement. Last year, I had an outline due on December 15 (for Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency.) I hate writing outlines. I once spent two years writing an […]

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