Thursday, November 1

220 Words And Counting

Today is November 1st. Or as everyone in the writing blogosphere knows it, the first day of NANOWRIMO.

So, are you doing it? Writing a really quick, crappy first draft of a new book, I mean?

I’ve done it twice in the past and finished neither time.

The first time I got about half-way through—I think around 28K—and the book started morphing into a YA instead of the romance that it was supposed to be. I should’ve just gone with it and then fixed it when I was done.  But I got hung up with wanting to change the beginning. That manuscript? Still in a file, long forgotten (except in November when I recall  my first NANO).

TIP 1: Just go with it. Wherever you words take you, just follow. They’ll be time to fix it—let’s say in January, after the holidays are over.

The second time—last year—I got some comments back from Bix and started massively rewriting.

TIP 2: Unless you an agent gives you an R&R, leave your current out-on-submission novel alone. Again, you can fix it on December 1.

It’s November 1, and I’m diving in once again.

And I refuse to cheat. The first time I attempted NANO, someone suggested having a character recite the National Anthem to plump the word count. I don’t believe in those kind of reindeer games.

I have a friend who has finished NANO twice but she did so by putting in lots and lots of filler—sometimes to the point of repeating information in different words. And anyone who knows me, knows I hate repetition. I’ve quit reading well-known and respected authors because they drummed a point into my head so many times that I’ve got a headache. “I get it, Famous Writer, the girls feel like they’re sisters even though they aren’t related.”

I’m not saying I want to produce a perfect book—a year of rewriting and editing Bix has taught me that’s not possible. But I want a product I can hold my head up and say, “Yes, I wrote this,” without having to make excuses, “but it was for NANO and I had to make my word count.”

This time my working title is When Gods Rise, Trouble Ensues and it’s a YA Mythic tale. About an enchanted iPhone, a girl, a young God and a warehouse of Greek trinkets—like lightning bolts and tridents.

Are you NANOing? What’s your title and blurb? Feel free to friend me at Wishwryter. I can cheer with the best of them.

Good luck, November Writers!


  1. I'm not NANOing--too stressful for me--but I love hearing NANO stories. Of course, even though I'm not famous, now I'm worried about my people who are close enough to be sisters...

    Fun post, Margie!

  2. Hey, good luck!

    I don't do Nano. I know I can write a novel in a month--I've done it.

    But my job and my CT prevent it!

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  4. great tips, margie! I don't nano - for the reasons you mention above: when I know there is an issue and I know what the issue is, I'm compelled to fix it. I know that's not the point of Nano, but that is what kills it for me. Good luck to you!!!!

  5. Sooner or later I will, but I'm always in the middle of a story when it starts. Good luck to you!

  6. I'm not doing NaNo this year. I've actually never done it! I think that if it works for you, it's a great use of time, but if it doesn't, then do what works to keep your productive. Good luck! Your book idea sounds great! :)

  7. Thanks everyone for coming by, appreciate the good wishes--I'm going to need them in the next 29 days :)