Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

Welcome Visitors

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nanowrimo Newbie

I decided to try Nanowrimo for the first time. It’s an amazing online writers’ event, where you bang out a draft of a novel in 30 days. You have to reach 50,000 words to win. And there are multiple winners! What do you win, you ask? Um, not $$ or a trip to Paris. You win a certificate with a coat of arms inscribed with a coffee cup, a laptop, and stack of manuscript papers… and, well you get the drift. You gather together some writing buddies, and you can see their daily word counts, which can either send you into a panic, or inspire you, or drive you on—or a heady mix of all of it. No editing allowed!

That’s the hard part, and the greatest lesson. I always edit every chapter, or scene. Not to do so, feels like I'm an incorrigible nail-biter in mittens, or as if I'm resisting a big bowl of chocolate ice-cream sitting right in front me.

But there are perks. You get to create a fake book cover, like my clunky attempt at Photoshopped layers (above-working title). And there are write-ins every day in NYC, and probably lots of other places. I mean, this thing is global, folks! Nano is even in Africa, which is why the site is operating at the speed of tar advancing on a level pavement. But they promised to have the kinks ironed out asap. Besides, it prevents you from checking on your writing buds’ word counts too often.

So far, so good for me. I’m sure by day 20 I’ll have a backache. But hopefully, by day 28, if I keep up the word count, I won’t care about the backache, or the wonky eyes, or the fact that my house is getting messier and messier as I ignore everything around me.

Are you Nano-ing? Newbie like me, or old pro? What’s your experience with it this year?


  1. I'm Nano-ing, and I'm not a newbie... I tried last year (and utterly failed when Life Happened in a big way). This year, though, I'm determined to succeed!

    I know a lot of Germans are also participating (though I don't speak German well enough to understand their long, rambling Nano emails!). ::sigh:: I'd love to participate in a write-in! How fun!

    I love the book cover! It actually looks pretty professional... (Of course, what do I know?) Still, it's super cool!

    Good luck and happy writing!

  2. Thanks, Susan, for the compliments on my fake-o cover. I put it together in about half-an-hour. Those awesome sunsparks sold me on the initial photo.
    Germans, eh? I know about twenty words from my one semester class.

  3. Hey, you won my Extravaganza from last Wednesday! You get to pick a literary novel for me to send you! :) Be sure to email me with your address and selection:

    stdennard [at] gmail [dot] com


  4. Awesomeness, Sooz!!! I'll go to your blog asap. Thanks.

  5. I'm an 'old pro'...but new to your blog. :) (from Summer's blog) *waves* Nice to meet you.

    I do skim and edit the previous day's work a bit each day before I begin to write. It's part of my process, Nano or not.

    Good luck and HAVE FUN!!

  6. Oh, and I really like your cover. Well done. :)

  7. Lol, my back already aches! I love your cover :) I would definitely pick that up to check it out. Good luck with NaNo!

  8. Wow, I could never write that fast, so I'm impressed. Loved your cover art and your book title.

  9. Thanks for the great posts, all. I feel like I should post a mid-report on Nano experiences.

  10. last year was my first year to NaNo. And since it went without a hitch, this year i'm trying it while editing as i go. So far, so good

  11. I couldn't write a NaNo novel because I can't turn my internal editor off. I go back and revise daily!

  12. I like your cover! It gives the sense of stuff really happening in the girl's head. Since you're also a visual artist, the result is probably better than most...