National Novel Writing Month 2015


National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo, as most people know it, has begun. There’s a lot of love and hate out there on the interwebz for NaNo.

Some people think its only good for wannabe writers or that it does nothing but produce a bunch of bad novels that get flung out into the every growing slush-pile of self-publishing or at poor unsuspecting agents and editors. Its become fairly well known that mentioning NaNoWriMo in your query letter is a no-no.

Yet we also know that there have been some pretty well known novels have come out of NaNo. Articles like this attest to that: 8 Best-Sellers Started During National Novel Writing Month.

I for one, have not written my NaNo best-seller yet, but I have written several novels during NaNo and Camp NaNo.

Quick run down for those of you who might not be familiar with what NaNo is. It’s a month long challenge to write 50,000 words, or a short novel. You will need to write a total of 1,667 or more per day to “win” by the end of the month. Some die hard NaNo’ers say you have to start from scratch with a new novel, or else you’re cheating.

For your first time, I think it is a good idea to start fresh. It’s a fun challenge. But for those of us who have done it a few times, I think an anything goes attitude is fine. As long as I hit my word count, I’m happy.

So far this month, though, I’m not happy. I found it really hard to get into back into my novel. The project I’m working on is in it’s third round of major edits and rewrites. I rewrote the second version of this novel during CampNaNo during the spring of 2014. I wrote the draft of the sequel over several months after Camp NaNo and started the third book during NaNoWriMo2014.

I then reworked much of the novel for CampNaNo 2015, using it as an editing project. I continued to work on these edits through the summer. Now, I’m nearing the end, but I’m so frustrated with the changes I’ve made, I can totally understand why people start anew each NaNo.

Oh, the freedom of not worrying about how all the pieces fit together. That is what I loved about writing the first draft, as riddled with flaws it was.

I bet you’re wondering why I’m stopping to write a blog then. Shouldn’t I be working on my novel? Well, I’m one of those people who break the rules. I decided to count all words written in blog format as well. Especially since once I finish my novel, currently titled “Threshold”, I will have plenty of words left in order to fill my 50k word requirement in order to win NaNo.

One of the projects I have planned out is a column I’ve titled “Helicoper Mama.” It will be written in a total of eleven installments, each around 2,000 words. I am hoping to find a market for it. If not, it will likely be serialized here and released at some point, as I plan to do with most of my work, as an ebook.

I also have a flash fiction challenge I plan participate in. I help run a writer’s group in Seattle called Rainier Beach Writers, and each month we have a Short Story Writing Challenge. For November, one of our members, Larissa picked an easy challenge.  We are to write a Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror Flash Fiction piece of 700 words or fewer for the publication Grievous Angel.

I still haven’t written for our challenge for October, which was a challenge to write your characters in an unexpected setting, or else, take your characters and put them in someone else’s story, or vice versa. I may have to try and write something up for that challenge as well before meet up on Sunday.

I’m hoping that between blogging, sporadically working on hashing out the ending of this novel, participating in a couple of writing challenges and writing a serialized column, I might reach my word goal before Orycon and Thanksgiving hits.

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that? I know I keep purposely forgetting… I’m going to OryCon the 20, 21 and 22nd of November. Three days that I am going to find it challenging to fit in writing. And then of course, cleaning and cooking for Thanksgiving, as well as the fact that I have a little boy to tend to.


I encourage you, all of you brave writers out there, to join us for NaNo. It is well worth the struggle to come out on the other side of November able to say “I AM VICTORIOUS!”


Add me to your buddy list at NaNo by hunting down my old handle: dreamingthought. I’m not terribly active on the site, but it is cool seeing everyone else’s word counts.

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