NaNoWriMo, One More Time

I’m starting the party early here on the blog–who is doing NaNoWriMo this year?

2013-Participant-Facebook-ProfileI am. And this year it is going to be different. I am actually going to do it.

Here’s the backstory. I have tried to meet the 50,000 word goal a couple of times, but either lose steam (November is, IMHO, a terrible month to try and pull this off), or I start looping back and editing. By editing, I mean doubting that my idea is any good at all.

Here’s why I expect that I will finish this year:

I have a week left to create my road map toward NaNoWriMo success. By that I mean Scrivener file open, character and setting sketches started, a timeline worked out, and scenes described on separate cards. I have a week (eight days, but who is counting) to add some more scenes. I think if I have a goal of a scene a day, I will get there.

I am working on a project with a real deadline. So getting this first draft done is a critical step in the process. I don’t know about you, but I find I need some time between drafts so that I can see the issues more clearly. So the sooner I can get the rough draft done, the more time I have to see the holes in the story, figure out a way to fix them, and then edit edit edit.

And lastly, I trust myself more this time around. I am more comfortable with ugly prose, because I know that you have to have something to fix, and getting it out of your brain and on to the page (or screen) truly is the hardest part. I also know that momentum is important, and that writing FIND OUT WHAT PARROTS EAT as a note in my manuscript is much better than spending an hour on the Google, going down rabbit holes of research.

So, game on. NaNoWriMo starting November 1. Who’s in?

Oh, and, GO SOX!

UPDATE: Diane MacKinnon (from this blog) and Jessie Crockett (from my other blog, Wicked Cozy Authors) are also both NaNoWriMo ing. My name on NaNo is cozygal–not sure what the buddy thing is about, but I’m game!


J.A. Hennrikus is the Executive Director of StageSource. She is a mystery writer. Her short story, “Tag, You’re Dead” was published in Level Best Book’s anthology THIN ICE, “Her Wish” is in Level Best Books’ DEAD CALM, and “The Pendulum Swings, Until It Doesn’t” is in Level Best Books’ BLOOD MOON. She is a social media fan, and tweets under @JulieHennrikus. She wrestles with allusions of athleticism, is an avid theater goer and a member of Red Sox nation. Her website is

62 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo, One More Time

  1. Me, me! *waves hand* I’m a total pantser, though…no planning for me! I have a general idea of how the story is going to go and I’ve been saying the opening scene in my head for a few days, but that’s it. 🙂

    • Zadie Smith (White Teeth) is a pantser too. She goes over and over the first scene, writes, edits, rewrites, edits it again…for days. She says after that the rest of the book is ready to come out. So you’re in good company. 🙂

  2. I’m in for the first time this year. I’ve done half the work you have to prepare. I’m worried that I won’t finish, but I know I’m anal about achieving set goals, so I just might make it to the end (but then I’ll quit; no publishing dreams here).

    Oh, and, Go Cards! (This is going to be a fun World Series contest. Two great teams. Two great cities.)

  3. I’m in. You can add me as a buddy, if you want. I’m going to get a draft of my novel, Biomalware out. Afraid I’ll be doing a bunch of research after the fact but who knows? Somebody was kind enough to create a mini summit on GMOs this weekend so I may garner a good bit of info there, at least on one side of the debate.

  4. I’m in. I’m going to try for the first time. I tried last year, then forgot completely. My goal is to actually do it this year

  5. Reblogged this on Young Smart And Legal and commented:
    I came across this post on NaNoWriMo this morning, and I’ve decided to commit to it. Who knows what will happen, but I think the point is more that something happen. ANYTHING, really. Let’s see how this goes!

  6. I’m Game! I’m still working on my outline, but like you said, I’ve still got a week to go, so I think it will go fine 🙂

    I managed to make the 50k mark last year without any outline or fixed plan for that matter, so I’ve got hopes I’ll make it this year again with a bit to add. That would be fun! It will be a sequel to what I wrote last year. Although that story isn’t finished yet, I know pretty much how I want it to end. And if not… oh, what else is editing and rewriting about, right? 😀

    Have fun!

  7. I love NaNo! This will be my 5th year. I’ve won each time, but as soon as I get that magical 50k I stop dead and have never finished one, let alone edited it. I am hoping this year might be different. I am planning thoroughly this time and keeping the scale smaller so I might be close enough to the end by 50k that I can push on and complete a first draft. That is my goal for this year.

    I feel totally ready to start, it’s almost frustrating to have to have to wait until the 1st and I hope I don’t go off the boil in that time, but I am reading craft books and plotting and writing back story to get to know my characters. Also I must do more research.

    If anyone wants a buddy, I’m Stavechurch over there 🙂

  8. I’m with you, sister and brother writers! I have a first draft awaiting a great ending and a great deal of editing from last year. For this NaNoWriMo, my characters and setting are already waiting in the wings to see what happens to them. And I think I’m a little bit in love with one of them. My only probably is I might have to put an “Out to NaNoWriMo” sign on my blog for the month of November. We’ll see. Can’t wait to read all the novels you are writing.

  9. Hesitantly thinking I might give it a try, now that I am not working. I think the accountability factor might be enough of a push for me. I agree with November being a crumby month for NaNo, especially due to Thanksgiving. But, knowing this ahead of time, perhaps I could try to get ahead of my word count before the bird day and the weekend that follows it. How do I sign up?

  10. I am doing NaNoWriMo this year. I fell short last year but now is the time to give birth to that book that has been longing to come out. So please keep in touch let’s encourage one another along the way. I am in Athens, Georgia

  11. I could not agree with you more! The hardest part for me is getting it out of my head and it’s because of self doubt and procrastination. But I, too, have a deadline and I’m hoping NaNo is the just the ticket to complete my first draft. Then the real fun can begin: the rewrite!

  12. Well, I sure hope I’m accomplishing it this year. I always go in with oodles of enthusiasm that then falls to daily responsibility and procrastination by day 8. Planning on a way to visibly see my accomplishments (sticky notes, etc) to preserve energy, and an outline to keep me on track.

  13. I’m in. This is my second year. I am not 100% sure of what I am going to write this year. I have a plot percolating, but it is so far from what I normally write or read that I might not be able to pull it off.
    A little worried about it. But somehow I won last year so I am going to do it again this year .

  14. ခဏ​ေလးဆုိတဲ့ စကားလုံး​ေလး မရွိ​ေတာ့ရင္​ဘယ္​​ေလာက္​​ေကာင္​းမလဲ ခ်စ္​သူ

  15. This is my 2nd year. I’m super excited about NaNoWriMo but nervous about what lies ahead. It’s a new idea and a new genre. What I love about NaNo is that it pushes me more than any other writing resource and I love the challenge of seeing whether I can produce a 50k manuscript. I just hope I can keep that pesky inner editor on a leash!

  16. Pingback: Ready? Set? JanNoWriStart | Wicked Cozy Authors

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