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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Words on Wednesday: NaNoWriMo

Well, I've done it - signed up for this year's NaNoWriMo. You can find me as BethKemp (unsurprisingly!). I'm still not certain whether this is the best or worst idea I've had this year, but we'll see.

For those who don't know (where HAVE you been?), NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month and the aim is to produce 50k words in 30 days. It should more properly be International Novel Writing Month now, since it is a worldwide venture, but that wouldn't be so easy to pronounce. Since it is essentially a quantity over quality exercise (arguably, like all first drafts), it's important to not get bogged down in minutiae and to just keep throwing words down on the page.

I've never done it before, but I did follow Hestia's and Ania's NaNo adventures with interest last year. I'm hoping it will help me to stop pushing my writing to the back of my life, something that's happened a fair bit lately. Although most of that has been due to new term - er 'stuff' at work, it's still a habit I don't want to embed.

I'm currently working on a major rewrite of a story for 5-8s and that will be finished in October, so the NaNo project will give that some drawer time. I also have an end of October deadline for a non-fic project, so the timing's working nicely for me.

I'll be returning to a YA story that I outlined, decided was dull and shelved for the 5-8 piece before coming up with a twist that freshens it nicely (I think!). Beyond jotting the twist as a 'what if' at the top of my outline, I haven't touched it since early summer. I reckon I'll have time to double check and tweak the outline and do the most important research before NaNo starts. Details can come later (see, I have already embraced the NaNo spirit!).

Are there any other NaNo-ers out there?


  1. You are awesome! I'm scared of NaNo, but should probably sign up this year. Last year I skipped, but this year I need it. Good luck.

  2. Part of me is saying do it, another part is remembering last year and is wondering if I can do it again? But I'm not writing in the evenings any more and I need to get back to that? Hum...

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  4. I did NaNo last year, and loved it! It's just the sort of thing to encourage me to write and get all critical later. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to have time this year. I'm still doing rewrites, and I'm pretty sure they're not going to be done in time to plan for NaNo.

  5. I've added you as a buddy. You'll find a few others you know on my buddy list :)


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