Saturday, November 01, 2008

Do You NaNo?

Today is the first day of the tenth annual National Novel Writing Month, during which storytellers from all over the world will attempt to write a novel in a month (specifically, the goal is to write 50,000 words in the next thirty days.)

You'll probably hear some grumbling about it from a few pros in NetPubLand, but not here. I love this event, I think it's an amazing challenge and I admire everyone who has the desire and courage to take it on. Also, I enjoy how much it ticks off the writing snobs, but that's just a little personal side benefit.

I'm in the middle of production on three books, so I'm not officially participating (every month is pretty much NaNoWriMo at Casa PBW), but I'll be posting some ideas, advice, ten lists and other items of interest for NaNo'ers during November so I can help cheer you guys on.

So, officially, who's NaNo'ing this year? Please let us know in comments and, if you're willing, tell us a little about your WIP. If you'll be blogging about your progress, do post a link so we can visit your place and see how you're doing.


  1. I'm in for the first time. and I decided to blog about it too. :)

  2. Anonymous12:51 AM

    Lynn, I still have more than a couple of hours to go until NaNoWriMo. I will do it, but as yet I have no idea which one of the many plots running around in my head will get the month.

    I love your comment about the writing snobs.

  3. Got the first 1K already and taking a little break. (My Dark & Early goal in the mornings is 1K before I get to read your blog feed. Old habits die hard!!) Back to writing, and I can't wait to see your suggestions this month!

  4. It's 3am EST and I was supposed to start writing at midnight. :D Oops. Anyway, online buddies are peer pressuring me to stop reading blogs and to start my novel right now! I have a counter on my blog for my NaNo novel, Sin of the Father. I will blog about its progress throughout the month. Like you, I adore NaNo. Last year was my first time and it led to my first epub contract. Love the NaNo!!!

  5. I'm Cassie Ryan on the NaNo and Script Frenzy sites. Going for four consecutive wins.

    1) Sub Rosa: Collateral Damage
    2) Mac AKA Lone Wolf / Security Specialist
    3) Dee AKA Red Rose / Security Specialist
    4) Contemporary setting
    5) Romantic suspense

    Circumstances reunite former spies and ex-lovers.

    This is part of the "Sub Rosa "series that I've been writing during the past NaNos serving as a bridge between two of them.

    Mysterious Realms is going to be updated as time allows.

    I must be insane, I'm seriously thinking of doing the 70 Days of Sweat Writing Challenge which starts on Nov 10.

    Thanks again for providing those links.

    Good luck writing to all!

  6. Anonymous4:16 AM

    I started my project at about 10 minutes past midnight...and took a break an hour later. Haven't gotten back to it yet. How's that for discipline? LOL

    I decided to write about a kid going to college, undecided on his major, and just follow some of his adventures.

    I'll be blogging about it, unless I give up before it's through. Which I don't plan on doing. But I might. Anyway, the address is Feel free to stop by anytime.

  7. I'm NanoWrimoing it this year. It's my third...fourth? year doing so. I'll probably be blogging about my experience off and on. You can find one of my blogs at

    My WIP is actually the sequel to last years NaNoWriMo project, which I'm still editing, but hey, the story was finished a week or two after NaNo ended.

    I've never actually made the 50,000 words in 30 days. I tend to be a few days to a few weeks slow. but I'm going to keep trying until I get it.

    I'm writing a Young Adult SciFi/Fantasy novel, with a real-world twist. Check it out if you want. My NaNoWriMo id is Avikar for anyone intersted.

    Good luck WriMos!

  8. This is my third year to Nano, and I've won twice. The first year, I had nothing in my head but characters, and the hero changed on the third day. I still love that book, but it needs a TON of revision. Last year, I'd preplotted and BARELY made it to 50,000 words by Nov. 30. This year I'd plotted a romantic suspense, but this week an idea for a historical romance hit me upside the head, so I'm writing about a widow on the frontier of Texas and the man she saves, who then saves her. It's my first historical and I'm excited!

    I'm blogging at

  9. I am! My NaNo novel is a 75K urban fantasy with romantic elements. Completely out of the norm for me, but I really enjoy gritty UF. I'll be posting my progress:

  10. Anonymous9:00 AM

    I'm in awe of writers who take up this challenge.

    It takes me forever to write a novel. I think I'd have a heart attack trying to do what you people do.

    The very best of luck


  11. I only heard of NaNoWriMo last year so this is my first attempt. Rather than hide behind my pen name I'm doing it under my 'real' self. So far the story is a paranormal 'family' (mafia style?) coming out of the shadows. I don't want yet another blog to update but I am updating my Twitter through the month. I can be found there as ladysigny.

    Good luck to everyone.

  12. Anonymous9:16 AM

    Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in. :)

    I've participated and won for the past several years. This year I thought I'd skip but then I couldn't resist. And I have an idea for a new spooky juvenile novel that I'm excited about. Something that my son Alexander can read (after he's born and old enough to read).

  13. Anonymous9:19 AM

    I won in 2005, wrote my first full-length novel then. I've tried unsuccessfully to participate since then, but this year I'm actually going to do it. Signed up officially and whatnot. :)

    Novel: "Perfect"
    Genre: futuristic romance (soft SF)

    I'll be blogging my progress as per my usual blogging habits.

  14. Well, I began writing at midnight (CET), but I only got about 100 words before being so sleepy I have to stop.

    This is my fourth year, and I'm going to win! Or so I hope.

    My WIP? Well, it's a science fiction novel, a cross between space opera and a dystopia. I have not plotted it.

    I'll try blogging about it at my blog: Artificial Mind

  15. This is my first Nano and I was up at 4 a.m. to get in 1,746 words so far. I will have a counter on my blog and might blog about my progress but my book is totally secret. Afraid if I share, I will feel so inadequate about my writing that I will give up and not finish. Self-protection first! ;-)

  16. It's my first NaNo and my first fiction! Kind of a speculative fiction/young pregnant woman pursued by some unknown secret society thing. We'll see how that all works out.

    I won't get to sit down and write until later today but I wrote my first short scene last night just after midnight Eastern time before I went to bed. (I'm on Pacific Time, wink!)

    I'll be blogging at Anyway, I Was Just Thinking, and my NaNo ID is justmethinking.

    Can't wait to check out everyone's blogs -- after I reach my daily quota, of course.

  17. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Lynn, I wasn't going to NaNo - I never have before. Then you posted the article about outlining, and - an outline spilled out of my fingers!! Seriously.
    So yes, I'm in.

    But I will not be blogging about it, because I need every available moment to write, or I won't make the word count.

    My blog: In Search of Giants
    My NaNO ID: AerinRose

  18. This is my second NaNo. I'm still trying to figure out how I wound up writing a supernatural suspense novel instead of my usual mythic fantasy. I blog here:

  19. Anonymous11:39 AM

    Hi all,
    I've done Nano twice but didn't win either time. The end of November is usually the problem for me. My DH's birthday is on the 30th, and the last two years we travelled for Thanksgiving, so see my sick dad. He ended up passing awy at the beginning of December last year.
    Since I started teaching, I seriously considered not doing it this year, but instead decided I was going to go ahead and "cheat."
    My goal is to finish the first two Nano stories -- they're interrelated, and so I've seen things from the first in a new light. I will just work on one or the other and paste those words into a wordcount file. I'd like the sense of completion, and this seems to be a practical compromise. I hope to start a new one next year.

  20. Anonymous11:48 AM

    I'm doing NaNo for the...third or fourth time. I've lost track. I've only "won" once (not since I got out of graduate school and moved on to "real" jobs). The project I'll be working on is a romantic suspense titled Til Death. The summer Wyatt Hamilton turned ten, he found a dead body that changed his life. Haunted by the victim--literally--he's made it his life's work to track down her killer and set them both free. It's an obsession that's interfered with every aspect of having a normal life. So no one's more surprised than Wyatt when his grandmother's matchmaking scheme to set him up with down-to-earth innkeeper Marin Bishop actually works out. But when the killer sets his sights on Marin, Wyatt must race the clock and Marin's skepticism to save the woman he loves.

    I've already started (just under 18k in), but I'm going to have a separate NaNo word counter, so previous words don't count for this challenge.

  21. I'm unofficial, but will be writing away (every month is NaNo) and cheering everybody on. The world needs more creative efforts!

  22. Anonymous11:56 AM

    This makes my 5th year doing Nano, and hopefully my 3rd win.

    My basic plot is that my MC is framed in the murder of someone who actually committed suicide, but made the suicide look like murder to destroy my MC.

  23. I'm doing NaNoWriMo for the third time this year. I've won it both times I've tried it previously, and I wrote a novel in about 2 months earlier this fall. (Which made me a little nervous that I'd be too worn out from that novel to write another one in a month, but the magic of NaNo prevailed.)

    Anyway, this year's novel is a sequel to my last novel, about a bartending wizard. It should be a lot of fun to write.


    NaNo ID: Mutant Goldfish

  24. Me! It's my first year, although like you every month is pretty much nano month for me. Hitting the goal isn't the point for me--more just doing something different and fun. And playing with my friends along the way. :)

  25. This is my first year. Eek! I'm tracking my progress on My Blogger. My book asks the question, what happens to soul mates if one of them turns into a vampire? I'm very excited about this! And your helpful hints of being, well, helpful! ; )

  26. Me! LOL...

    I'm writing about a former Miss Gilroy Garlic who has failed at everything in her life. The rest is a little fuzzy, but there's a hammer, 7 kittens, a bull pei puppy, three former friends, the boy she used to babysit and a rope swing involved. Oh, and some boxes in her deceased mother's garage.


  27. Anonymous2:36 PM

    I'm participating for the first time this year. It happened to fall at just the right time for me to start the new novel which is horror/supernatural suspense that starts with a woman dealing with a phantom pregnancy and ends with her fighting off a supernatural entity determined to possess her.

  28. Anonymous2:57 PM

    This is my fifth year doing NaNo!

    I must be out of mind!

    Out of two previous years, I now have a 100K manuscript waiting for me to be brave enough to edit it.

    The output of the other two years was drivel at best.

    Hopefully this will be one of the good years.

    -Pale Blue Sky-

  29. I'm addicted since 2003. I never manage 50K and by now I've stopped feeling bad about it; so I join because it's fun.

    Title: Lords of War
    Genre: Alternate Historical Sword & Sorcery
    Blurb: Can be found here

    I'll update on my main blog, The Lost Fort, and may post some snippets on the other one, but I'm going to link them from the main blog.

  30. Yep, I'm Nano-ing. Like Gabriele, I'm addicted, but I get two or three books out of it every year.

    This year is an historical paranormal jobbie.

  31. Anonymous4:51 PM

    This is my first year NaNo-ing and I'm going for the win. *g* I started around midnight and already have my quota for the day but I'm going to keep at it to stay ahead. Can't wait to read your tips.

    For any interested I'm doing a Dark fantasy with Zombies, Ghosts and Conspiracies. (At least, I think.) I'll be blogging about it over here.

  32. I'm not officially doing NaNo (unless I have an actual deadline with consequences if I don't make it, "you have to ___ words in ___ time" doesn't work for me), but in the spirit of NaNo, I'm using November to crack down and get some serious writing done, since I've been a bit of a slacker about it recently. The hardest part for me is to get started, but then once I do, I'm good!

  33. Official NaNo player here. This is my fourth year playing and will be my fourth year winning. *grin*

    First year stunk. But the past two years ... possibilities. I think the 2006 project might work better as a short story, but last year's novel has definite possibilities.

    I'm hoping this year's has some possibilities, too.

    And I agree, the writing snobs comment made me smile. Boy howdy, have I encountered those in my lifetime.

    Write From Karen

  34. Anonymous6:48 PM

    I'm doing NaNo for the first time ever. I really need to get my tushie in gear and get this story on paper so I thought what better way than to do NaNo.

    However, so far I have 0 NaNo words written. I did write 4,000 words today but not on the NaNo wip. I had planned on getting my current wip finished before Nov 1 but best laid plans and all that.

    Hopefully, if my stars are aligned and kids and husband cooperating, I can finish this wip that's been hanging over my head and start on my NaNo one.

    Keeping fingers crossed.

  35. I'm in for the fourth time. At this point I'm not entirely sure where my novel fits but I know how it ends so I'm further ahead than I have been before. On the NaNo boards I'm lostmymind.


  36. Anonymous9:36 PM

    I'm trying to give myself a nice boost for the first day, but I'm really snagging on place and character names. It's my first Nano, so I'm a little shaky anyway, but I'm trekking on nonetheless.

  37. Anonymous9:54 PM

    Ugh. I forgot to sign my name. I'm a couple of "Anonymous"s" up -- writing w. the husband who as a Nov. b-day. Anyway, I also forgot to describe my stories. The first is about a woman who needs to take charge of her own life and start her own business. The second one is about her sister, who runs away to France and decides there's no place like home.

  38. I'm 5k in so far, and it's going well. This year's story is called Tempest of Angels, and it's about the Nephilim, half-angel warriors who fight to keep their demon enemies from wreaking havoc on the world.

    I'll be blogging about my progress at

    (Oh, and I'm witchofbreithla on the NaNo boards.)

  39. Anonymous11:19 PM

    Not nano-ing, but I'll be doing sweatin with sven here in another week or so.

    I heard one very elitist writing snob comment today-at an event and somebody said to a friend, "I could be a bestseller but I elected to use my brain."

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    Obviously not, man...writing to entertain is every bit as hard as writing to educate/inform/enlighten. It's just...well...entertaining, so the hard work is also fun.

  40. I'm in. 4th year running, going for my second win. This will be a YA novel, and I'm hoping the first draft will come in at about 60K.

    I will be blogging my progress (as I remember) on my blog, here.

    Basic premise is this (pulled from the blurb I put on the NaNo site): What would you do if you found a Tarot deck that really worked? If you were Louisa Matheson, you would use it to become popular, get a date, and maybe even pass your midterms. But then, life’s tough when you’re the only Wiccan at your high school, and the only girl who has to work for movie money. Doing Tarot readings during lunch makes Lou more friends than she’d ever imagined... but it also makes her an enemy of the most popular and influential girl in school.

  41. I'm NaNo'ing this year. First time. My 14 year old daughter is also doing it so it should be fun to try together.

  42. Didn't think I would be doing it this year, but I find myself sitting here with just over 3200 words of sequel to my successful 2005 entry, so perhaps I will.

    OTOH, this is the third straight year I've tried to write this story, and it's stumped me every time so far.

    The story's SF with a fantasy-ish environment (lost colony world with iron age tech, except for a few characters who have access to space age knowledge and tech) and a heavily political plot.

    Let's see how it goes. :)

  43. Hello! I'm NaNoing again this year. I won in '06. My PC monitor decided to give up its ever-precious ghost--so, I ended up being a No Show in '07. But I'm there this year, under userid: heartsong2000

    Blessings, L.L.

  44. I've been doing this for...8 years. Whoa.

  45. I'm in! Dropped out early last year, but I'm going to make up for that this time. And thanks to the How to Think Sideways course I'm writing a genre I'd never considered before :-)

  46. Well, this is my first year NaNo'ing and if yesterday and today are any indication, I might as well stop now as life has managed to conspire against me so far and I've not written a thing yet. I'm also trying to finish my GH entry and am still asking my self, "WTH was I thinking?" !!

    But, I do have my 500 word opening done so hopefully, once I'm alone in the house again tomorrow, the demons will leave me be and I can write the day away :D

  47. Anonymous5:36 PM

    This is my second year - I had a blast, last year. My book will be about:
    * A really big volcano
    * Alternate history
    * Escape fantasy
    * Native-ish volcano legend
    * Ghosts
    * Forensic archaeology
    * And did I mention a volcano?

    I'm progress-blogging on my blog, linked from my name - and my stretch goal is 75K words, since 50K seemed pretty easy.


    Best wishes for a great writing month, all!

  48. This is my first year doing NaNoWriMo, and so far, I'm loving it. My blog is and I hope to keep the blog as current as possible during the chaos and caffiene.

    My WIP is a story about a dead world, the post-apocalyptic type.

  49. This is my third year doing NaNo. I will be blogging at my blog (linked with name). I'm just having a hard time getting the story started this year.

  50. Okay, I'm a NaNo virgin this year and nervous as hell about it. But I needed a creative jump-start and this seemed to be a way to do it.;)

    I'll be blogging about my progress on a weekly basis on the Texas Typos blog at

    So come cheer me on!

  51. This is my second year in NaNo and I am just as nervous as I was last year. Mostly because I didn't have much luck last year but I am going in with a new attitude. Also, I am "cheating" but working on something that already had a few thousand words to it. But don't worry, I am only counting the words I write in November.

    I'll be blogging about my experience, mostly because it gets the frustration out so if you enjoy ranting/rambling/babbling blogs, visit me at

    Looking forward to PBW's encouragement, I'm gonna need it!


  52. This is my sixth year doing NNWM, so for a new challenge I'm aiming for 100,000 words this year. :) Woo! I'm writing fantasy genre this year; 11,000 words in and loving it. About 9,000 words behind at the moment, but that's why there are weekends....

    And yes, I blog about NNWM too!

    Also: so true about the writing/literary snobs!

  53. Anonymous7:49 AM

    I told myself I wasn't going to do NaNo this year because my project is such a big one. I'm writing an urban fantasy novel and podcasting it as I go. But the truth is NaNo is a great motivator to just sit down and write. So I'm....kinda doing NaNo?? :)

  54. Thanks for your medical advice regarding that scene. Definitely adds more realism. :-D

  55. I tried not to NaNo this year, but failed as I always do :).

    I'm writing a paranormal, time travel, romantic mainstream novel? Oh, and my MC is in a coma through the whole first section ;). I cheat. She's in a coma in the present and an amnesiac in the past...oh I didn't mention that part did I?

    The idea is so fresh, I'm struggling with ripeness because it came to me as part of a class I was teaching at the Muse Online Conference, so maybe October 18th?

    I'm blogging about it at my LJ, with my normal infrequent posts :P. (link to just the NaNo posts)

  56. *whispers* I did it!! I beat NaNo!


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