Wednesday, October 08, 2014

NaNo Ten

Ten Things About Joining in National Novel Writing Month

All-Encompassing Excuse: For thirty days you can answer any request made of you with, "Sorry, can't. I have to write a novel in a month."

Annoyance Factor: By doing this you will seriously, genuinely, deeply annoy all those people who think you can't, tell you why you shouldn't, don't think you should be allowed to, and/or are too afraid to try themselves. This includes every single one of those snotty pro authors who make a point to spit on NaNoWriMo participants every year.

Cover Art Creation: Books need covers, you've got that amazing photo you took on vacation last year that would work perfectly with your story, and you've never put your byline in 76 pt. font. Hours of photoshopping fun, I promise.

Facebook/Twitter Fodder: Finally, something to post besides cat memes, political rants or the usual "Watching DWTS. Checked fridge. Nothing to eat."

Font Debate Joy: For a solid month you can drive yourself crazy trying to decide on extremely important issues that are utterly integral to the success of your novel, such as Times New Roman, or Courier New?

Immediate Social Bump: When you tell ordinary people what you're doing in November, many of them will a) think it's very cool, b) wonder how the heck does anyone write a book in a month, and c) decide you're a lot more interesting than they ever imagined. To maintain this new status, politely deflect any questions on what the book is about by shaking your head and smiling mysteriously.

Nothing Ventured: You've never written a book. Want to find out if you can minus the usual decade of on-again off-again half-hearted tinkering on an idea that lost 99% of its luster during year three? Here you go.

Sex Scene Research: Really, do I even need to explain this one?

Storytelling Freedom: You can write whatever you want. Think about that: whatever you want. Sometimes that liberty turns out something very special -- like Harry's Charm, the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2009, which went on to become Disenchanted & Co.

Writing Life: For a month you not only get to have one, you get the extreme, deadline-pressurized, all-out word war version. Or you could abstain so you can concentrate on the important things in your non-writing life, like eating too much turkey, watching too much television, hauling down the boxes of holiday decorations from the attic, raking leaves, and standing in line for twelve hours the night before Black Friday for a sale-priced game system you really don't need. Me? I'm going for door #1.

What do you love about joining in NaNoWriMo? Let us know in comments.


  1. "Font Debate Joy: For a solid month you can drive yourself crazy trying to decide on extremely important issues that are utterly integral to the success of your novel, such as Times New Roman, or Courier New?"

    The answer is neither EVER. Blech. Me personally, since I use Scrivener to write, I choose a different font for each book. It won't be what it is published in, but what pulls me into the book for each one. So I've used Plantagent Cherokee, Estrangelo Edessa, Bookman Antiqua, etc... something different every time so each book feels different to me when I sit down and start typing.

    For me it is the fact that anyone who says "You can't write a book in X days" I can smile and say, "Yes I can. And I did. And I published it. Wanna buy it?"

  2. LOL, great post!

    I started out doing NaNo just to prove to myself I could do it. Now I prove it to myself during other months as well. But I still do NaNo. It's the one month I can just let it all hang out - write anything I want, try new genres, and not worry about whether it ever going to be published. The rest of the year is for worrying. ;o)

  3. Courier New. Always Courier New.

  4. As November slogs on and the painstaking exhilaration/exhaustion of the word count increases, day after day, the best thing EVER is that moment when you cross the 50K line and know you've done it. Total rush of accomplishment, joy and immediate bragging rights. ;D

  5. Hey, Melisa Todd, I use Scrivener too -- and what a GREAT idea, to use a different font for each book. Wow, I love it!! Of course, this also means I'm going to spend a lot more time than I care to admit choosing those fonts. Font Debate Joy, too true. Too damn true.

    1. it helps me get into the book each time as it adds a subtle flavor to it. Weird, but I'm just visiual enough that doing it in the same font all the time feels like I never get away from that story. ~shrugs~

  6. Anonymous8:27 AM

    I wanted to get writing a novel off my life list but I'm still participating in Nanowrimo 8 years after I first did it. My novel writing is probably no better but I do try. I like the feeling of community with Nanowrimo.

    Ron B


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