Tuesday, 27 September 2011

NaNo 2011, Post 1, 34 days to go!

So, first post for NaNo.
This is scary, I had totally forgotten about NaNo last year and tried to get the planning part done in the last couple of days, plus I changed to a different story on the first day, which had had no planning at all... EEEP >.<'
I did about 3000 to 4000 words and just gave up. I was in my first year of uni, away from home (and home country), had a lot of work to do for my classes and was tired. Not a good way to start.

So this year I'm getting prepared.
The plan is this:
- Finish Black Sheep Part 2 before October 1. Almost done here, I've got 3 days left and 1800 words to go. This is doable.
- Do as much for uni work as possible in October. This means finishing up my first play, write the second one, read more books for Womans Writings and learn how to pick apart a poem. On top of that I need to write some more poems and start planning an essay.
- PLAN NANO! But only after I finish Black Sheep part 2. Right now I'm kind of cheating as I was not supposed to do anything NaNo before I finished BS but I'm just too exited.

I'm hoping I can kind of stick to this plan... Hoping being the important word. >.<'

So as a gem of help I'll share a fun writing program that I used last year for NaNo and have been using ever since for writing pieces where I should not be distracted at all.
Focus Writer
It's really easy to use and has all sorts of pretty options, like being able to get all the bars out of the way and having a timer or a wordcount to set goals for the session. Also, you can change the background and the colour of the text. So even though it looks really simple you can change a lot and make it your own. Mine is a black background and green letters in a very blocky type. I like the ease of it on my mind. You can try what you like best!

See you next time!
Happy Writing!


It's almost October, which means almost almost NaNo time!

Before I'm talking about NaNoWriMo I'll just list some other fun things that are coming up soon. Writers Digest is having a couple of competitions going on and I thought it would be interesting to share them here.

They run through the whole of October, every (other) week a new genre deadline and the last one is on October 31.
Check the guidelines for each genre separately but these are the global guidelines:

  • 4,000 words or less
  • Acceptable file types: doc, docx, rtf, pdf
  • 8.5×11 page size  |  Double-spaced throughout
  • 1-inch margins on top and bottom  |  1.25-inch margins on left and right sides
  • Arial, Courier or Times font  |  12 point font size
  • Entry fee: $20.00

The first batch is coming up really fast and is October 1 for the genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense and Young Adult Fiction.
The next deadline is for October 15 for Romance.
Followed by October 22 for Crime and ending on October 31 with Horror.

Ofcourse, according to some what you can win is important too, these are the prices:
  • First Prize: The First Place-Winner receives $1,000 cash, promotion in Writer’s Digest, $100 worth of Writer’s Digest Books and the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market.
  • Second Prize: The Second Place-Winner receives $500 cash, promotion in Writer’s Digest, $100 worth of Writer’s Digest Books and the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market.
  • Honorable Mention: Honorable Mentions will receive promotion in Writer’s Digest and the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market.
Which I think is quite interesting, you will not only get prices but also a lot of publicity! Which of course every writer wants!

So now for the other part of this blog.
(Sorry no pretty picture yet as the NaNo website has not been filled up with fun stuff for this year yet.)

So, what does NaNoWriMo mean?
NaNoWriMo (often shortened to just NaNo) is short (yes this is short) for National Novel Writing Month. But for most writers it means crazy intense writing for a month.

What is NaNo then?
NaNo is a competition where you write a novel of 50.000 words, yes you read that right 50k words, in the 30 days that November holds. It starts at 00.00 November 1 and ends 23.59 on November 30.
When you write it down like that it doesn't seem to hard but try coming up with about 1667 words EVERY DAY of November. It's hard but in the end it is worth it.

Who can join?
Everybody can join, and the best part of all, you don't have to compete with people from different time zones. The NaNo website keeps track of the timezone you are in and thus you really have from 00.00 November 1 to 23.59 November 30.

What is the catch?
It's hard, that is the catch. Try to be prepared as possible when you start, have outlines, have characters written down, etc. Most of us will have to combine NaNo with work or school/uni. I'd say, try to get as much work done up front and don't tire yourself too much during October!

What if I like to join but don't like to write a novel?
On the NaNo forums there is a special part for those called Rebels. Rebels are those that are doing NaNo but are not writing novels. Some are writing plays, some are writing a memoir or whatever else you can think of. As long as you get 50k words down in the month (or the equivalent of that in whatever medium you use) you have won.

So sign up on the website and get planning!
I will keep a blog to share my experiences from today onward in planning for NaNo, combining it with uni work and I'll also share some nice tips and goodies that I come across.
Happy Writing!