Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Top Five Ways You Can Tell That Betsy, Ramona, and I Are Doing NaNoWriMo*

*NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Yes, it's crazy to think that a novel can be completed in 30 days, but I do believe that a lot of great ideas can make it onto paper (or onto the screen) in 30 days. (It was fun to read Rainbow Rowell's pep talk, which affirms exactly that perspective on the process.) Then the real writing starts. Deadlines are my friend. So is revision. 

So, for the month of November, I'm exercising some writing/fiction muscles that I haven't used for a long time. Betsy has completed NaNoWriMo twice before, in 2011 and 2012, but Ramona and I are novices. So, Betsy can often be found these days nodding sagely at us and saying things like, "Yeah, I felt that way my first year, too." 

And now, the Top Five Ways You Can Tell We're NaNoing

I (apologetically and sheepishly) use "NaNo" as a verb: "Dinner's in the oven, guys. I'll be NaNoing and then we'll eat in about an hour."

I tell the kids that it would be obviously, patently, ridiculous and unacceptable to pad one's word count with sentences such as, "She was very, very, very, very, very, very tired." Then I create a character who says things such as, "I really, really needed to be here."

(Do as I say kids, not as I do.)

I am sometimes caught with a dreamy look on my face, my lips moving as I play around with dialogue.

I am counting the words in this blog post. I'm thinking it's a shame there isn't someplace to log the number of words in a blog post so that I can feel a purely mathematical sense of accomplishment.

#1 way you can tell we're doing NaNoWriMo:
We are focused on sharing an adventure and a goal. We have shared synopses ("Oooh! That sounds compelling, Betsy!" and, "Ramona, that is an amazing idea! And it's so you!" and, "Mom, this sounds cool! And I love your names!") We have guarded works-in-progress. We have emailed each other pep talks. We've checked in on one another's word counts ("Mom! I wrote 4,000 words today!")

We remind each other that although writing is a huge amount of work, creativity is an enormous amount of fun.

We are having a lot of fun.


Daria Sockey said...

What fun! I did this once about six years ago. Have a blast.

Red Cardigan said...

This is great! Hope you all enjoy Nano tremendously!

I'm participating for the eighth year in a row. This year's manuscript is book five of the Tales of Telmaja series. I've got book two *almost* ready to publish, and I just barely finished book 4 on Oct. 30 so I could start book 5 this year. I've made the 50K word goal every year so far.

But my youngest girl has me beat. Not only is she over 14k words already this year, but the first year they did Camp Nanowrimo over the summer she wrote *three* 50 k word manuscripts in one year.

My husband joked to our choir on Sunday that he's a "Nano Widower" for the month of November. :)

sarah said...

How wonderful to be doing this with your daughters! Such a fun blessing. Good luck to you all!

Karen Edmisten said...

Daria, did you hit your word goal? Have you done any more fiction since then?
Red, you guys are Nanoing fiends! :) Congrats on all that writing, and your daughter's track record is pretty amazing.
Sarah -- thanks!

Scott Peterson said...

"Mom! I wrote 4,000 words today!"


Karen Edmisten said...

Yeah. Betsy is always way ahead of me. The story she's currently writing is pouring out of her. The rate at which her fingers flew on the keyboard yesterday was almost frightening. :)

Kimberlee said...

Hooray for all you NaNo-ers! Let's see, here we have folks running around with notebooks, calculators in hand, the questions of What should I name this character? or What should happen next? and my constant looking for daughters, wondering what they are doing followed by, Oh, she's writing. So neat that you're doing it all together! And go, Betsy! Just wow!

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, how fun, Kimberlee!
I showed Betsy your post, and she said, "I remember Kimberlee -- and she had that beautiful hair, right?" :)
Has it really been five years since we met? It's flying, friend....