Are You With Me? Yea or Nay?

Or, I’m thinking of joining NaNoWriMo 2011. Are you in?

The big word on all the writing blogs this week is that National Novel Writing Month–more commonly called NaNoWriMo–is coming up in a scant 18 days.  People are busy strategizing, and I’m still debating whether to do it, and if I do it whether to play by the rules or just do it unofficially.

Here’s my situation:  I’m about 12,000 words into my WIP, and I don’t expect to be a whole lot further before the beginning of next month due to Halloween costume making, Ren Faire costume making, and a local film festival which is very important to me happening between now and then.  I expect I’ll be up to 15 or 20K, max, by the end of the month. 

When I started writing the story, I wasn’t sure whether it would be a novella or a novel. After outlining it and seeing where I am in my word count in relation to my outline, I am sure it will be a novel.  A shorter one, perhaps–I am estimating in the 60-70K range right now–but definitely not a novella.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write an original novel of 50,000 words from scratch in the month of November. 

My conundrum is this:  what I need in order to be finished with my story’s projected length is exactly the word count NaNoWriMo asks for.  Committing to doing it would be a great kick in the pants to produce, because I skew toward the dilatory without external pressures not to.  But if I use my WIP then I break the cardinal rule of “from scratch.”  I have a novella about 80% outlined that I could write instead…but I seriously don’t want to lose my momentum on the current work, which, despite the slowly creeping word count, remains strong.

So I am thinking of unofficially participating.  That is, I can’t sign up to participate on their website (and claim victory on said website if I meet the goal) in good conscience because I’m not following the rules, but I will still set a goal of 50K for myself for November, and dedicate myself to getting it done. 

And I’m saying this in public for some measure of accountability. 

Anyone of my readers thinking about joining up this year?  How ready are you?



Filed under Ramblings

6 responses to “Are You With Me? Yea or Nay?

  1. Indigo Spider

    Personally, I don’t see why you can’t “officially” participate. You can just plug in the verification tool the ‘new’ 50k words you expect to write. I don’t consider it cheating, bending the rules maybe, but it isn’t like it is some hard and fast rule that means you are breaking some cardinal sin or something. I don’t think NaNo kicks you off the writers block if you don’t follow exactly as they say 😉

    So, my vote, which counts for nothing, is participate officially!

    • Sneaky spider…you are persuasive. 50,000 is 50,000, you say? Okay, I’m in. 🙂

      Actually, IS it even an “official” rule or do they just not recommend it because having a story you’re “attached” to means you’re less likely to go full-crazy if necessary? Hm. I may go double-check that…

  2. Dana Sitar

    I’m in the same boat! I’ve got about 8,000 words started, short stories that I’m going to turn into the novel. But, I’m signing up, anyway, and I plan to write 50,000 more words. The community and motivation of NaNoWriMo is too much to ignore. And the Terrible Minds post ( ) removes all guilt I had about my head start.

    • Well, between Indigo and you I am convinced. I’ll sign up and see if I can win a shiny placard. Also, hilariously, I spent part of my afternoon reading that exact same post. It was quite useful.

      I agree, the community and motivation is definitely a big draw for me, too. Staying focused can be hard. Knowing tens of thousands of other people are out there also getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night for the whole month in order to write will be motivating. Also I get competitive and that is motivating too….

  3. I’m in. Starting from scratch and still have a lot of prep to do. Damn.

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