Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

NaNoWriMo

on November 1, 2013

It’s November and for writers that means one thing–It’s National Write a Novel in a Month! (NaNoWriMo).

You can find out more about NaNoWriMo at the official website here.

During the month of November, writers are challenged to write a novel in a month which means 50,000 words.  I love the idea of NaNoWriMo and in 2008 participated with what is now my novel, WEAVING MAGIC.

Weaving Magic - Front cover 72 dpi

I had started a draft of WEAVING MAGIC during my graduate work in Vermont College but really needed to dig into it. During November 2008, I challenged myself to write the whole story–fast!

And that’s what I love about NaNoWriMo. The idea is that you write a fast draft and this process overrides the critical brain which wants to jump in and say, “But are you sure that works there? I don’t think this character should really do that!”

One hint: It does help to do some character sketches and outline a general plot before you start–unless you write by the seat of your pants.

I use the NaNoWriMo process every time I draft a story–whether it be romance or children’s. I challenge myself to do nothing but draft that first draft in a fast series of days.  Then, I let the story sit for a bit and go back and start the editing process which is where the story really starts to take shape.

I’m not participating in the official NaNoWriMo this year.  This month I’m working on editing and polishing the last in the Elmheart Hotel series of my sweet contemporary romance novellas and, later in the month and into December, I’m editing and working on a middle grade which has been hanging around my computer files for what is beginning to be years! That story has already been fast drafted and now I’m in the process of editing and cleaning it up with the goal of getting it out on submission in January.

But I will be giving a NaNoWriMo workshop at the Mulkiteo Library on Thursday, November 14 from 3:30-5:30. During that workshop, the bulk of it will be writing and working on the word count for the day, but I’ll also be doing a quick presentation on “Murky Middles.” The workshop does include a handout which I’ll post on this blog the day of the workshop.

The library workshop falls right in the middle of the month and it’s been my experience participating in NaNoWriMo, that’s about the time all the fun and excitement has worn off and the drafting is really dragging in the middle of the story. In the workshop, I’ll give tips for how to perk up that murky middle and ways to keep going through NaNoWriMo.

Happy NaNoWriMo!

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2 responses to “NaNoWriMo

  1. Susan Lampe says:

    Great Blog Mindy–I’m in it this year becuz you talked about it at a workshop I attended recently. I have two friends who are also participating. Tomorrow we go to write at a library. I liked the tip about making an outline and sketching out the characters. I’ll do that tomorrow, I think. So far I have six pages written. Susan Lampe

  2. Congratulations on the great start to NaNoWriMo!!!! Keep it up!

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