Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RTW: Just say NaNo

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where the contributors over at YA Highway post a weekly writing- or reading-related question. Then readers answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.


This week's topic: Are you doing NaNoWriMo, or have you ever? Does having a deadline inspire you?

Guys, I'm struggling so hard with this. I want to do NaNoWriMo. Having deadlines and word count goals really motivates me. Being able to track my progress, have cheerleaders, feel like a badass, I love it. I haven't done NaNo, but I think it would be really awesome.

Here's the thing: I don't think I can do it.

My next WIP is set in the Civil War era. I've been doing a lot of research, but I just don't think I'll be through with it by the end of the month. Here's the other problem: I think I'm going to be writing this novel between two different timelines. I have no idea how to outline that, but I won't be ready for it until I finish my research.

I'm trying. I want to be there. I'd love to have my research knocked out and my outline complete. But if I can't make it, I promise to cheer all of you on. And I promise not to feel like a failure for not being able to participate. 

Will you be participating in NaNo? How will you be going into it--completed outline, research? What's your plan?

26 comments:

  1. Ohh, having to do research makes it SO tricky. Obviously you can always leave little "TK" notes everywhere, but when you're writing historical, do you REALLY want to do that? No way does this make you a failure - the fact that you're even attempting a project that requires so much research is pretty badass!

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    1. Haha thank you :) And I agree, I could leave those notes--but I'm not sure that it's how I want to do it. Still considering it though.

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  2. Totally understandable, especially with a historical! I plan on participating in NaNo to finish something that I started. For me it's not about pounding out 50,000 words, it's about finding motivation and accountability by taking part with so many others, you know? I guess you can approach it that way too. Use the fact that others are writing furiously to spur you on to do whatever work needs to be done on your new project, be it researching, outlining, whatever. :) It's just fun to feel like we're all plugging away at various projects at the same time.

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    1. This is probably one of the most encouraging responses I got on today's RTW. Thank you. Either way I'll be working, just have to decide if 50k is my goal. :)

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  3. Do it do it do it. That's just me. Yeah I see your pickle with the research. But remember the goal is 50,000 word and since historicals are so you might just only get half done. Besides there's still two weeks left. That's just my opinion. I hope everything works out. :D

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    1. Hello! I don't think I've seen you here before! If I can get enough research in to feel comfortable writing a first draft, then maybe. :)

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  4. Research is tricky. Historicals are tricky. I totally understand you.
    Once, I saw somewhere (a craft book, I think) an advice: write even if your research is not complete. If you need to check upon date or name of place or some real event, put something like [insert research about XXX here] and put a comment from track changes (or mark another color) so it'll be easier to find later, and keep hammering the keyboard and adding words.
    I never tried that, though.
    Good luck!

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  5. Don't think its failing if you don't reach 50K or finish it in 50K. NaNo can help in just getting you started on the writing and going on from there. :) Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

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  6. You are so not a failure! This will be my first attempt at NaNo, and I'm only jumping on-board because I'll be needing a distraction from the project that's about to make its way into the world. I've been longing to start something new for a while now. When you get there (and you will!), I promise to cheer you on!

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    1. Thanks, Katy. I'll be sure to cheer you on this year! Anticipate lots of Tweets. :)

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  7. I think if/when I finally do NaNo, it will definitely be for a contemporary project with little world-building. Otherwise, it's just too hard! I'd suggest ignoring the research until the first revision, but I've tried that and found that research informs the plot too much.
    I'm using the month as a way to get the most words in that I can. It won't be 50K, but if I get half that I'll be thrilled. :)

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    1. I'm so with you on everything you've said here. Also, I liked your idea of setting your own goal for the month.

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  8. Liz, you are SO not failing if you don't do NaNo. Sounds to me like you're succeeding in setting and meeting goals well as is!

    Two timelines? Wow. I think my head would explode if I tried to do that during NaNo.

    p.s. I'm cheering for you, too, NaNo or not!

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    1. Ha, thanks Daisy! Yeah two timelines--past, present. Like Delirium I guess, but different.

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  9. It's a tricky one, November seems to be the wrong month for a lot of people. Maybe you could choose January and February and just try and do it yourself then.... or find a group of people that are interested in doing a writing month... Whatever you choose i'll be cheering you on!

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    1. Thanks, Samantha! We'll see what I end up doing. Either way, I love the excitement in the air during November!

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  10. I can totally see your dilemma here. Research definitely takes time. I encountered that with some of the technological stuff in my story. World building can be really time consuming too. It's great that you want put in the effort to research your story's era properly. I think having that background knowledge will ultimately make your writing process smoother and your story will be much better for it. And who knows? Maybe you can still jump into the actual writing part sometime in November :)

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  11. I'm with those who say GO FOR IT! Yes, your research may not be complete, but what NaNo will help you do is write the story. Get the main plot down, see if your idea works, and see where it takes you. You can incorporate as much or as little of your research as you like. The detail is for December.

    I know there are historical details in my novel I'll have to look up. I've already read a bunch of books for it, but I don't know how much of that I'll need, or if I'll need more, until I write it. That's where NaNo comes in, I think.

    Do it, Liz. Go on... :D

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    1. Haha. I'm so tempted to give in to everyone encouraging me to do it! I'll likely get some writing done in November, but not sure if I'll do 50k.

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  12. Even if you don't hit 50,000 you'll have words on the page. The first year I did it, I got to 40,000 just pantsing and you've been researching so you're definitely more prepared than I was. :)

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  13. Liz - I'm in the Go For It Camp. Because I'm a total pantser, I never plan for anything. I just start writing and see where it goes. My project for NaNo this year could probably use a little planning, because it takes place in present day, the 1940s, and early 1900s. I'm just going to write my heart out and fill in the details later!

    Yes, 50k is a lot - but no one said it has to be perfect!

    Good luck - whatever you choose.

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  14. So...I´m going to join the Go For It Camp (as Sara mentioned) and I´m totally with Jaime on this...I´m thinking about joining (especially after reading all the YA Highway posts, I´m such a sucker lol).
    I´m going to need a way to distract myself from querying and want to finish a rewrite I barely started.
    It won´t be new, but it will be something :D
    And even if you don´t join, I´ll cheer you on for your research :D

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  15. I've done and won NaNo three years running and each year, I started off with nothing more than an intended genre and a name for my MC. I say just jump in and see what happens.

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