Saturday, October 15, 2016

National Novel Writing Month

'Tis the season for all bloggers to either post on NaNoWriMo or comment everywhere trying to figure out what this thing is. I first heard of it in April 2015 when a woman overheard that I was writing and recommended it to me. Basically you make an account through nanowrimo.org and update your word count for a novel there. Your goal is to write 50K in just the month of November. Here's my plan so far, numbered, and in no particular order.


1~ WIN

My first goal is to win this thing. Have I ever written 50K before in a month? No. My record is 30,010 words, and that was reached during Camp NaNo in July. Nearly doubling my all-time monthly record? During the holidays? While publishing a novel? Nothing to worry about, right? (This is where you say "Of course right!")

2~ Conquer a new genre

In case you're wondering I have the tendency to get over-ambitious. I've only one completed Christian Contemporary novel and one Christian Fiction Retelling novella. In November, my goal is to draft at least 50K of a Christian Dystopian novel. This reveals a lot about my creative thought process: it's everywhere.

3~ Plot

I cannot go without some sort of planning (even if that's just talking out loud until it makes some sense) because I will go crazy on day 1. You guys don't want that. So I am currently giving a half-hearted attempt at plotting. The good news is that I'm reviving an idea from years ago and have managed to add a plot to it. As long as I complete some characters sheets before November, I think I'll feel comfortable. I don't see the point in ultra-planning this since I'll be writing faster than my brain can generate coherent thoughts anyway.

4~ My survival tips

Judging from Camp NaNo alone, some tips:

  • don't read what you write
  • do NOT edit what you write (the goal is quantity, not quality. I know :'( )
  • silence your inner voice of perfection. Call it conscience if you must
  • write and write a lot. The average number of words you have to write a day to succeed is 1,667
  • use The Most Dangerous Writing App (which permanently deletes what you've typed if you stop within the clock)
  • create a playlist for your novel(mine's on Spotify) and listen to nothing else as you write
  • chisel out chunks of time in which to conquer chunks of words
  • sacrifice some sleep. Actually, lots of sleep
  • do word wars with your friends. Competition for numbers is excellent motivation.
  • update your word count on NaNo daily (don't spend too much time on the website loafing)
  • do a #5k1day That's 10% of what you have to write conquered in a single day. If I have done this, I promise you can. If you do it on Tuesday, November 1, I'll do it with you via my Facebook event. I can also create a Google Hangouts group for non-Facebook people who are interested.



5~ Introduce my NaNo novel to all of you before November 1

Yay! This is where I get to share the blurb and pictures about this story which I am getting super psyched to write about. I think this is going to be really fun. Especially since I've found some really awesome buddies.

Imogen North struggles. But so does everyone else in the crumbling East Side. Yet Immy is convinced that no one, not even her twin, shares the struggles of her secrets: parents who were exiled for treason, a crippling fear of the dark, a desire to learn about the outlawed Followers, and now knowledge of the corrupted inner workings of her own government. When faced with the coming-of-age rite of accepting her designated role under Lord Luci, will she have the courage to stand up to the truth like her parents did and face the consequences? Or will the carefully cultivated darkness inside of her win? And is she prepared for what either decision could mean?

I have high hopes of this being an mid- and post-tribulation analogy, but we shall see . . .


Christian Dystopian, 3rd person, past tense, single POV. The book will follow Imogen North, her twin sister Ivy and friend Tristan Hodges also being focal characters. There's a full Pinterest board if you're really interested.

As with many of my other stories, this was inspired by a bizarre dream I had where "I" lived in a crumbling brick courtyard in freezing weather while being pursued by the government. No wonder it's taken me so long to find a plot, right? (Of course right!)

~~~~~

Are you doing NaNo? Leave me your username if you are and I will add you to my buddy list (apparently I'm hard to find). Are you going to participate in my #5k1day challenge? Will you use FB or Google Hangouts for updates, word wars, and motivation?

Also, if you enjoyed the Tolkien guest post of last week don't forget to check out the rest of the series on Evan's blog!

30 comments:

  1. I'm rayraywriter on the NaNo site. THIS WILL BE AWESOMEEEE!!!

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  2. Ahhh! I'm doing NaNo unconventionally this November *snickers mischeviously* but I'm wishing you luck on your endeavor! Christian dystopia-- dystopia in general, really-- is really hard to write because of world building, but I've got faith in you. Praying to God and asking that He's going to bless us during this time because WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SURVIVE THIS TOGETHER. xD

    xoxo Morning

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    1. Hehe, fun! Yes, world building :P That's the main thing I've yet to focus on before I kick this thing into gear! I'm very excited, but I don't have super high expectations. I'll be so flabbergasted if I can just hit 50K :D

      Yes, ma'am! He's with us, let's do this!! :D

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  3. I love how planned out you are!! I'm doing NaNo- well, sort of. I knew right off the bat that there was no way I could hit 50k, so I've decided I'm not going to stress myself out over that. Instead, I'm just going for a personal goal of 25k. :) I'm just going to keep working on my current WIP and hope to get a lot further in! I'm excited.

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    1. Awesome! 25K is totally a worthy goal. I've only topped that once *cough* So this shall be interesting. But I'm getting very psyched to stress myself out at the moment ;D You can do it! I will totally be available for word wars :D

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  4. I'm going to do my best to complete NaNo this year, though I haven't ever succeeded at it before. I did best my 30k goal in July, though, so maybe I've got a shot. I'm ThePurpleGiraffe over there ^.^

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    1. Yay! Just added you :) You've totally got a shot. But you know what, admitting defeat and saying "next time" is sometimes the bravest thing you can do. So don't be afraid to stay sane ;) However, I will be here for you, so don't hesitate to message me for a word war or something!! :D

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  5. Ahh, this WIP sounds awesome, Abi! :D I have some ideas for a dystopian...who knows when/if it'll happen though. :P

    Love your survival tips. XD Best luck with NaNoWriMo!!!

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    1. Aw thanks :) Yeah, I never thought I'd actually flesh this one out, but I'm excited to give it a shot :) Haha, thanks :P GOOD LUCK TO YOU, TOO! :D

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  6. I hope to do NaNo for the first time ever this year! We'll see how well I succeed. My username is simply Bethany R. :)

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    1. Yay, a fellow first timer :) Awesome! My name is Abi Ellison, but I don't seem to come up on searches. So we'll see if we can find each other anyway ;P

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    2. I wasn't able to find you but here's my link:

      http://nanowrimo.org/participants/bethany-r-2803851

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  7. Ooh cool! I'm writing a Christian Dystopian novel for NaNo too! *high five*

    I've done Camp NaNo twice and I LOVED it so much and it really pushed me to write more and so I decided...I must do this thing.

    So it's my first time ever and I'm desperately scrambling for some sort of plot line xD although it's coming together nicely now. At the moment I can't wait to start, and yet I'm terrified for when it does. :P

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    1. What? That's so awesome! :D Yes, I've only ever done Camp, so I figured it was time to give the "real" thing a shot!

      Yeah, I spent a lot of time planning the world last night according to some good criteria I got at a writing conference. That alone really helped me advance my plot! :)

      I know! I'm simultaneously excited and terrified. :D I can't really imagine myself writing that many words, especially in a genre like this. But I'm determined to do it! Thus my 5K challenge on the 1st of November ;P

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  8. Yay!!! I did NaNo last year, and it was so much fun!! So excited to do it again this year! :)
    My username is Jess Dawn. I tried to find you, but . . . I couldn't. ;P And I generally use Google+. :)
    You're novel sounds super interesting!!
    I probably won't to the 5k one day . . . that's sounds insane! ;P And I've never actually done word wars before . . . I may have to try them, though! :)

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    1. Yay!! So glad you're doing it :D I know :/ I don't seem to show up on NaNo's website and I don't know why? *shrug* I just added you, though, so you should see me that way :)

      Thank you! Hehe, I'm still trying to work it out, so glad it sounds good :P

      5k in a day is crazy, but I find it doable as long as my schedule is clear! Yes, you'll have to do word wars. They save my slow-typing self ;)

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  9. Your idea sounds really cool. And I like the images you have from Pinterest.

    The most dangerous writing app scares the heck out of me! I don't think I'll be able to use it ':'( I can't even post a tweet without checking for grammatical errors and uncapitalised letters that should be capitalised :(

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    1. Thanks, Grace!! :D Pinterest for the win ;)

      I know, right?! Oh my word, the first time I did it I just typed nonsense and I still failed! I've gotten better though and have only ever lost something I cared about once due to getting distracted by a movie. I only ever do the 3 minute one though D: It's crazy but it really does help me keep typing and not look back. I usually make some minor corrections once I'm done ;) I feel like it's been healthy for my slow, grammar-conscious writing self :)

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  10. Yessssss nanooooo. You got this!!! I thought 50k in a month was insane but it happened last year easier than I thought it would! Don't give up, and give it all you've got! Your story sounds amazing! <3

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    1. Woohoo! So fun, right? :D I'm super excited and nervous at the same time O.O I will be shocked if I make it, but I won't take no for an answer ;) I will do my best! :D Thanks so much, Hannah <3

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  11. Great post, Abi! Everyone has great NaNo tips which I am happy to receive. ;)

    Also, I wanted to let you know that I am still following your blog, I just switched to following by email instead of GFC. Just so you know!

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    1. Thanks, Emily! Haha, glad they were helpful :P

      That's awesome!! I love email followers :D But thanks for letting me know; I did notice my number went down one. But not really as it turns out ;)

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  12. How do I sign up for the Google hangout? My username on NaNo is: smb. Can't wait to see how everyone does!

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    1. I might be able to add you from my Google+ contacts, but here's the link just in case ;) https://hangouts.google.com/group/F3vX7ps2pmTvZHm72

      Just added you on NaNo, too! I know, I'm excited! :D

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  13. Sooo... I heard about the 5k1day thing from Mary Horton and, coincidentally, I was already unofficially planning on doing 5K the first day of NaNo... so I mayyy end up joining up on the Google Hangouts. ;)

    Also my username is Celtic Forest Dweller, and this is my 7th time to do NaNo and I'm pretty excited (and also woefully behind on my plotting. XD)

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    1. Haha, that's so awesome!! I decided I'd have a much better chance of surviving the first day if I had people do it with me. Here's the link to the Hangout if you want to join (although it looks like you may have already)! It's been fairly active already and may serve as an unofficial cabin once we're done with the event ;) https://hangouts.google.com/group/7Hhl93pqRRFm21Mf1

      Oh, lovely name. *goes to find you* Woah, 7th?! Great to see that procrastination doesn't change over time, haha! XD

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  14. Gah, your aesthetic is gorgeous! Like seriously how do you find such great photos (Pinterest, right??? But I never know what to search to find what I'm looking for - namely, faces!!! Of people! Which seems creepy, but characters, you know...)?

    I'm storyndarkchocolate on the NaNo site, btw. :)

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  15. This post makes me want to do Nano, even though I know I won't have the time. I hope you win, your story sounds awesome.

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  16. Thanks for the hints! My username is Zuzureyna. It is my first time to try. And win! (Of course we both will!)

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