NaNoWriMo 2008, or The Year I Decided to Do Crazy

NaNoWriMo 2008 ParticipantThe leaves on the trees outside have begun to change color and drop off their branches. The air has grown extremely cold this year and I'm shivering inside again. I keep a trusty notebook near me as I worry and fret and push my mind into thinking mode. What do all these things have in common? It's October and I have less than 30 days to come up with a plot for NaNoWriMo 2008. Welcome to NaNo season!

This year is a special NaNo. It's the 10th anniversary of Chris Baty's madcap escapade into the novel writing life; it's also my 7th year doing it. This year, I've decided to break from my own NaNoWriMo traditions. Usually this means that I schlep my computer around to write my novel. I've gotten good at it but this year I felt I needed to shake things up a bit. This year, I'm going analogue. That's right, you heard me. I'm going to write all 50,000 words by hand. Am I crazy or what?

Of course, I've got friends (like iScribe) who have have done this year after year, writing their novels longhand. And I know that authors like Neal Stephenson and Neil Gaiman write their first drafts longhand so I know I'm in good company. Ever since I made this pact though, I've been doubting the little sanity I DO have and wonder how on earth I am going to pull this off. So, for this year's annual NaNo article, I've decided to share what I currently know about surviving NaNoWriMo longhand.

Get a good pen. This one sorta goes on the DUH side of things, but yeah, doing a lot of novel writing means you'll need a good pen. You'll want something that fits in your hand comfortably and feels good. I'm going to use one of my fountain pens. I've discovered that I prefer using a fountain pen for writing as the body is much fatter than most standard pens and that helps to relax my hand when I'm doing a lot of writing. I will also be using Levenger's Cobalt Blue ink. I have a brand-new bottle of ink and it'll be fun seeing how much ink I use during November.

Practice writing longhand. A few months ago I started a daily creative writing practice. Mostly to get me back into the habit of writing. But also to see how many words I could churn out with a pen during one sitting. This daily practice not only has helped me handle a pen, but has given me some idea of how well I'll do when I start writing my novel. I now know how long it'll take before my hand tires and where it hurts.

Tally up your words by page. My friends who write their novels long hand swear by this. After every page they write, they'll tally up the page's total words and jot them down in one corner of the page. This way, they know when they've hit the requisite 1666 words for the day. It also helps them track their daily goal on the NaNoWriMo website.

Fake the final word count. This tip, given to me by my friend ariana, is probably the thing that helped me get over the fear of doing this year's 50,000 words by hand. Basically, when you've finished your book writing, you create a faked document, on your computer, that contains the same number of words as your long-handed manuscript. Then, you feed THIS document into the final counter to get declared a winner.

To be quite honest, this last tip feels like a cop-out to me because I've always been proud to enter my original manuscript into the reader to get the final count. However, to upload my original story to the website and have it properly validated means that I'd have to write the same story twice in one month: first by hand and then entering it into my computer. I see this as a lot of work to do and something I don't want to tackle on in the same month. But this tip, sanctioned by the folks at the Office of Letters and Light themselves, does give the analogue writer a big help up in getting their nano-novels done and on time, without having to duplicate efforts.

If you want to see the past NaNoWriMo article series, please go visit the beginning here, and then go here, and then here, and here. I've also written a review of Chris Baty's book, No Plot, No Problem, and you can read about it here. And if you're doing NaNoWriMo this year, feel free to add me (innowen on the nano boards) to your friends list. I'd be happy to help cheerlead you on and do some word wars with you.

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*laughing* I already follow

*laughing* I already follow most of those. These are good tips.

May I suggest that you make a habit of allowing yourself a small treat (like a cup of a favorite, but expensive, tea), and a soak of your hands in Epsom salts after a serious writing session? A hand massage with minty lotion may also help, AND soften some of those writing calluses.

creative writing practice

Oh yeah, what does that entail?

I use Toasted Cheese writing prompts myself.
I had no idea that you've been NaNoing for so long. I've been having talks with my internal editor who keeps going, "you can't write." "You never going to make 50k." "Why are you even bothering?" I tell them to shut up and go away, but after a day or two I come back to what I have written and I have to tell you, 'not so good' is what comes to mind. How do you come back and revise the rough into something special?

NaNoWriMo is how I ended up here by the way. I decided that if I were going to write a novel I had to get my act together. Merlin Mann's hipster Idea self printed forms here and I have to tell you, my life hasn't been the same.

my creative writing practice

Yep, I'm a long time nano'er. The first time was to see if I could write something longer than 2500 words. The second year was to make sure the first wasn't some fluke. The third and fourth years helped to kill the inner editor and I pretty much do it these days because I love doing nano.

You'll hit that 50k! I promise. Just get the butt in chair and don't worry about perfection yet. Just get the story out anyway possible.

As far as what my daily writing practice is, I keep a notebook where I try and write stories or character sketches or daily morning pages once a day. I try to keep this notebook separate from my personal journals, but sometimes they overlap. I read a lot of writing books and do a lot of exercises. I'm going through a book called Weekly Writes right now. I also have a writing group that meets every other week (hi XenCrafters!). We set goals for each meeting, have at least one critique session a month, and we have writing practice sessions as well, to keep us writing.

I'm attempting to edit my 2nd nano novel currently and it's hard going. I'm not a good editor, I laze about. The first rule is that you need to set that story aside for awhile. In this case, I waited 5 years before dragging this story out. Doing so gives you space and perspective. Then you read through the whole story. Then you see where you have holes or missing info and you cut out the unnecessary verbiage or add more and just start slowly massaging it into something you can be proud of.

Then, you send it to friends and peer writers. You let them read your work and they'll really tell you what they think. Good, bad, etc. Then you take all their comments and revise again and again and again.

Whew, what a lot of words. :)
In any case, good luck on yer novel and looking forward to seeing how well you do this year!


hand vs. computer

I've thought writing my NaNo novel by hand. I go between hand and typing with my novels. I'll probably type it this year because it's easier at work for me to steal some time to write if I am typing. Maybe next year....

take the plunge

I'm going analogue this year because I need the shake up. Six years of doing it on the computer were great but I found that last year's novel was harder to write. I pushed thru it last year but wonder that had I switched to writing it by hand if that would've helped my muse a bit.

The funny thing is that I have friends who have been doing it by hand every year who are flipping and using their computer this year. :) Guess we'll now fully understand how the other works by swapping.

Take care and good luck on your novel this year!

ringing the changes

I've never done it before, but I've been setting up my little old 12-inch PowerBook to write on. It's not the computer I use for my work, so I'm hoping it'll help me mentally switch over to NaNo mode. I have barely got a plot yet. It's actually already stressing me out and I haven't started yet, but I keep telling people I'm going to do it, so I have to try now!


fond memories

I have many fond memories of past NaNo's with my 12 Powerbook. We were a good team, then I had WoW addiction and moved to the 13" Macbook. I still miss that old system. I'm sure yours will be a great companion for you.

Don't stress out too much, you'll get an idea to run with by Halloween. :) If you need inspiration, go visit the Adopt a Plot threads on the forums. There's a lot of interesting ones this year.

Good luck and we're with ya!

ps... if you need ideas on software for writing, let me know! i has lots of good ideas for ya. :)

Want an old "clamshell" iBook ?

I have stumbled across a few. Old as they are, they are still usable.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

who knew there were plots to spare?

Thanks for the tip - I hadn't looked at that forum but it's packed with interesting, potentially useful ideas. I think I'm going to start with some character notes I wrote for an NPC in a Buffy rpg I was going to run but never did. If I get time I'll try and work up an outline. This is all new to me so it's comforting to know there's a wealth of support and ideas out there.

As for software, I'm probably going to use Scrivener, which I've been using for non-fiction. Though I've never really got to grips with the whole virtual index card layout so I may use paper/cards for the planning stages.

I so need to get back into daily writing practice too!

always plots to spare

Sure thing! The adopt a plot thread is one of my favorites. I love seeing what people post and come up with. Go figure... I also used to play the Buff RPG. :) Had fun in our campaign but it sorta petered out and its been forever since I played.

Scrivener is awesome, but it does seem to have a lot of bells and whistles. I use Ulysses to write my fiction. (Of course, this year will be a bit different. I'll probably enter it all into Ulysses in December or January.)

Let me know how Scrivener works for you.
Good luck!


I must admit that I've had difficulty getting into the NaNoWriMo challenge - simply because of the season. Down here in Australia November is mid-Spring, the flowers are blooming and the weather is lovely. It's very, very difficult to stick to writing for a month.

However, one suggestion I was given some time ago about novel writing was to consider a short-story-chapter novel. That is, each chapter is an approximately 5,000 word story that tells part of the overall story (perhaps from a particular character's viewpoint) and resolves a plot point. I like the idea of 10 short stories that build a novel, as I suspect they'd be easier to write on a sunny Spring day.

I can do this...

After being trapped at work from 6am to after 9pm yesterday - I have decided to do Nanowrimo 08! I'm afraid work will kill every tidbit and morsel of creativity if i'm not careful and what better way to prove to myself that it hasn't happened yet? i havent done any 2d art in forever (other than some photography) - its simply killing me! :D

If anyone is on facebook? - I would love to use that for motivation... Innowen, can i use u as my 'kick my butt' force? I'm sure there are days when I will need the motivation.

or are the nano boards a great place for the daily "you can do it!" boost?

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Another Convert

Nano is a great way to boost creativity. It is all about turning off the voice in your head that keeps saying things like can't, not good enough, or color within the lines.

What is your name there? I'd love to add you (and anyone else who is Nanoing) to my buddy list. I already have Innowen.

Sara! Sure you can use me to


Sure you can use me to kick you into motivation. :) Of course, this year i'll be less on my computer but we'll work something out.

The nano forums are also a great place for the daily boost as well. one of the fun things you can do is a word war. That's when you and another buddy (or more) set a time limit and see how many words you can churn out in that limit. It's always fun to see who gets more.

You can do this! I know you can!


lack of plot but still optimistic

so far i'm planning on just grabbing my composition notebook and whatever pen tickles my fancy at the moment and giving it the old fashioned GO-GO-GO.

My username is DIYSara... nothing too creative since all Sara related names get scooped up quick :)

Be sure to add me everyone and i'll do the same! :D

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go Sara!

Hey Sara - way to go! It's awesome that you've decided to do NaNo. I'm doing it again this year, my second try...didn't finish last year, but I'm determined to this year. I even have a writing buddy, one of the teachers at the school where I teach, so we'll be there to kick each other in the butt when needed.
As for Facebook, I'm on there - there's a NaNo group, too. I figure we'll need all the help and motivation we can get :-)
Good luck, and as Natalie Goldberg says "now please. go write your ass off!"

Consider yourself friend-ed

And I thought we were a little crazy in the Typewriter Brigade. (Well, OK, we are crazy, but let's not nitpick.) Hand-writing means you have a built-in excuse for buying a ream of new paper.

And new ink.

And maybe a new pen.

And a nice binder for the whole arrangement.

I mean, you've got to do it right.

Hauling a typewriter everywhere isn't practical, so I'm planning on Rolla-binding my manuscript as I go, with some blank pages available in the back in case I'm somewhere with a pen and a chatty Muse.

yay for the brigade!

wow, that's awesome. i used to write by typewriter in grade school and jr. high. now it's all computers.

and yes, i have a new pen, jar of ink, and nice bound journal to write my words in. Cos yeah, you're right... in order to do nanowrimo, you DO need to get the nice items. The shiny toys to play with.

Good luck to you and the rest of the Typewriter Brigade! I'll be rooting ya on from my journal.


Last year's attempt...

I tried doing Nano last year by hand, but chickened out pretty early in the month. Actually, I'm not sure I lasted even one day. This year I am much more determined to handwrite my novel (using the term "novel" EXTREMELY LOOSELY), for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the portability issue, as well as just the sheer delight of seeing words fill a page, and the smell of the ink wafting up from the page.

My username on the Nano site is harrisrk. I would love to collect as many handwriting buddies as possible -- please add me!

Greetings and good luck


I'm glad you're taking another stab at it this year. I see you've added me as a friend, I'll do the same.

It's okay to chicken out. iScribe used a combination of her computer and journal to write last year. I almost did the same but just trudged through. However, i am going to see if i can do it all by hand this year.

just hope my hubby's ready to massage the wrist occasionally!

Good luck and see you on the forums!

Not doing Nano but am taking inspiration

from the concept and using the month as an anti-procrastination challenge for some scientific papers I need to get out. Step 1, make a list of those papers I've been putting off.

good idea

I think that's an excellent idea.

I plan on giving only hand-made (mostly crochet) gifts for the holidays this year... and I'm going to try and set up a creativity schedule using NaNo as a great source of stress relief... perhaps my story will be about work! lol

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stress relief - what a great idea

As someone who works for an agency whose cuts last week resulted in layoffs and, for those left standing, a 20% furlough for 21 weeks, I could use some stress relief. And another attempt at increasing productivity so I can get 100% of my job done in 80% time. That's not quite as hard as cutting the 20% from my home budget to accomodate the pay cut but it's close.

I've friended all of the

I've friended all of the DIY-ers that I could find, including those of you doing it longhand, even if I'll be doing on my MBP.

Anyone of you that I have missed?

Seven years....

....very impressive, Innowen. I hope I can say that in another few years.

Like you, I try to shake it up each year, mostly by changing genre. I'm not SURE if I'm going to do youth fiction this year, but I'm seriously contemplating it...

So far, I've gone without a formal plot parachute each year. The first time, I came up with the idea (a murder mystery) the day before. Two years ago, I challenged myself to focus on the inner life of the characters. Last year, it was a crime caper set in the 1920s and I had NO idea what I was going to write until I sat down on Nov. 1 and started typing.

This year, I'm toying with the idea of creating a plot on index cards (yes, the HipsterPDA format will be my friend this year!). I can also use index cards as a random writing spur (which was very helpful!), if I come up with enough ideas prior to Nov. 1 to draw from. I'll have some challenges -- family visiting TWICE in the month and an increasingly difficult daily workload from my day job -- but I hope to conquer them by writing extra words per day and putting more fruits and veggies in my diet. :-)

BTW, I friended you on NaNoWriMo, Innowen. Anyone one else want to friend me? I'm mccicc there too.

- Maura

Thank you


Thank you. I find NaNo very compelling and fun and energizing, so that's one of the big reasons I keep coming back to it year after year after year. It took about 4 years of doing this to officially kill my inner editor. :) So i see it as a good thing.

I tend to get an idea, and then try and aim for 17 plot points which i can loosely write a rough story around. That seems to work for me. :) Of course, I've also used my tarot deck to help with plot points and characterizations,etc.

I like your idea for the index cards. I have many friends who do that as well. I may try it this year too, as I can use the cards for bookmarks while I hand write.

As far as getting word count in while the family visits, write a lot on the weekends. More than the 1666 words. That way you can pad up for those days that you don't write and can still be on target.

Good luck and hope to see your word count climb steadily!


I bought the alphasmart and I'm going to try it this year. 700 hours on three AAs is good. Never have to find a plug. Never have to count words. Never have to re-key. I don't have any stock nor interests in alphasmart I just think it's a great idea for writing.

I used it in Borders the other day and was amazed at the flow or words. When I got back home and plugged in to the trusty 13" iBook and blew them into my electronic journal, I was pleased at the volume, but alas, not the content. But that's the editor's job.

insomnia cure

Never seen this before

I'm in too. What an odd idea the alphasmart seems. Did you really pay $200 for this? Maybe it does help if you have nothing else to distract you on the machine.

I'll be writing on my eee pc which I do love. I could never do 50000 words by hand. Doubt I'll do it anyway but fun trying. I need to do some plot planning too before November

Good luck

Yes I did pay $200 but got a

Yes I did pay $200 but got a free case. I think it's discounted for Nanowrimers now. (Is that a noun? I capitalized it, just in case.)

But yeah, no distractions at all. Just pure writing, anywhere, anytime. I even sat at the stop light this morning and typed in the dark while waiting for the light to change. (I leave for work at 6:20 a.m.)

It's seems crazy I know, but it's true. Really.

insomnia cure

Who remembers word

Who remembers word processors? Who thought they'd make a comeback, in this age of machines that do everything?

"I want to live in Theory. Everything works there."

I'm in

for the seventh year, I think it is. My name there is "BethCutter."

Now, where did I store those left over plot ideas? Hmmmmm.

I'm in, too

though I have no misconceptions of winning. This is my first attempt. I just need to 'cleanse' some pent up frustrations, and I'm hoping to do it through the story I begin to write-- which means that I will end up doing it long hand. Typing always reminds me of work. My handle is the same there as it is here.

I've managed to talk some co-workers into trying it for the first time. I'm planning to write somewhat vicariously through them. One of us has got to win...

Much luck and fun to all on this adventure,
Jenn (JWhitt)

I'm in - first year!

I'm in - this is my first year and I'm both excited and nervous. I've been reading the NaNoWriMo posts on this webpage for years now and I keep meaning to sign up, but then I chicken out - but not this year! I'm all ready to go. I'll be using NeoOffice (at home) and Word (when at work, during lunch hours) on my baby Mac laptop. I have a slight plot idea, but not sure where it will take me in the next month.

If anyone wants to find me, my id is gregsonj

First Year....

This is my first year doing NaNo and I'm doing it by hand. Mainly because I always have a notebook with me and usually write between classes so it won't be a big difference since I'm used to writing by hand. And also cus my computer is crap and loves to delete my documents and I don't want to risk loosing it.
Though I'm thinking I might write it at school then hook up my new computer in my room and just type up the chapters after-school since I'm usually doing nothing anyway....but it depends...

Count me in

Sorry for the late response, but yes, I'm participating, too. Again. This will be my ... *counting fingers* ... seventh year. My record is 4 completes and 2 DNFs.

As always, I will be using my AlphaSmart Neo to NaNo. It's the ideal NaNo-ing machine!

And I just spent a delightful hour or so getting to know one of my characters. He insisted on telling me about the photo studio that his family used to own and that will be featured in the story.

If anyone is interested, you can read my NaNoWriMo experience here.

Oh, I'm chet-a-box over at the NaNo forums. You can usually find me in the NaNo Technology forum, answering questions about AlphaSmart machines and telling those asking what to use to buy one! There's a special AlphaSmart Neo offer in conjunction with this year's NaNoWriMo, too.

Coming out as an author

In the last few months I have been coming out as an author to many friends and family to whom I had never told I am indeed a writer of fiction. I never told because I never wanted people to ask to read what I was writing, because I was not writing for any public. Just myself.

I am now at a time in my life where I want to share my writing with the world. I have published a significant number of articles and non-fiction pieces, one of them a book, but now I want to share my fiction as well. I am doing NaNoWriMo this year. Because I can finally. More importantly, I am telling people about doing NaNo.

I very am surprised by the most common response to this though.

Most people I tell about doing NaNo ask me "Why?" I tell them I want to do it for the challenge. Their response is to again ask "Why?" They do not see the point of writing a novel in 30 days. I guess they expect that there would be a point if there were a prize. But for the challenge of it? For the fun of it? Doing it simply "because"? They don't get it. Doing it at all, they don't get. That is true even of a lot of people I am quite close to and who "know me".

The more surprising is that most of these people are readers. They read novels. They are not writers but some are crafters. Why would they not even understand the idea that this is a challenge, a race with oneself, is surprising to me, since many of these people I find are ambitious and driven. I would expect them to understand the will to outdo oneself.

Oh well. All is not so bad, though. No one yet has asked out right to read my work. A few people closest to me said they knew I wrote fiction, they had guessed, and wondered when I was going to tell them that I did. Some have said they are interested in seeing "how it all comes out" and a couple have offered to read an eventual reviewed version, if I wish to send it to a publisher. No one has pressed me to tell them what I write about, and a few have guessed that I write SF and fantastique fiction.

I guess I can say that the people closeest to me are reacting positively to all this. I can also say that those a little less close to me are reacting in a dissapointing and unexpected way (to me).

I'm still doing NaNoWriMo. If anything, it'll show them.


Brave of you to "come out" as it were. A lot of people find it hard to encourage novel-writers, as often it's something they in their hearts also want to do, but haven't got round to doing, usually out of fear. I know that I've suffered from this jealousy in the past, but only realised what it was on reading Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. Anyway, that may be what's behind the strange reaction among book-readers, and one possible response may be to ask them why they don't have a go too. After all, that's what NaNo's all about. Just a thought.


"What's the points?" or "I could never do this." are responses I've gotten.

So I just let it go.

change of plans :D

i am the newest member (or was a moment or two ago...) of the nanowrimo typewriter brigade....

i've gone and acquired two manual typewriters in the last 6 hours... and one a couple months ago is in working order. the result is an overpowering desire to do Nano crazy too - on a typewriter :D

i must admit the nano typewriter brigade photo group on flickr really inspired me to look - then the pieces fell into place.

now i just need to buy some paper... perhaps a nice color or that really thin typing paper i remember from my childhood - do they still have that?

i think the galaxy 12 is the one i'lll use since the ribbon is pretty dark ... and i'm lazy - prolly too lazy to replace ribbons by saturday.

see my pics here: link

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From pen to typewriter~

Congrats Sara,

Good luck with writing your novel by typewriter. I raise my fountain pen and SALUTE YOU! Good luck with your novel and holler if you need anything.


Plenty of time for pens, too

We welcome one and all into the Brigade, of course, and Sara, those are great machines to start out with. Of course, when the dust settles and I have my winning manuscript in hand Dec 1, out come the fountain pens for edits. It's the best of both worlds!

Who has started?

I could only stay up for a half hour after midnight last night, but I got 758 words. It is a start...

For unknown reasons my husband took pictures. I don't looks so good, but my pen sure does.

How is everyone else going? Now I need to take my son to flag football, then work on a presentation. Silly life.

life ... sigh

i have done many things... including finally removing my galaxy 12 from its case ( i had to ask for help lol ) ... i have the cover page with the working title on it... and thats is it.

i'm going to go make a cup of tea and park my butt in front of that typewriter after i post this...

i hear you about real life though. last night i brought home a sick/dying animal that is now quarantined in my bathroom. *sigh* poor lil guy was in a tank to be sold at a pet store and i couldnt just leave him. ... gotta go feed him soon too :/

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Go go go!

Go go go!

first day of nano

i started over after 4 pages...

total word count on the keeper is 908. Boy is manual typing different than computer typing. Hunt-n-peck hasn't been in my vocabulary since i was in grade school... lol

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I've not written a single word yet. Taking the challenge seriously I didn't start in on wrting my story before Nov 1. I included in that the plotting of the story so that's my starting point. A brief paragraph describing each chapter. This focuses my mind. So nothing to count but lots of work done.

That's what I did, too

I had a zillion scraps of paper with ideas for characters and events, and I spent several hours yesterday turning them all into a relatively coherent outline.

I also build a spreadsheet to track how many words were in each scene and chapter.

So, total countable words for day one: 0

I'll catch up! I swear I will.

sunday was a bust

saturday i just sat and started typing... yesterday just was not a good "me day" let alone writing day :( I wish I had done more preparation~! i think looking at the finish line of 50k words is too daunting and I'll have to just work on it page by page. so my sunday total was 0 :(

oh and i don't really think I'll have chapters... its just going to be one big blob of semi-related paragraphs. i'll have to apologize to the english teachers in my past :D

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Don't forget, NaNoReMo = December

Chapters are what happen in editing. I always work like that. The first "ejaculation" is always a series of blurted out scenes, that get worked out, fleshed out and put in the general plot in editing. That's also when tone and verb tenses get fixed.

NaNoReMo = December

what's the Re for? Revision? I know March is NaNoEdMo, Ed for Edit. I signed up for that last week.

In other news I'm on target so far and everything I've written is total crap. I decidedly set out to write an uneditable, unreadable, barely coherent, novel this year. I have never won and this year I vow to get across the finish line by any means necessary. I'm using writing prompts from 15 minute ficlets groups, Toasted cheese writing prompts, and rambled thought conversations that go something like:
"I wonder if this makes any sense," he thought as he paced. "It doesn't matter if it doesn't" he turned. "Why?" he held off thinking up a reply till he got to the end, "Because each thought is one more link in the chain." (there almost a hundred words without really trying.

Next up some dares for virtual cookies.


i may just do that... like use it as a venting option... anything and everything that happens to me will happen to my main character ("Christmas Malloy" <-- i am proud of her name)... and then i'll do my journaling in the book and figure it all out later :D

50k here i come! thank you for the inspiration and kick in the pants yall!

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Go girl go girl. I'm on

Go girl go girl.

I'm on target so far, three days worth of on target. I have about 150 words to go today, which I hope to double before the end of the day.

We will prevail.

Revision yes. It does not

Revision yes. It does not exist officially of course, but there you go. It's a ball park to keep me on track.

Late starter

After my earlier comment that I wouldn't join NaNoWriMo, I did join yesterday.

Although I still haven't written a word.

It's never too late

Sign-ups go right up until November 30th. Just do the best you can, try to set aside a little regular writing time, and don't worry about quality. Even if you don't make it to 50K, NaNo is secretly about enabling good creative habits.

Good luck!

Not handwritten

Thanks Mike.

I've decided to challenge myself and write my story on a palm pilot with an external keyboard (the closest thing I have to a laptop) as I edit too much when I write by hand.

So if you hear the occasional long-distance swearing wafting through NaNoWriMo, it's probably me trying to get the palm to behave. ;)

Not alone

All the collective swearing is sweet, sweet music around week 2. Just try to get a little done every day by whatever means.

I used a Palm once


Some years ago, around 2000, I used a Palm IIIxe with an external keyboard to write I story I had. (I wouldn't let myself 'give in' to what was popular and get a Palm until I had 'a very good reason' to do so. Writing the story turned out to be just good reason, lol.) I had the keyboard set up in front of my big keyboard at work. Whenever I thought of something, I had everything already set up in front of me. And I didn't have to transcribe notes later.

(still trying to get an sign-on set up)

I joined, too

And I'm handwriting it. A little bout of food poisoning has affected my word count, but my son's dad just requested a weekend visit with him, so I get the WHOLE weekend ALONE to write!!!!

I'm loving my story, enjoying my characters, and still deciding which pen I like the best. Believe it or not, so far my favorite consistent writer is my Sheaffer cheapie plastic fountain pen I bought some 15 years ago when they were about $5 at every office store. I have 2 of them, and I'm preferring them over the Waterman, the Esterbrook, and the Sheaffer Javelin. I just ordered a True Writer from Levenger, what with their sales right now and a 20% off coupon I got with a recent order...I had to try one! I pretty much only write with fountain pens anymore (except when doing the crossword in the newspaper.)

Thanks for all the advice! I am using it, and am having far more fun with this than I thought I would!

A NaNoWriMo Tool: A Web App For Real-Time Collaborative Writing

I saw this on Slashdot and immediately thought of all you NaNoWriMo's

What'cha think ?
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)


I think I'd be far too paranoid to let someone else read my NaNovel as it was being written. Just word-counting has been interesting as I go back and look at the dreck I've produced.

By the way, I'd like to point out that at no point this month have any of my typewriters lost any of my words due to power outages, spilled coffee, viruses, software updates, or random software glitches. My files have never been rendered unreadable, the trial version of my software has not run out, and I'm not being pestered with Internet distractions by the ton. Although I can't speak for innowen, I notice that she quietly crossed the 50,000 mark early this week with her hand-written draft, and I suspect that she suffered no technical meltdowns, either, except maybe sore wrists.

The Technology Forum on the NaNo site is rife with tales of woe: dropped laptops, locked or corrupted files, and I just can't help but feel a whole lot of smug as I thumb through my Rolla-punched pages, waiting to be edited and re-typed.

Analoggers unite!

Analoggers unite!

A worthwhile battle cry if I ever heard one !
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Analog technology meltdowns do occur!

Actually, I had what I'd like to call my analog "meltdowns". The first happened when my pen refused to write. I found out later (thanks to The Hubby) that the nib was loose and just needed to make a tighter seal around the converter.

The second occurred when the pen rolled off the counter and hit the floor. My fountain pen splooshed all over the floor and kitchen cabinets and had the nib get bent as well. We un-bent it and I was able to continue on with that day's word count. Note to self: Do not put pen on counter where it can roll off!

Other than that, it was smooth sailing... till my fingers cramped up. And yes, I quietly finished on day 17. Expect my wrap-up article soon!


Did anyone finish?

I'm guilty of not finishing ... dramatically. The 50,000 word dream sputtered to a halt at just over 3,000 words and didn't start again.

So, perhaps next year for me. Or maybe next May in Autumn/Fall. I was right, Spring weather here was too distracting for me

I'm a winner!


I finished. Actually later today (Dec. 1st) I'll be posting a wrap-up from this year. With images. :)

How'd everyone else do!

And don't worry, Katrina... at least you wrote 3,000 words. It's a good start. :)


I did it

I finished one day early. Considering I only had 23,000 on the 26th, I really raced. I had a whole quiver of pens and kept going right threw them so I wouldn't have to stop and refill.

I did find doing analog on an airplane far better than electronic. They make you turn electronics off 15 min before landing. I also had to sit on the tarmac in the plan for about an hour. No electronics then either.

Congratulations to all who wrote more in November then they normally do in a month.


I finished. I'm really happy about that, since it was my first official NaNo. It's a really, really rough draft. Much rougher than it usually is me. I had to write in a completely different, counter-intuitive way than I usually write. Add to the fact that the topic, manner, structure and genre are different than what I usually write and I can say this has been a really fun, weird, topsy turvy ride for me.


Finished, and well over the 50,000 mark. My first attempt last year was a real struggle to get to 50K, but this year was a struggle to get to the end of the story before the end of the month. I wound up writing a number of synopses in the story just to move things along, so I can go back and flesh it out later. I'm a complete believer in analog writing now.

I finished

in the 50k+ words sense, but I have about 8 scenes left that are just outlines -- I skipped ahead and wrote the climactic battle and the denoument. (Hmm. Is that he word I mean? It looks funny.)

I'm giving myself a much more modest goal for December: 500 words written OR a solid half hour of rewriting. Hopefully I've have the monster done in time to take advantage of that free printout offer.