NaNoWriMo Once Again!

November 1st, 2011 • Kate

nanowrimoAs so many of you already know, November 1st marks the start of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I thought I managed a pretty good agents-eye-view of it last year, so I want to direct your attention to it again. A tidbit:

It’s November 1st, and for hordes of writers out there, that means one thing: NaNoWriMo. If you’re still among the uninitiated, that stands for National November Writing Month — a pledge to write and finish a 50,000 word novel in the month of November, no excuses. Now, many other writers will give you tips and tricks for writing your NaNovel (check out the fabulous Rexroth’s month of hints from last year [kt: actually 2009], starting here — also available as a free e-book — or Chuck Wendig’s “Dos and Don’ts”), and so I’m not about to start.

What I do want to do is draw your attention to Chuck’s last “Don’t”:

Don’t Take It So Seriously That You Start Sending It Out to Agents and Editors Immediately.

On a similar note, former literary agent and all-around awesome person Colleen Lindsay began the day with a couple of tweets:

Today marks the day all literary agents and editors dread: NaNoWriMo. #rememberthatrevisionisyourfriend #donthitsendonthatqueryonDecemberOne

Worst queries I ever received as an agent always started with “I’ve just finished writing my NaNoWriMo novel and…”

Don’t be one of those authors agents and editors dread. Recognize that even if you win NaNoWriMo, your manuscript is in NO WAY ready to submit. Take time to revise, revise, revise. Maybe even set it aside for a few months so you can come back to it fresh in the spring.

This is a marathon, people, not a sprint.

As I did last year, I’m getting into the swing of things myself by pledging to read and response to at least one client manuscript, partial or full everyday until I’m all caught up, or we hit November 30th, whichever comes first. Call it National Manuscript Reading Month, or NaMaReMo. I’ve got a bit of a head start, with only 26 things to read, but I also have a 9-month-old, so I think that’s enough of a handicap, at least in terms of reading time.

Are you a NaNoWriMo-er? Let us know in the comments so we can cheer you on!

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13 Responses to “NaNoWriMo Once Again!”

  1. jsjoyner Says:

    I've been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2008 and must concur: while it is a wonderful way to force yourself to get that first draft written, one must remember that it is a FIRST draft. Revision will always, always be necessary.

  2. Melodie Says:

    You have my eternal admiration for your pledge. When I'm beta-ing frequently, there are times I want to disappear into a professionally edited book and never come out. So go you. Fingers crossed for looong baby nap times.

  3. Brie Says:

    This is my third year. Oooh yeah, productivity is huge for me during November, but the big consequence to that kind of nonstop writing is that it requires a lot more revision. I hope people heed your advice and I hope you win your NaNoReMo challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. @embattaglia Says:

    This is a good reminder that the goal is word count, not perfect writing. Each year during Nanowrimo I have to suppress my internal editor in favor of just getting the words on the page. The result is usually something that resembles a book but needs shape and definition. The other eleven months of the year should be called Nanoremo, for the long rewriting and revising stage.

    Good luck to those of you in the challenge this month. Ms. Testerman, I hope find something great through your NaMaReMo goal!

  5. Sophia Chang Says:

    lol I would definitely cringe if I had to send out my NaNo drafts ::shuddering::

    I'm YellowTypingFiend if you want a buddy and I'll be rebelling and promoting the revising spirit by REwriting a previous NaNo piece for this NaNo.

  6. ellisonbaypottery Says:

    Rebels Rock! I'm also rebelling against the 'Man'. Ill be knocking at your NaNo mailbox as watchthis

  7. Kimberly Says:

    I am not doing NaNoWriMo but I definitely admire those who attempt such a feat!

    I think it's so awesome that you have a goal to read one client full or partial manuscript every day And with a 9 month old!

  8. ellisonbaypottery Says:

    Agreed. This NaNo is first draft stuff only. It's the starting gun and the race is done when the last rewrite is complete. This is my 3rd NaNo and will be my 2nd win.

  9. kati Says:

    This is my 4th NaNo, but there is no way I would let anyone see my draft when the month is up! I'll probably let it sit in my computer for a good year, then go back and rewrite it, then rewrite it again, then again…

    It is a fun way to encourage a bunch of people to write every day for 30 days though, and a good time to meet other people who share the same passion.

  10. gcocuzza Says:

    I signed up, but went on a tangent with the snowflake software and writing fiction for dummies, and here I am again, reading about writing…..

  11. Suzanne Warr Says:

    Oooh, I love your idea of working through fulls and partials this month to catch up! While I personally don't have anything with you, I do have a few fulls elsewhere…I really hope your idea spreads!

    As for NaNo, it came be a huge help for those who struggle to turn off the inner editor and carve out regular writing time. And for everybody else, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I've NaNo'd before and liked it okay, but usually write fast anyway and like to do it a little more my way. 'Sides, revision is where I take that story core and make it shine. However, I cheer on all my friends and writing buddies who're taking the plunge!

  12. Kristi Helvig Says:

    I'm NaNo'ing this year. I see it as a fun way to get a first draft down quickly. This year, I cheated a little and had an outline and beat sheet filled out beforehand, but it's made the writing part fly. Good luck to all my fellow NaNo'ers out there!

  13. @WhatsWithDiane Says:

    Thanks for the advice! It's appreciated. Working with a nine monther in the background is not easy! I wish you well on your own challenge.