NaNoWriMo 2015: Yay or Nay?

Well it’s that time of year when the one question on my own lips is: Am I doing NaNoWriMo this year? I certainly want to and I certainly have the time (hello unemployed graduate life), more so than I did last year when I tried and failed after one day, but I’m just never sure I have enough creativity. This has always been a problem for me sustaining any creative project – I worry my idea isn’t big enough or decent enough to see followed through to the very end.

I have forum roleplayed in the past (a lot at some points in my life) which means that the thought of writing 1666 words a day really doesn’t faze me at all because that’s like not even 3 posts and I know I can knock out a 600-word post in about 15 minutes. So timing-wise, I’m fine. But as I’m sure everyone knows forum rp is a very different beast to actually writing solo. With NaNo I won’t have someone to bounce ideas off, I won’t have someone else’s post to respond to and write back to, I won’t be able to message someone saying “I feel like making my character suffer a little today, do you want in?”. No, this all has to come from me and me alone – and I think that is what always concerns me, despite the fact I know I can create characters and voices and brainstorm plot ideas on the fly.

So this post is me tentatively stating my intention to participate in NaNoWriMo 2015. I will learn from my disastrous attempt in 2014. Last year I didn’t plot or really have any ideas fleshed out in the slightest so I ended up writing 1590 words during a word sprint in which I barely knew my characters or where I was going with the story, all I know is it was a story set in Whitby. I don’t even really recall how I managed to get to 1590 words before I failed quite spectacularly. I can only assume I wrote a conversation between two characters in the hope of getting to know them better, before I realised I had no clue where I was going or even wanted to go with the novel.

However, this year I will do better – this year, I will at least make it to 5000 words! (Yes, it’s the little goals that really count for me). At the moment I have two very vague ideas, I’m more at working out the tones of the two stories, I haven’t plotted or outlined at all and I’m just really hoping that in these remaining days of October I’ll sit down and work out what story I want to tell. After all, it’s all very well having characters and settings in mind but it’s something different entirely to figure out what story you want to tell with them! Still, starting 1st November with something is better than nothing so I’ve followed Elisabeth’s excellent process of creating Pinterest boards for reference, for idea 1 and idea 2. Not sure which genre/period or story I’m wanting to tell but hopefully I’ll settle on one in this coming week in time to get excited and energised for NaNoWriMo.

In the mean time I’m back to watch Lainey, Kat, Kristina, and Elisabeth‘s writing vlogs in the hope of picking up some tips and tricks ready for November. Speaking of which, if you’re planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year or have any tips for a not so confident writer like myself, please please please share in the comments below! Or, if you’re participating, just say hey; I’d love to find some writing buddies to help keep accountable and to keep me accountable too!

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3 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 2015: Yay or Nay?

  1. Kristi 22/10/2015 / 20:14

    For coming up with a story, I’d suggest free writing from story prompts or images, which can be found all over the internet with just an online search. Do as much as you can over the next week, keeping in mind anything that sparks your interest. Eventually you may have a few ideas you can tie together, or one solid idea that you can add to.

    There is a lot that can go into make NaNo a success, but having a solid story idea is one of the most important. Whatever other tips and tricks you may pick up, if your story fizzles out early on, or it’s just not very interesting to you, you’re more likely to give up when getting the words down gets difficult.

    As for tips for the actual writing, I find word wars to be a huge boost, don’t stress over quality during November, and don’t give up if it’s difficult or you’re getting behind.

    • Emma 22/10/2015 / 20:24

      All wonderful tips, thank you so much for taking the time to help! :)

      I definitely have a few little titbits of plot for various scenes now but it’s just a case of working out how on earth they’ll all tie together, and keeping that momentum up as I get into November.

      Once again, thank you, all invaluable tips.

      • Kristi 22/10/2015 / 20:27

        I’ve been working on the same thing lately. I’ve actually had a heck of a time working out the middle of the story I’m planning for this year. I had an opening, an inciting event, and a climax, but a huge gap where the bulk of the story goes. I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming in a notebook as I work out my thoughts and get this into something long enough for NaNo.

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