Thursday, October 30, 2014

A NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fantasy (Blood of Kings trilogy), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or on her author website.

NaNoWriMo is almost here! Who's in?

I wanted to give you NaNo participants some encouragement before you dove in. So here goes...

1. Give yourself permission to write ugly.

2. No editing! It doesn't have to make sense. It's all about writing fast.

3. If you get stuck, skip ahead and write a scene you're excited about. Then later, when you're in bed or showering or cleaning or in the car, think through that stuck scene until you've worked your way through it and are excited about it.

4. Also if you get stuck, try interviewing your character. You might delete it all later, but you'll add words and learn something new about your character.

5. Stay off the Internet! It will only distract you. Write comments in Track Changes with notes of things you'll need to come back and do later.

6. If you have to go online, use it as a reward system. Once you type 1000 words, you can go online for ten minutes. Type another thousand, you get ten more minutes of Internet time. This also works well for me with chocolate bribes. On the writing retreat, I put the candy bar where I could see it, but just out of reach. And I knew that once I finished my chapter, I could have it!

Hope that helps. I can't wait to hear how you all do. Good luck! And many words to you all.


69 comments:

  1. I have always wanted to join in with this, but never actually have. This year I will try and do it. I have to at least give it a go :)

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  2. Thanks for the tips! I'm super excited for NaNoWriMo...it's my first year!

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  3. I'm not doing NaNo this year, but I needed #1. Lately I've been having trouble writing a rough first draft. I want it all to be perfect! :)

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    1. You can make it perfect later, Linea. Just get that first draft done!

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  4. Yay! I'm in! XD These tips help a bunch, thanks so much Jill! I was hoping for a NaNoWriMo post. :D

    -Koko :)

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    1. Glad it helped. I'll check back in with you all next week to see how you're doing. :-)

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  5. I am doing NaNo this year. It will be my second year doing it but I think I am more excited about doing it this year than last year. lol Can't wait to write that book!!

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    1. Excellent. You're a veteran at this!

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    2. She really can't wait lol :) just like me haha

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  6. I'm in! This is my second year doing NaNo, and I'm really excited - can't wait for Saturday. :) Thank you so much for the post and tips, Mrs. Williamson!

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  7. ... Bekah here.
    What exactly is NaNoWriMo?
    How can I get involved?

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    1. NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. You try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days (approx. 1,667 words a day) during November. It's basically all about speed and numbers, which is good, because it forces you to just write.

      You can sign up on nanowrimo.org or just do it without signing up. However, if you sign up, you get cool pep talks and have access to their forums. If you don't want to go for 50,000, you can do the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program, where you choose how many words you'd like to write.

      Hope that helps! :)

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    2. Bekah, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is basically when a ton of writers aim to write a 50,000 word novel from beginning to at least sort of the end (sometimes people don't finish the whole novel, even if they make 50k!) during the month of November. They have a young writer's program for people under 18, I believe it is, here: ywp.nanowrimo.org If you do the young writer's program you can set a different wordcount goal :) The other website, the one Mrs. Williamson linked to, is the "adult website" (for everyone 13 and up).

      To get involved, you can sign up at either of those links and write away! Even if your parents don't want you to sign up for anything, though, you can still participate just by writing a novel during November. :)

      Hopefully this helps!

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    3. Hahahaha I love how we're both writing this spiel at once, Linea... :P

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    4. Haha I just noticed that! :P

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    5. You girls did so great explaining this that I don't have to. Thanks! LOL

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    6. ... Bekah here again!
      Thank you all so much!
      I don't know if I'll be able to do it, though.
      I am a homeschooler in my senior year. Starting next month, I'll be working 4 and 1/2 hours in the mornings + 4-5 hours of school in the afternoons. Also, I take separate classes on Monday and Tuesday nights. Basically, my free nights are Thursday and Friday because we often travel on weekends.
      Do you think someone could manage to complete NaNoWriMo with just two or three hours a couple times a week?
      Is it worth it to try?

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    7. Yay, a fellow homeschooler! I totally get how busy you are, and I definitely think it's worth a try-especially if you write for two or three hours straight.

      You can always set your goal lower than 50,000 if you'd like, since your schedule sounds pretty busy. But I think you should go for it! :)

      Good luck!

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    8. ... Bekah here again!
      Wow, really? Another homeschooler?
      Actually, looking over my schedule, I could have about 5 hours a week. But that means literally sleeping, eating, working, studying, and writing. No tme for movies or spending time with family and friends (outside of church). *Sad face*
      But then again, I could get up a little earlier...

      Does GTW do anything about NaNoWriMo? Like, could I get on here for more pep talk posts or word wars??

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    9. Yes, we will be doing a word war weekend in November, similar to the one we did earlier in October.

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    10. Thanks for answering, Mrs. Morrill. I thought we were going to have one, but I wasn't sure.

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    11. ...Bekah here again.
      Yes, thank you for answering!
      Whopee! Word war!
      I haven't had a chance to participate in one before!
      Hurrah!

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    12. You'll LOVE Word Wars. They're great. :)

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  8. I'm trying it for the first time this year! I love the idea of skipping to a different scene, because usually I get stuck in a place but totally know what to do a few chapters down the story road.

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    1. Yes, that always helps me. Because with NaNo, you have to keep getting in your word count! So do whatever you can to continue being productive.

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  9. I've never done NaNoWriMo, but these tips are really useful! Thanks for the post.
    Oh, and is there an age limit to NaNoWriMo? Just curious. Thanks!

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    1. Nope! Anyone and everyone can participate in NaNoWriMo :D I did my first one when I was thirteen and it was a ton of fun.

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    2. There's not a "limit," per se, Jonathan. But if you mean a certain age range, the Young Writer's Program (ywp.nanowrimo.org) is for everyone under the age of 18, I think, while the link Mrs. Williamson posted is for ages 13 and up.

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    3. Thanks, Darth and Amanda, for your answers! :-)

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  10. I'm doing NaNo! I did it last year, but as a rebel since I was already about halfway through my book when I ended up sort-of-accidentally joining in. (I got to 50k, though!) This year I'm doing it the "real" way, so definitely a little nervous.

    I'd add one tip here--word wars can be super helpful, especially if you're just stuck but really need to get something written. Obviously this kind of clashes with number 5 up there (which is a very good point, by the way), and it is tricky to stick with JUST word wars if you are online...so be careful there. But I thought I'd add that. :)

    One other thing I'd advise is try to build yourself some "cushion room" in case you get sick or have a really busy day during the month. Especially if you're going out of town for Thanksgiving!

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    1. Great tips, Amanda. Thanks so much for sharing those. And "You can do it!"

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  11. Thanks for the pep talk! Just what I needed on the eve of NaNo

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  12. Woo I'm doing my first NaNo this year, but I don't know what my opening scene is! :P Because I recently changed the plot a bit so I need some exposition at the beginning, but I don't want to do it as a prologue because it's so cliche! (lol I should write shorter sentences)

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    1. No worries, Purple. Just write it. Write the exposition if you need to. Write a prologue. You can always fix it later.

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  13. I'll be doing the Young Writer's Program because of busyness... Is anyone else on there? I'd love to add you as a writing buddy. :)

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    1. I'm thinking of doing the young writers program this year :)

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    2. Yay! My username is: "Katie - Grace" (without the quotation marks) so you can add me as a buddy if you decide to join. :)

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    3. I don't know much about this Young Writer's Program, Katie. I'm going to have to check it out.

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    4. It's for kids ages 17 and younger, Jill. It's basically the same as NaNoWriMo, but you get to choose your own word count which is an awesome alternative if you can't do the 50,000 goal.

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    5. I'm also doing the YWP this year.

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    6. I accepted your buddy request, Jessica. :)

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    7. Yay! I'm going to stop saying "yay" now...

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  14. First time doing NaNo and this is all valuable advice that I'm taking - especially the chocolate bar one, that sounds absolutely delicious!

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    1. Oh yes. Bribes are sometimes a very good thing, Mawa. ;-)

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  15. Love the internet advice! That is always my problem, so before I open the internet tab in the morning I make myself write at least 500 words. No checking email on the phone, no pinterest, no blogger, nothing. Write at least 500!

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  16. I have to get off the Internet. I have to get off the Internet. Thanks for the reminder. :-)

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  17. Go teen writers! The first chunk of my current project was written during NaNoWriMo last year! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

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  18. Wow, I never planned to do this. Every year I hear about it but not until it's over. Today I woke up and its the thirty first of October. If I join, NaNiWriMo starts tomorrow..i'm not even prepared.. I really want to try it but I don't know... has anyone else done it? Any tips? And if you submit you 'novel' does everyone have access to it? Can they use it?

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    1. Hey, Anonymous! This will be my fourth year doing NaNoWriMo. I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer all the way, so I always enter NaNo almost entirely unprepared. I would definitely recommend it. As for tips? Write or Die (http://writeordie.com/ and http://oldandbusted.drwicked.com/), Word Wars, use the graph thing on the site, and just write like crazy. No one sees your novel when you submit it, they just count the words to verify that it's actually 50,000. They delete it afterwards, but it you feel nervous about it, you can scramble it (for Camp NaNo this year, I did it manually with the find and replace function on Word; I just typed, "B," replace with "A," and replaced all the letters with A. It doesn't change how many words it will count it as, but it makes it so that it's pretty much nonsense. Make sure you do it with a copy, though, and not your real copy!).

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  19. Hi! This is my first year doing NaNo (but I am actually doing YWP). I just need to find a way to remember to do it everyday, any suggestions?

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    1. If you use Windows 7 or 8, you can put a sticky note on your desktop to remind yourself. Otherwise, you could tape a piece of paper somewhere where you'll see it daily to remind yourself. Good luck!

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    2. Thanks for the advice, Athelas! I do have Windows 8, so I will be sure to do that...:)

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  20. I'm in! First year, so I'm excited! :D

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  21. I'm doing it this year! :D This will be my fourth year to do it, and I'm definitely excited about it. It's one of my favorite times of the year. These are excellent tips. Thank you for posting them! :)

    My profile is here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/athelas. Most of the people I know aren't participating in NaNo this year, and my "buddy list" looks slightly sad without the little word count bar beneath most of the names. I would love to become friends with some of you people I know on here!

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    1. *sigh* I would add you, but I'm only signed up for the young writers program.

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    2. I just added you... I'm burningpink.

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  22. I'm doing it!!!!!!!! :D I'm so excited (seriously, anyone that has been in chat with me knows)!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I still have a couple Wikipedia pages to read (four 200 year long ones). :P but can't wait for Saturday!!! WHOO

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    1. Are you doing regular NaNo or Young Writers Program?

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  23. ... Bekah here.
    This is the first year I've even HEARD of NaNoWriMo.
    So, quick question for the veterans at NaNoWriMo-ing.
    Do you have a plan before starting (Like, Day 1, do x. Day 2, do y)??
    Or do you just keep writing till you hit the 50k?

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  24. Really good tips thanks Jill :) It's my first year as well and I'm pretty busy as it's my senior year, but I'll just try and do my best, even if my aim isn't to reach the 50000 words...

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