The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NaNoWriMo's Lessons

Okay, I admit it. I began NaNoWriMo this year because last year I crashed and burned almost instantaneously. I hate to lose, I'm stubborn, and decided to give it another try. And although I am hopelessly way behind, currently I am at 12,000 words. Yesterday before I began writing I was at 8,000 words. It's amazing what staying up until 3:30 in the morning will do. I wonder if I can do that every night?

Certainly, it's way too early to claim I will finish in time. I might be at the Thanksgiving table with my laptop in front of me instead of a plate of turkey and sweet potatoes. (Maybe this could be the NaNoWriMo diet plan? Write thousands of words instead of consuming thousands of calories...) But I have learned some lessons--already--from NaNoWriMo, and here they are:

1.  You can become a novelist. I write personal essays and occasional poems. I don't do fiction. However, once the risk is taken, I've found it's good to stretch my skills and write outside the box(I cannot promise it will be an entertaining story, but it will be a work of fiction. More or less.)

2.   If you know the characters, they will drive the story. I began on November 1 with no storyline or plot. Oh, do I need one of those? I figured I did. Unfortunately, I went for a week just fleshing out the characters and still without a plot. Thankfully, a life-changing event dropped into my lap, and my story is meandering towards it.

3. Crime DOES pay. Last night, I broke into Lynn Obermoeller's house and stole her computer. I also took all her pencils, her pens, her lipsticks, her empty journals and her external drives. She must be stopped at all costs. A criminal, a word hog and hoarder, she has written so much already, she has finished crossed the 50,000 word finish line 3 times already, and was on her fourth lap before I threw a loose bolt into her creative cogs. Fuhgedaboudit, Lynn. Three will have to do it for you.

How do I know she has turned to crime?  There have been reports that she decided to make some money this year off NaNo. Police have gotten calls about people lurking at street corners, asking Lynn, "Can you sell me some words? I'm hooked. I want the good stuff." 

Stay tuned. On November 30, the exciting climax: will Sioux crash and burn, or will she be victorious? 


Is that stink some burned turkey grease in the oven, or is it Sioux's NaNoWriMo novel?  


  1. I refuse to participate in anything that sounds like a stroke victim trying to say "no more creamed corn." Just. Refuse.

  2. LOL Sioux, you're so funny. I thought I was hearing things the other night :-), so it WAS you! Perhaps that's why I haven't written anything today.

    Sioux will rise above the challenge and will finish victorious, I think. I like the idea of writing thousands of words instead of consuming thousands of calories.

    Gotta go, someone's at the door--still selling those words.... ssssh.

  3. At least your sense of humor is still intact! I don't like doing challenges because I feel that I must succeed and will drive myself stark, raving insane to succeed. Not a good thing with the holidays rolling in. :)

  4. Hey, yeah...who's bright idea was it to have Nano in the month of November with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up?? Must've been a man!! I love Fireblossom's take on it all. I don't do Nano, either! It's just an insane idea to me!
    And yeah,Janel, we don't need no steenking insantiy hitting us this time of the year! :o

  5. You will do it. You are one mean, I mean GOOD writer.

  6. Congratulations on getting to 12,000 words! And, I totally agree with your observations, particularly item #2. I love it when I let the characters run the show. Sometimes they say the darnedest things!

  7. I'm only at 13,000 words, Sioux. I have to write 2206 words a day every day until the 30th to catch up. Don't know if I'll make it this year, but I'm going to try. Unless I get caught up reading blogs. And commenting. Like now. *sigh*

  8. Keep at it!

    I have never written any fiction before either, and yet (for some reason) I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this month. I guess I just figured "Why not?"

    I'm also behind (around 8,000 words -- was supposed to catch up this weekend and then got sick and wasn't able to focus enough to write). But I figure even if I get 30,000 down and the start of a real work of fiction, I've already won.


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