Author Topic: National Novel Writing Month  (Read 693 times)

polly_mer

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National Novel Writing Month
« on: November 01, 2019, 04:42:13 AM »
It's November!  Who's participating in National Novel Writing Month?

This year, I'm going to give it a go by redirecting most of my fora writing time to wrapping up the doggone novel that's been sitting in the background forever.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

fourhats

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Re: National Novel Writing Month
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 05:52:28 AM »
I signed up yesterday, but it's going to be a real stretch given my work schedule. I filled out the form, and it says I need to write for 40 minutes a day during the work week, and lots more over the weekend.

polly_mer

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Re: National Novel Writing Month
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 06:16:42 AM »
I'm not filling out the form because I absolutely will not be making the 50 000 words by the end of the month.

I do see a potential benefit in setting aside an hour every morning that I would spend on these fora working on the novel instead.

This morning's work was doing some gentle revision on the first three chapters to ensure consistency of names and update the notes on who needs names as a recurring character for the next three chapters.
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fourhats

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Re: National Novel Writing Month
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 07:38:33 AM »
Are you doing the steps they recommend, like making an outline and fleshing out the characters? Their website says to start this two weeks ahead of time, so obviously I didn't start preparing back then. I do have Scrivener, but I'm not sure I'm going to use it. Are you using any software?

Parasaurolophus

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Re: National Novel Writing Month
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 11:48:04 AM »
Oh, this would be fun, and a needed kick in the pants on my end.

Except that my workload just got two and a half times bigger, since I'm taking over a colleague's classes. Curses!
I know it's a genus.

polly_mer

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Re: National Novel Writing Month
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2019, 05:04:35 AM »
Are you doing the steps they recommend, like making an outline and fleshing out the characters? Their website says to start this two weeks ahead of time, so obviously I didn't start preparing back then. I do have Scrivener, but I'm not sure I'm going to use it. Are you using any software?

I am not following their steps, but instead I'm using tips I've acquired over the years from specific writers that I admire.  However, I did take some instruction from https://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/

I have a timeline and history for the world along with enough research on the current state of the relevant technologies that I'm confident in my extrapolations.

I have a host of characters with back stories, motivations, friends, enemies, and current allies.

I have an Excel spreadsheet with the current order of major turning points in the story that functions like an outline, but it bears almost no resemblance to the formal outline format as I was taught in fifth grade.  I'm using this document more as a guide for how I think the story could go, but I'm open to seeing what happens next as I get writing some of the sections. 

For example, a major plot line is a contest to see who ends up as official leader and I don't currently know who wins.  I know the teams.  I know the cheats that specific teams will use.  I know the tragedies that specific teams will experience.  I don't know which team wins and what happens to the character who carried a lot of the load, but is seen as the great second banana, not the leader, sort of like how Hermione is the backbone of every adventure, but Harry is the hero.  Some of this is dependent on whether I end up with a standalone story of a reasonable length when I've written everything I need to write or a saga when the wrong-for-the-world team wins and I have to know what happens next by the remaining teams who need to save the world.

I'm using LaTeX for organization and writing because that's what I've been doing in my professional life and I really like the flexibility for organizing chapters, todo notes, and hyperlinking between ideas.  TeXShop is so much nicer to work with than Word for lengthy documents.

I'm using Git for version control.  Another reason for using a text-based file format instead of Word is having handier access to changes through the Git tools.  I hate Word's track changes feature, while I love Git's commit log and highlighting individual lines in files by various filters that I control based on current needs.

« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 06:09:33 AM by polly_mer »
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polly_mer

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Re: National Novel Writing Month
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2019, 09:09:08 AM »
Well, that's four hours in today fleshing out characters and their backgrounds.
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Myword

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Re: National Novel Writing Month
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2019, 12:28:27 PM »
I wrote 2 novels, one published.  I would never attempt to write a novel in a month! You either have to be very gifted--great--and have a huge amount of time, or your novel will be very rough and not too good. Probably the latter.  I think most authors will say that, especially Hemingway. He's right. My drafts were awful
and I am a seat of the pants type of writer with only minimal outlines. Formulaic novels are easier to write. Style alone is a major challenge, even if you are excellent at grammar and composition.

fourhats

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Re: National Novel Writing Month
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2019, 03:11:03 PM »
The idea is to get a draft down, usually something you're been thinking about for a while. Not to end up with a publication-ready book, but something to work from after the month is over. Many who sign up have an outline already, and a list of characters they're able to flesh out. Some go on to publish their novels.

When you sign up, they ask you about your typical work week, and give you a schedule based on the time you have. In my case, they said to do 40 minutes a day during the week, and then four hours a day on the weekend. Then you get daily tips and encouragement from well-known novelists.