I have participated in Nanowrimo for almost a decade now. I believe in it and really like doing it. It allows me to analyze all of my writing and figure out what I want to work on.
What is Nanowrimo?
This is an event that takes place in November. The website is set up so you can pace out your writing to write 1500 words each day and by the end of the month, theoretically you would have 50000 words which is a loose interpretation on how long a standard novel should be.
My published novel is about 30000 words and yes I did write the bulk of it during a Nanowrimo a few years ago. I’ve spent a couple years trying to figure out how the online publishing world works then put it up on Amazon Kindle Publishing last year. It was crazy to feel that sense of accomplishment when I finally had the physical book in my hands.
The website also gets you involved with different writing communities and different websites and services that help you write. There’s a website that I’ve used a few times that lets you post chapters and get help editing your writing. This is a good website after you’ve dumped all your thoughts on paper or in a writing program for a month straight without looking back on a single thing.
Pantser versus Plotter
With the rising popularity of Nanowrimo and more people realizing their dreams of writing a novel, categories of writers started to emerge. The ones who just start writing and keep writing without planning things out are called Pantsers. The ones who do any sort of preplanning with their stories, either by creating an outline or putting scenes on notecards are the Plotters.
I used to be a Pantser. I’ve been writing stories since I was in elementary school and I’ve always just started writing and never really planed out where I was going. This got me into alot of trouble when I ran out of steam on a story or when I tried to go back and fix a plot hole. I also have rewritten and changed so many things on my Epic which is a series of novels that I’ve been working on since high school that I’m horribly lost when I try to tie in my older work with newer work.
So I’ve evolved into a Plotter. I’ve also bought a couple of different editing software like Snowflake and Scrivener. These are great programs to help you keep track of the details but I don’t really like plotting with them as much as I do with notecards. I also am always going to be a Pantser to a certain extent. When the inspiration hits, I just go. I let the words flow.
This upcoming Nanowrimo is going to be dedicated to my Lord Mecha Trilogy. I really feel like if I have three books that I can cut my teeth on, I can start building a good brand. I am making all the mistakes on this series and then when I go for editing and publishing my Epic, most of the kinks will be worked out.
It’s a good series and I have much of it planned out, I just need to focus on it and do it. That’s what Nanowrimo is about, it’s about writing the words and not thinking about anything else. About the editing or the polishing or the branding. It’s about the story and that’s why I enjoy participating.