Thursday, December 07, 2006

Reflections on NaNoWriMo

It's just about time for me to hang up the NaNoWriMo thinking for the year, methinks (especially, since, you know, VEGAS is about to happen). At least the parts that revolve around me pounding out thousands of words of dross in a month. I'm still probably going to revisit what I actually a wrote a little later; I want to give myself a time to get away from it so I can come back to it fresh. Hopefully there are some nuggets of gold in there, or at least something I can use to work with if I wish.

The fun part about doing NaNoWriMo is what you find myself writing about. Here are some things I noticed while crossing the 50,000 word finish line:

  • This year I used Google's online document software to write my novel (the same thing that April used for the WPBT spreadsheet). That way I could log in and just write from any internt-enabled machine. Really good stuff.
  • I really should consider setting my next NaNoWriMo novel in high school. I decided to have flashback to one of my character's earliest brushes with booze, and suddenly found I had written thousands of words.
  • Dialogue is not only good for the wordcount, it can help you find your characters.
  • Somehow I got into minor discussions about "1984" by George Orwell, and "The Color of Money" the movie (featuring the pre-insane Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio, Paul Newman, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio's ta-tas)
  • The first couple of times I did NaNoWiMo (particularly the first time) I essentially drank my way through it. This time I used a combination of coffee, Vitamin Water (Revive), Red Bull, and cigarettes. It was the Stimulants NaNoWriMo, rather than the Depressants NaNoWriMo.
  • It occurs to me that if someone wanted to do NaNoWriMo and would stop at nothing, than going Kerouac style and blocking off a weekend to pump yourself full of amphetamines should let you CRUSH 50,000 words... you know, if you could stop tweaking and running around the house.
  • Another departure from the previous years I did it, I really didn't have a steady progression towards 50,000. Aided and abetted by trips to Atlantic City and Pittsburgh, I was extremely sporadic in my writing. I think a large part of this was due to me having done it before, and having that confidence.
  • Having said that, if I hadn't written almost 12k on one Sunday, I would have been in strife.
As I alluded to earlier, I haven't committed to doing anything with what I have written so far. I may adapt at least a small part of it, though I am undecided. I'm just going to see how I feel after I re-read the thing.

I'm also undecided if I am going to try and do some regular writing sessions with some of the people I met during the month. It would probably be good to committ to something, to ensure that I am writing something non-blog-related on a regular basis. That's at least a start to trying to get myself to committ to do something on an ongoing basis, rather than putting it all aside until I think about this as next November approaches.

Lastly, but not leastly... am I going to do it next year? Naturally it's far too early for me to say, but even now I am leaning towards doing it. It was good to jump back into the saddle, and if nothing else it made me feel a bit like a writer again.

But until then... have fun in Vegas you early-arrivers! The G-Train steams into the station at 10pm Vegas time tomorrow night! Woo woo! More exclamation marks!! MORE!!!



I thought I would post a copy of my word count progression, just to show you how I moved through the month. You can also clearly see the big jump on 11/19. It's also worth pointing out that the most days I wrote in a row was 3 days (which I did 4 times), and the most days I went without writing was 5 days.


  • Good for you, Garth. Of course you should do it again next year. Judging from this year you really enjoyed it, and writing seems to make you happy. There's not many things in life that make us happy AND are easy to do anytime. Definitely stick with it.

    By Blogger JL514, at 1:07 PM  

  • MORE!!!!!

    By Blogger Maigrey, at 3:09 PM  

  • "pre-insane Tom Cruise"

    That's great. Again, well done, sir.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:10 AM  

  • garth, please stop writing so much, as you will make the rest of us look bad.

    By Blogger Dan M, at 7:41 AM  

  • funny. just watched Color of Money the night before last. Go for it. 12 K in one day. Sheesh.

    By Blogger vanillagrrl, at 6:24 PM  

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