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Thread: NaNoWriMo 2012

  1. #1
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    NaNoWriMo 2012

    With NaNoWriMo looming on the horizon I thought Iíd do a quick straw Poll (forgive me) of the CD forum to see if anyone was going to take part this year.

    If so, and youíd like a writing buddy for some moral support, you can find me on the NaNoWriMo site via the following link:

    http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/lucian-poll

    Iím really looking forward to NaNoWriMo as Iíve had this novel idea, in both senses, burning a hole through my brain for the last two and a half months. Itíll be a relief to finally get some flesh on them bones, so to speak.

    So... any takers?
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
    Then, of course, there's the Twitter thing: @LucianPoll
    ...oh, and the Facebook thing too: https://www.facebook.com/lucian.poll

  2. #2
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication C.W. LaSart's Avatar
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    Sorry, I don't Nano.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hearing Voices ozmosis7's Avatar
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    Not even, Nano Nano?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    Shazbot! Aah, Mork & Mindy, thank you for having the (ahem) balls to have a character called Arnold Wanker. A wonderful example of how not everything translates well overseas. Another example is the Toyota MR2, which had to be renamed in France...

    Off-topic briefly: Hi, C.W., are there any plans for releasing your work on the Apple bookstore? Hi, Oz, I've just bought your Tales omnibus. I'll dip into those before hitting the hay.

    Anyhoo, back on topic, for anyone here who fanices a spot of NaNoWriMo, you won't be alone. Do drop by.
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
    Then, of course, there's the Twitter thing: @LucianPoll
    ...oh, and the Facebook thing too: https://www.facebook.com/lucian.poll

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hearing Voices ozmosis7's Avatar
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    Why thank you, Lucian! I hope you enjoy the stories. And glad you got the joke. :P

  6. #6
    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication C.W. LaSart's Avatar
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    I'm not sure, Lucian. I will ask the publisher though

  7. #7
    Senior Member Inmate Xiabei's Avatar
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    I've always thought it sounded interesting, but I doubt I can hit 50,000 words. The longest thing I've written is only just over 1,000. But I suppose I can give it a shot, as long as it doesn't have to make sense.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session
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    I guess I am considering it, though I don't know if I will really do it or get to that word count. I more need to just get back to writing as I have a story I am in the middle of and haven't worked on in a while.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Inmate RichardThomas's Avatar
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    i haven't done Nano officially, but i did once write 40,000 words in five days. the whole second half of Disintegration. crazy. my fingers were bruised and my arms totally hurt. could work out for you, best of luck. a great purge can be kind of cool.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session
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    Decided to go ahead and sign up for it.

    http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/rjk1981
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    Hi RJK1981, welcome aboard! Thanks for the buddy invite too. Cordially accepted and the very best of luck with your novel.

    If it helps you any, here is how I'm hoping to tackle it. I'll be treating NaNo purely as a means of getting the first draft done. One chapter a day. Each chapter at least 1700 words long (around three to four pages of single-spaced lines) with any extra words a bonus. There won't be much in the way of frilly prose, I'll just get the story down in more or less the form I want. On that basis I'll hit the 50,000 words by 30th Nov and then I'll use the following month(s) to smarten it up into a second draft, safe in the knowledge the hard part (getting to "The End") has already been done.

    I managed to get my plot outline down a couple of months ago, but now I'm going through it a second time, more thoroughly, trying to pick out scenes that don't quite follow and detecting as many plot holes as I can find. (Blood has negligible nutritional value for humans, eh? Okay, that scene's out.) There's absolutely nothing to prevent you from making notes now regarding how the rest of your story should pan out.

    Seriously, I hope you make a good fist of it. (And me too!)

    ***

    Hi Xaibei, are you still tempted to give it a shot? Hope so. And don't worry about it having to make sense. It didn't stop James Joyce when he wrote Finnegan's Wake!

    ***

    Hi Richard, 40,000 words in five days? Hot damn! Was it a deadline or did the muse strike hard?

    ***

    Right, that's me heading back to the plot outline! She's a hard taskmaster this novel.
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
    Then, of course, there's the Twitter thing: @LucianPoll
    ...oh, and the Facebook thing too: https://www.facebook.com/lucian.poll

  12. #12
    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session
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    I'm still not sure what to do about chapters. I've never done chapters because since I've never written a novel length piece. Gotta decide whether to use chapters at all or not, and if I do use chapters I have to decide whether to do it during November or when I am in the editting phase later. I know novels can be done without chapters (Cormac McCarthy's The Road has no chapters), but not having chapters seems more suited for short stories, novelettes, or novellas.

    I will also have to fight the urge to edit my stuff as I go since that would slow me down quite a bit.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    I wrote a novel-length story ages ago and I'll freely admit my chapter structure was all over the place. (Don't worry, the novel hasn't escaped my drawer since!) For example, I spent ages trying to shoehorn a complete day's events into each chapter, thinking that would be a neat way of slicing the story up into manageable chunks. Of course, some days were more eventful than others, and I ended up with some chapters going on for ages and others that I felt I ought to pad out to compensate. Ultimately I'd gotten myself into a bugger's muddle and the finished story was an uneven read, to put it politely.

    If you are writing the novel for the sense of achievement in getting it done, then don't get hung up about chapters. Just focus on getting that story out of your head and onto paper, and don't stop 'til you type "The End". If you're tempted to offer the finished novel around agents and publishers then I would give chapters some thought, at least in the back of your mind, as many of them will ask for the first x chapters and a synopsis. Same goes if you fancy the self-publishing route (which is where my novel will end up) as readers, love 'em or hate 'em, often like getting to the end of a chapter and putting the book down for the night.

    But as you say, when you get to the editing stage and you're shaping up a second draft you may begin to find natural breakpoints spaced quite nicely throughout your story.

    As far as The Road was concerned I thought the nature of the novel, being essentially a snapshot of survival against all the odds on a road to who-knows-where, suited a chapter-less structure, but then McCarthy was smart in breaking the novel down into very short scenes to encourage the reader to keep going, but which also gave the reader lots of easy places to park the story for the night. I haven't read any other of his novels, not even No Country For Old Men, to my shame, so I don't know if he uses this structure as his calling card. I know he has a massive aversion to speechmarks and apostrophes, though!

    As for the editing-as-you-go approach, I'm going to have to fight that urge too. It's only natural, really. But we must stand firm against temptation! Get that story down quick and rough and tidy it up later!

    Easier said than done, I know, but I hope some of this helps!
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
    Then, of course, there's the Twitter thing: @LucianPoll
    ...oh, and the Facebook thing too: https://www.facebook.com/lucian.poll

  14. #14
    Senior Member Inmate Xiabei's Avatar
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    Hey Lucian, good point on Joyce! I did sign up but haven't had time yet to really get into the details.

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    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session
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    I do think I will likely skip out on using chapters during the first draft and thinking about it more once that draft is completed. If I sense a natural break I will probably mark it in some way. Maybe extra lines between paragraphs or a page break or something. I also plan to download the trial of scrivener, which should be a much better tool for novel writing than Word. I don't know when I'll get it though, could get it before starting this challenge or wait until after I am done.

    What I need to decide before that though is what my story will be since I have a couple ideas. Also trying to figure out if those ideas could be combined in some way.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    I hadn't heard of Scrivener. I might take a peek when tackling the next one as I'm trying to get to grips with GIMP and Inkscape at the moment for my cover images.

    (Here's a link to an early Inkscape effort of mine: http://lucianpoll.com/2012/09/30/a-s...n/cover-v1-01/ I won't embed it here as that would be a little vulgar of me. I quite like it, but I'm probably not up for accepting commissions just yet!)

    (Also, the sneaky side of me wonders whether Scrivener would be clever enough to know it's running inside a virtual machine, as VMs are so much more disposable than physical machines!)
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
    Then, of course, there's the Twitter thing: @LucianPoll
    ...oh, and the Facebook thing too: https://www.facebook.com/lucian.poll

  17. #17
    Senior Member Inmate Xiabei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJK1981 View Post
    I do think I will likely skip out on using chapters during the first draft and thinking about it more once that draft is completed. If I sense a natural break I will probably mark it in some way. Maybe extra lines between paragraphs or a page break or something. I also plan to download the trial of scrivener, which should be a much better tool for novel writing than Word. I don't know when I'll get it though, could get it before starting this challenge or wait until after I am done.

    What I need to decide before that though is what my story will be since I have a couple ideas. Also trying to figure out if those ideas could be combined in some way.
    Richard Kadrey's "Sandman Slim" books don't have chapters, and they move along quite nicely. Of course, he also basically tells a story from start to finish and doesn't really jump around in time and place.

    I'd like to someday find a decent basic write program that doesn't cost anything.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    A fellow Norfolk NaNo-er has recently posted a link to our Facebook group that may be of interest to those here tempted to dabble with Scrivener. They've just launched a cut-price offer tied in with this year's NaNoWriMo:

    http://www.literatureandlatte.com/nanowrimo.php

    With a few days left 'til the big write, are there any others here that fancy giving it a try?
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
    Then, of course, there's the Twitter thing: @LucianPoll
    ...oh, and the Facebook thing too: https://www.facebook.com/lucian.poll

  19. #19
    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session
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    Already got my nano trial of Scrivener.

    Right now I am trying to come up with a final title for story.

    I know how my story will start and how I envision it ending right now, which is a good thing. Will probably write the beginning and the working end first, though when edit time comes the end may end up being something else entirely.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Lucian Poll's Avatar
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    Nice one, RJK. I'm glad to hear you're getting a good grip on your story. We'll give those 50,000 words what for!

    A short story I recently finished had an ending that I only saw very late into the writing, as up until then I was determined to keep it open-ended and ambiguous. I used to think that writers who say "the story often leads the author" were talking from the wrong orifice, but when I read through what had gone before an altogether new and much more devastating ending leapt out at me. I guess it does happen!

    Good luck with the big write. I'd love to hear how you get on, either here or through NaNomail.
    The home of your least humble servant, Mr Poll: http://lucianpoll.com
    Then, of course, there's the Twitter thing: @LucianPoll
    ...oh, and the Facebook thing too: https://www.facebook.com/lucian.poll

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