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Writers' & Artists' Blog

NaNoWriMo: Final Week Slog

Shea Wong

Hello, NaNoWriMo-ers! I don’t know about you, but I’m still furiously typing, trying to shut up my internal editor, and reminding myself that it’s just a first draft, and I will be coming back to revise it in a month or so. We’ve got less than a week to go, so here are some tactical tips to get you ever closer to the magical 50K. 

  1. Have you been on yet to verify your word count? Remember, your word application may be different than the official NaNoWriMo counter – I’d hate for you to verify at 11.59 pm on November 30th, only to realize they count hyphenated words differently, and you’re 75 words down. 
  1. Speaking of word count, are you just a few words short, but have neatly finished your piece, and cannot bear to think about writing in a tiny scene or prologue? The find and replace functions in your writing applications are a life saver. Turn those won’ts, can’ts, and should’ves into will nots, can nots, and should haves. Yes, it’s sneaky, but …

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NaNoWriMo: Week Three

Rachel Phipps

It is 5pm on the penultimate Friday of NaNoWriMo and I’m 7,612 words behind. I have written a fair bit this week; I’ve done an op-ed about Serial, my entire column for Borough Market and several blog posts ahead of Christmas. Just not much of my novel. These are typical things I’d write in the week, so they are not what has been taking up my time. I’ve started a volunteer position in the last week which has been taking up a lot of the time I’d be working on non-day job related projects such as NaNo, and it has been very enjoyable and rewarding so far. I’m glad I know this, because it helps me put how much I’m lagging behind in perspective. 

When I started NaNo this year I set it as a challenge to myself that I could still write fiction. I did not plan for the task, and I only properly made the decision that I was 100% going to do it when I was asked to blog about my experiences here. In week two I already felt like I had won, because I’m really happy with what I …

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How's Your NaNo?

Helen Jones

As the month of November draws to an end, so does the challenge of NaNoWriMo, weary fingers resting at keyboards, pens being laid down with a sigh of relief, cramped hands flexed as we all sit back with acceptance of a journey taken and work accomplished.

If you are one of the millions of writers participating this month, well done you. Well done to all of us. NaNo is a challenge in so many ways – a challenge to our time, our creativity, our ability to sustain a pace of writing that may be neither normal nor possible in our regular lives. It’s something that forces us to be writers, whether we’re ready or not. Forces us to take the idea in our head and run with it, forces us to write on the hop, no time for careful planning and research, a mad dash headlong into the unknown. I must say, when I signed up to do this, I had visions of myself hunched red-eyed over the computer, my family peering anxiously around the door at me, wondering when dinner …

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My NaNoWriMo Journey: Week Three

I heard you should never tell anyone you’re writing a novel...

This November I’ve done just that and I’ve also admitted I’m trying to achieve it in four weeks.

Small talk for me now consists of the following:

“How’s the book going?”


“What happened to that other book you were writing?”

“Cough, cough, shuffle, shuffle”

It’s ok; I’ve spent so many hours writing I haven’t left the house often enough for the difficult conversations to get me down. And although I joke, my own personal cheerleading squad of family and friends does keep me motivated.

It also helps me stay in denial about what happens when I hit 50,000 words. Because 50,000 words does not a novel make. It’s not even a complete first draft. Once I’ve finished handing myself the ‘well done’ stickers, I need to get back on the laptop and write the other 20 – 50%. And after I’ve awarded myself the ‘you tried hard’ sticker, I need to take …

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NaNoWriMo Week 3: Ashley Newell

Ashley Newell

The Dreaded Week Three

 Word count for week two (day 21): 40,150

Words today: 2,839 – after not writing a single word in two days, I wasn’t going to bed (or writing this post) until I hit 40,000.

The Writing Process: Oh Week Three, I know thee well!

 Week three is where loose strands of hope come to die. It never fails that somewhere in week three, November gets demanding and the story stale. My wins throughout weeks one and two have come to an end. I was so proud of getting my few words in here and there, but alas, the day of no new words had to come eventually. In this case, it was two days. At least this time around it didn’t come as a surprise. My wordless two days were mostly because of real-life obligations, and so while my story lay suffering on the sidelines, I was actually very productive in the world that pays my mortgage. So still a November win even if it’s not officially a NaNo win!

The Story So Far: 

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