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Writers' & Artists' Blog

'Winning' NaNoWriMo!

With one day to go, I finally broke 50,000 words.

My overwhelming emotion as I peered at my word count and discovered it was up to 50,400 was relief. As much as I enjoyed the challenge, I’m pleased not to have 1600 words hanging over me every day. I love writing; I sneak moments of clicking keyboard pleasure whenever I get the chance. I revel in made up worlds and nothing makes me happier than sharing my latest fact finding fads with people I’ve never met.

But what I don’t love is schedules. I don’t like having to do anything to a predetermined plan. I achieve my best career work on my day off, the day I’m supposed to be writing. And I create my best fiction at midnight when I need to be up for work the next morning.  Committing to thirty days of ‘must complete’ has been more of a challenge than I could ever imagine. It’s a miracle I completed 27 out of 29 days ahead of the target line.

The first 10,000 words were the easiest with the last …

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NaNoWriMo Final Week: Ashley Newell

Ashley Newell


Final Validated Word Count: 50140 

The Writing Process: So my early lead definitely did not continue on. I did reach my last goal of 45,000 last weekend, and then pretty much took a premature victory week and wrote nothing, holding everything back until this weekend. I’m one of the last of my NaNo writing buddies to validate and win, but at least I got it in all in good time – it isn’t even noon yet on day 30!

The Story So Far: This NaNo has been the choppiest year ever! Even last year’s attempt, which only got 15,000 words in before I walked away, didn’t feel choppy, it just felt I had nothing to give. This one feels all over the place, which has made it very difficult to get back into a flow of writing. Just trying to find where I can start writing a needed scene somewhere between all of the layers has made writing this story extra daunting. 

I don’t dislike my story at all; in fact, I still really love the idea of it, and above all, the characters …

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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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