NaNoWriMo: Madness or Mastermind? Ep 21, The Writers’ Podcast

Nano pod 4

Obviously hyped-up and delirious from too much Halloween candy, November is the month many authors dive into NaNoWriMo. Are these lofty goals just evidence of madness or is it a solid strategy employed by mastermind writers?

In this episode of The Writers’ Podcast, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the internet’s favorite writing marathon.

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5 comments

  1. I love NaNoWriMo! (Sorry to keep disappointing you, Ray. 😀 )

    This is my fourth year, but I don’t use it so much for the challenge of writing a full novel, but more as a tune-up/gauge on my personal growth and progress. How well did I plan? Did I research enough? Were my characters developed enough for what I wrote during the 30-day period?

    In 2014 I pants all the way to 38K… and froze. My characters were not out of dialogue, I was incapable of getting them TO the dialogue, i.e. lack of research and planning. In December of that year I joined a writing group. It made a huge difference.

    Now I begin planning in October to see how well I use what I’ve learned while the clock is ticking.

    I published my first NaNo project eleven months later. It wasn’t god-awful, but there are still several cringe-worthy moments. Last year’s project will be published next spring and who knows when this year’s project will see the light of day? I don’t. 😀

    The “problem” with NaNo is it’s writing-focused–get it out of your head, get it on paper. If you can’t do 1667 words, do 500. If you can’t do 500, do 100–and that’s great. The daily pep talks on the website, and the daily live feeds on Instagram and YouTube make the writer know they’re not alone. But I don’t feel it’s emphasized enough that NaNo is only the FIRST step in the process. While NaNo’s infrastructure has grown by leaps and bounds, they cannot do it all. However, a little guidance would benefit new writers. A page containing a simple checklist could at least put writers on the right path.

    Today’s NaNo pep talk is in-line with what Ray was saying about poorly written books. Take a look.

    https://nanowrimo.org/pep-talks/julie-murphy-2017

    Great podcast!

    1. Seriously??? More SK agreement. LOL. But, yes you make excellent points. Being the “know it all” I am, I don’t like pep talks lol. But as I said, next year I’ll probably join and become its biggest fan. I guess I have to hate something before I can decide if I love it.

  2. I like Felicia’s comment that goes along with what you two talked about: NaNoWriMo is not going to produce THE book in one month. It can have its benefits as far as writing steadily or beginning a habit, but people need to consistently remind themselves that is the beginning, not the whole picture.

    Raymond, I literally laughed out loud when you talked about the A to Z Challenge. S.K. and I tried to convince you to write ahead of time and you were so sure it would be no big deal to crank them out each day. I was overwhelmed that whole month, and my posts had been written and scheduled by early March—I still don’t know how you survived. But I do remember all my comments on your blog that month were in the form of haiku.

    S.K., I’m still rooting for you to have the writing moments you deserve. When the twins turn eight, you can maybe convince them that it’s high time they learn to cook dinner and drive themselves to school each day.

    1. I had forgotten about the haiku lol. Hey, I did cut the part of the podcast where I suggested a Nano month for editors where they have to edit Nano books in a day.

      1. Oh, my goodness, can you imagine? But hey, as long as the pay is good . . . No, scratch that. The pay can’t possibly good enough for NaNo first drafts.

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