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28 October 2010 @ 10:18 am
nnwm complaint  

So I’m doing Nanowrimo this year, because the Sekrit Project–which is not so Sekrit anymore, having been outed on FB, so I’ll tell you what it is in a minute here–because the Sekrit Project is due soon and I have this novella to write, and it happens that the approximate number of words that need writing is 50,000, so hey, NNWM it is.

The astute among you will immediately notice that what I am proposing to do is not actually within NNWM guidelines. And I must say, having just been reading the NNWM boards for Dublin…boy, do I think people get too hung up on the rules.

I mean, yes, yes, if you haven’t written 50,000 words at once before, absolutely, the idea of turning off the internal editor and just churning the words out is totally fine. Or if that’s simply what you want to do, great, go for it. But if you want to, say, write another 50K on the book you started during last year’s NNWM, I cannot fathom why this should not be encouraged as well. It’s not like 50K, as a rule, makes a book. In today’s market, it makes anywhere from, what, about 40 to 90 percent of a book.

The thing that I find appealing about NNWM is the hoards getting together to make stories. It’s an inclusive activity. So I utterly don’t get why people jump so damned hard on others who are adapting the rules to better suit them.

I admit a mean little part of me wants to go to the first Dublin meetup and volunteer, before anyone else does, what it is I’ll be doing during NNWM, and just *wait* for them to tell me I’m Doin’ It Rong, so I can be the 900 pound gorilla in the room. (Normally in writing groups I find being the 900 pound gorilla a little uncomfortable, but in this case…)

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Maura McHugh: Coffeesplinister on October 28th, 2010 11:13 am (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned it's just about getting the 50K down, and if people are working on multiple projects that mount up to 50k then so what? Bully for them!

And I'm splinister on NaNoWriMo so feel free to add me as a writing buddy if you want.

I'm happy to have plenty of 'buddies' who will be writing. All motivation is good.
Laura Anne Gilman: madness tollsuricattus on October 28th, 2010 12:01 pm (UTC)
Looks like I'll be writing my 50,000 words in November too, but I'm still resisting actually joining anything....
Nathaliespacedlaw on October 28th, 2010 11:30 am (UTC)
The only hard rule about NaNoWriMo (and that's the beauty of it) is 50,000 new words.
They don't have to make sense, they don't have to be stand-alone, they do not have to be self sufficient and they don't have to be just one story either - as long as they are new and add up to the magic 50,000.
Ideally yes, but ideally is in the eye of the beholder.

Just write. And may the words be with you.
Cyrano: Writingcyranocyrano on October 28th, 2010 01:15 pm (UTC)
I have to say that, in my interaction with the SoBa group, the words "yer doin' it wrong" never came up.
Stuartsaetter on October 28th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
I never understood the "rule" about it needing to be on a new book either. Silly, really.

Let's see... I can add 50k to a book in progress and get it finished or nearly so, or I can start something completely new because an online group says I should.

Pardon me while I laugh. ;)

I've never hit the 50k mark, never even got close really, but I have made decent strides during NNWM when my schdule allows. This year (being currently out of work, so I do have time...), I'm rewriting the first 10 chapters of my "finished" novel from scratch. I really don't care if I don't "win" NNWM. I just want to finish the chapters (thus th book) and will be thrilled to hit the 30k or so words it'll take to complete them. The time I spend editing and revising at that point will be far more valuable than hitting another 20k, even on the new project that is all researched and outlined, waiting to go.

NNWM should be what helps writers do what they need to do. If that means 50k on a new project, great. If that means finishing a project, even better.
Catherinesharpwords on October 28th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
There are plenty of people who rework or add 50k to old projects. They tend to be people who've done NaNoWriMo before though, as far as I can see...

Speaking as a semi-official sort of person (I'm farfalla on NaNoWriMo, have been an ML for years, including yours when you were in Ireland:Elsewhere which is how I 'discovered' your novels), I think the whole 'start a new project' applies most to people who've never done it before. It's to get them into a whole new way of thinking about writing.

But the 'rules' are basically 50,000 /new/ words, and if you think it's a novel, then so does the official body. So why not write what you want to, even if it doesn't fit the suggested template? 50k is about novella-length anyway, not novel-length... which is why only once in 7 attempts have I actually finished the whole damn story (and why I have 6 half-finished novels lying about, with a 7th to come this year).
As far as I'm concerned though, if someone writes even 100 words they wouldn't have otherwise... they're a winner.

I don't know if anyone would jump on you at a Dublin meeting though. (Come to the Nov 13th one! I'll be on a flying visit and will defend you to the hilt! :> ) You're not the only one writing in their own way.
kitmizkit on October 28th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
I 'spect I'll go to as many of them as I can. I'll try to make the 13th for sure! Remind me!
UrsulaVursulav on October 28th, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
I was introduced to the "Nanowrimo Rebels" forum when I said that I'm doing National Novel Finishing Month this year. The world doesn't need another half-book from me, it needs me to finish one of the ones lying around (or at least get 'em into a shape I can throw at my agent.)
Sionainnsionainn on October 28th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
That's good and all but.... didn't you mention at the top of your post that you were going to tell us about the Sekrit Project (and then didn't)?
Alix (Tersa): Arwen Reading (tersa)tersa on October 28th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
^^^ This. :)
rfrancis on October 28th, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
Well, this is why I don't quite get doing NaNoWriMo more than once. The first time you do it, it's a stunt to prove something to yourself or whoever else. (And one that writers such as yourself hardly need do, I might add, but it was good for me when I did it, which was... 2001.) But once you've done it... well. Seems to me you're better off doing something that works better for you after that.

I suppose it's probably the community thing, but heck, that's what I have livejournal for. As for writing, I'm pleased to work on my 15-20 script pages per month and let other people -- hopefully people who need it for something -- do the stunt stuff.
mysocalledhellmysocalledhell on October 29th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
uh, yea, I've got 2 story ideas on stand-by if the main one doesn't want to cooperate. heck, I'm not even all that hardcore about getting to 50K ... not with my work schedule (2 retail jobs in Nov...yea, this is gonna kill me) but since I got 30K last year, I am going to shoot for 40K this year. either way, it's words that I won't get if I don't at least try.