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National Writing Day

awnlee jawking

Someone in my twitter feed claimed it's National Writing Day today. It's probably UK-specific, but nevertheless I hope all you fellow authors have a productive day today, wherever you live.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Someone in my twitter feed claimed it's National Writing Day today. It's probably UK-specific, but nevertheless I hope all you fellow authors have a productive day today, wherever you live.

Quick, I gotta book a last-minute flight to the UK so I can take part and get some decent writing done in the spare hour and a half left after I get there, and before I have to return!

StarFleet Carl

@awnlee jawking

It's probably UK-specific


The one today (June 27, 2018) is.

U.S. National Day on Writing is October 20.

Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

The one today (June 27, 2018) is.

U.S. National Day on Writing is October 20.

Me, I prefer waiting for the Tanzanian Writing Day before starting.

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl


The one today (June 27, 2018) is.

U.S. National Day on Writing is October 20.


Don't forget National Novel Writing Month, November, which is world-wide. Two thousand words a day and you've got a short novel at the end of the month.

(Well, honestly, you've got a pile of---stuff---at the end of the month, but that's OK.)

JBB

Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

(Well, honestly, you've got a pile of---stuff---at the end of the month, but that's OK.)

A pile of stuff, no matter how useless, is better than a heaping pile of nothing. After all, that's what God gave us editors for, to help transform our crap into gold (or at least shinier shit)! As the old saying says, you can't edit nothing.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

A pile of stuff, no matter how useless, is better than a heaping pile of nothing. After all, that's what God gave us editors for, to help transform our crap into gold (or at least shinier shit)! As the old saying says, you can't edit nothing.


Indeed. Eight months later I continue to edit Amélie and add missing transitions, but it's *still* mostly stuff.

JBB

awnlee jawking

@Bondi Beach

Don't forget National Novel Writing Month, November, which is world-wide. Two thousand words a day and you've got a short novel at the end of the month.


Two thousand words a day for thirty days comes to sixty thousand words, which isn't too shabby for a novel.

Now how about a National Flash Writing Half-day ;)

AJ

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@awnlee jawking

Two thousand words a day for thirty days comes to sixty thousand words, which isn't too shabby for a novel.


The NaNoWriMo target to be declared a "Winner!" is 50K words in 30 days.

Their principal rule while writing: No editing.

JBB

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Bondi Beach

The NaNoWriMo target to be declared a "Winner!" is 50K words in 30 days.


I guess the organisers had to set an achievable target, but I'd struggle to call 50K a novel.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I guess the organisers had to set an achievable target, but I'd struggle to call 50K a novel.

Especially if there is, indeed, 'no editing'. Once you take out all the useless crap, that 50,000 is soon reduced to 10 to 30K, basically a 'novelette'.

I wouldn't expect ANY great novels to come from this context. The stress is simply words per day, there's no emphasis on quality at any phase of the contest.

On the other hand, we're coming up on International Asteroid Day, so there's really no sense in bothering with that 50,000 words, now is there? 'D

Replies:   Uther_Pendragon
BlacKnight

I don't know what your definition of "great" is, but there have been several published novels that have come out of NaNoWriMo, and there are at least a few published authors who regularly participate. (And I'm using "published" in its traditional definition, not the "some dude who slapped his shit up on Amazon" definition.)

aroslav does NaNoWriMo every year, and several of his posted novels were NaNos (for example). He's one of the best authors posting on SOL.

50k is a short novel, but it's a novel... novellas top out at 40k. And 50k is a minimum, not a maximum. You've got to write 1,667 words/day to hit that, which is a target fairly manageable for someone doing it in their spare time after work. I find 3,000–4,000 words/day is readily achievable if I focus, which gives a nice 100,000 word novel at the end of the month. (My all-time record for a single day is 13,000 words, but that was not in any way sustainable.) Those aroslav novels all run around 100,000 words.

And it's not "no editing". It's "editing is for next month". NaNo is not intended or suited for producing a finished novel. It's great for turning out rough drafts that can be edited into a finished novel - which is a generally much more efficient and effective process than editing as you go, trying to make the first draft a finished draft.

The trap of constantly revising what you've already written and making little to no forward progress is the loop NaNoWriMo is specifically intended to break. That and the mental barrier of, "What if it's bad?" It's okay if it's bad. It's expected to be bad. You can fix it later. Just write.

evilynnthales

National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.


The goal isn't to help existing writers produce another book.

They want few people to transform from "I've thought about writing a book" to "Look! I wrote a book!" 50k words is plenty for that. A few participants will discover a new hobby, a new passion, or even a new career. I think it's amazing!

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@BlacKnight


I don't know what your definition of "great" is, but there have been several published novels that have come out of NaNoWriMo, and there are at least a few published authors who regularly participate.


Don't get me wrong, I wasn't criticizing the contest. Instead I was agreeing with the 'I'd struggle to call 50K a novel'. 50K is merely a starting point. After editing the number will end up being much shorter, and chances are, the authors will need to flesh out much of the scenes get the full use out of the story.

What the contest is good for is to get authors off their comfy chair and simply WRITE, without fretting over what the final product will look like, whether they're telling too much, or whether the characters are 'likeable enough'. Again, it produces a starting place for a novel, not a finished product, as that was never it's intent.

Uther_Pendragon

@Crumbly Writer


Especially if there is, indeed, 'no editing'. Once you take out all the useless crap, that 50,000 is soon reduced to 10 to 30K, basically a 'novelette'.


Depends on he writer. I've gone back to what will be my next _Tarleton_ story. Most of the fragments I had already written were mostly useable, but there were ZILCH transitions. I've already written close to twice what I had already, and I'm not done yet.

Some of us need to take out to make it better; some of us need to put in.

When I was in school, a teacher complained about my transitions -- non fiction. I said that this was unfair; he h ad never seen a transition in something I submitted to him, and so how could he say that they were bad?

Bondi Beach

@BlacKnight

You nailed it. Thank you.
~ JBB

Bondi Beach

@BlacKnight

And it's not "no editing". It's "editing is for next month". NaNo is not intended or suited for producing a finished novel. It's great for turning out rough drafts that can be edited into a finished novel - which is a generally much more efficient and effective process than editing as you go, trying to make the first draft a finished draft.

The trap of constantly revising what you've already written and making little to no forward progress is the loop NaNoWriMo is specifically intended to break. That and the mental barrier of, "What if it's bad?" It's okay if it's bad. It's expected to be bad. You can fix it later. Just write.


Amen.

My NaNoWriMo draft for Emily was 55K+; as posted on SOL it was around 12K. Trust me: the 12K remaining was very readable, to judge by the readers who wrote to me; the 55K text was certainly not. (It also explains why several asked "Where's the rest of the story? What happened later?)

It wasn't my intention to leave them wanting more. The real story was a lot less than I'd written. And FWIW, when I did write a sequel, Emily and Daniel, which contained none of the excised text, it was well-received but did not attract nearly as many comments.

~ JBB

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