Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Different Kind of Nano

We’ve all heard of nano seconds, nano ipods and little Japanese toys called nano’s but here’s another idea for your nano stash words.  Nano is short for NaNoWriMo which stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s anything but small. 
Every year the Letters of Light in California sponsor a novel writing month for anyone who wishes to participate.  It’s thirty days of grueling, I mean, fun work!  There are two programs.  One is called NaNoWriMo and the other is the Young Writer’s Program.  The YWP is designed to be used in a classroom. 
The original NaNo participants make their own webpage on the Nano site and write approximately 1667 words per day for the month of November.  That’s about 50,000 words by the time you’re done – if it’s not a full length novel, its’ well on it’s way to becoming one.  The YWP allows teachers and parents to set the word limit per day for students so if you participate in YWP, your word count will be less. 
The fun thing for Nano is you can make your own author’s page, download a cool pic of you and post your website or your blog.  And…ta da…you can post your word count daily to track your progress.
Nano stats are very cool and you can find them on the websites – it’s a worldwide thing:
Nano, the writing one, is a wonderful thing.  Stay tuned for Nano secrets here at Teen Word Factory in the weeks ahead.


Pat Dale said...

Doggone it, Karen, you make this sound way too cool to ignore. I took part in Nano two years ago and have an 88K novel under consideration for publication as we speak. Or write...
I was not going to participate this year but you've gone and done it; I can't resist the challenge. One thing, though, I won't do. I've been reading about all the social groupings that people get into. Writing is a solo skill. With due deference to the few writing duos who've made it, I think the idea of smoozing with other writers is counterproductive at best.
On a serious note, I have a novel that's been tickling my muse for weeks now and I've not found time to work on it. This is it! I WILL use Nano to get this one done.
By the way, for those who are nay-sayers, when you write without editing for days on end, you do not end up with junk. You DO have to do some sharp-eyed editing, rewriting, cutting and pasting, after letting the thing sit through a dormancy.
Good luck to you and those others who will be working with young writers in this project. It's a good place for them to get their feet wet, so to speak.
Pat Dale

Karen McGrath said...

Hi Pat, my novel that's releasing this April with MuseItUp Publishing is the novel I wrote for NaNo last November. A lot of good comes out of not editing for a month.

I, too, avoid the party groups. The time spent in travel alone is time I could be writing. Also, many of them do NaNo in order to hang out, not exactly write, which is ok if that's what you want, not for me.

Best wishes with your NaNo this year and please let us know how it goes! :)

Charlie said...

Sounds grueling. I've never tried it because I was afraid... How does one overcome that fear? Maybe you can write a blog on that next?!?

lionmother said...

This does sound like fun and very similar to the original NaNo. I've participated in that one four times and I have three full novels from that. On the first one I didn't finish.

Charlie, the way you get over your fear of not finishing is by going one day at a time. I tried to write at least 2,000 words a day and I only wrote at night. So it can be done.What I find is when you have the first sentence of your first paragraph of the first page you can write the whole first chapter. At least that is how I do it. Then I try to write a chapter a time and I don't count the words until I'm finished. Also you don't revise as you're writing. You don't care about spelling or grammar. You can always go back and revise later.

It's fun and at the end you have a full length novel in 30 days!! Try it, Charlie. The worst is that you won't finish and the best is that you will have a 50,000 word or more novel at the end of the month!!

Karen McGrath said...

Lionmother is write, Charlie, you do it one day at a time. I have to say, last year I hit a roadblock. I never get writer's block, this was different. I hated the book, the characters, everything and would have scrapped it if I wasn't committed to finishing.

I slugged through it thinking I'd edit it out later (no editing allowed during Nano!) When I went back, it was some of the best writing I've done. I was so surprised.

More in a future blog post! Soon, I promise! :)