The last time I wrote about NaNoWriMo, I talked about my journey as a writer. Today, I’d like to talk a little bit about my NaNo experiences in particular.
The first year I attempt to the competition was 2011. As it goes, I heard about NaNo 6 days in and decided to give it an attempt. I think I made it about three thousand words. That was pretty good considering I hadn’t written in possibly a decade. I had characters, and names, and a setting. I had nothing else. Those three thousand words were a floundering mess. I’m sure I still have the file hidden in my Google Drive, but I never want to look at it again. Basically my characters met, walked around, and talked. I had no idea what their problem was, much less how to fix it. Still, I don’t consider this attempt a complete disaster. It was the seed that got me started. I didn’t write again until the next November, but at least I had thought about it, and given it a good try.
November 2012 rolled around, and somebody reminded me about “that NaNo thing.” remembering how unsuccessful I had been there before, I took to the NaNo forums to get advice. There I found a form called the adoptables forum. People go there to post plots, characters, settings, anything you can think of. Things they won’t be using in their stores, but they still think may be valuable to other writers. That’s where I found a plot for that year’s NaNo attempt. The plot was all I needed, as it turned out.
After that, I was a NaNo devotee. I’ve since participated and won two years running, as well as participated in and won “Camp NaNo” (a looser, more free-form version) twice. I’ve got my outline ready for this year, a nearly complete manuscript from past years’ NaNos to finish, and the manuscript I’m hoping to sell came out of Camp.
Are you participating, and if so, how is the prep going?