Making NaNoWriMo Work for You!

NaNoWriMo starts today. Here's the story about how I sold my 2009 NaNo book.

The pressure of trying to write 50k in a month isn't for everyone. A lot of people chip away at a book, like I did when I accidentally wrote a novel. And That's okay. Everyone has a different process. As writers we need to figure out what works for us as individuals.

The energy during NaNo is inspiring. Why not make it work for you -- weather you're going to start a new project, finish one you have, chip away on your WIP. Or even get those edits done.

Yes. I've just encouraged you all to be big fat NaNo cheaters.

I "cheated" with INNOCENT DARKNESS. I had 30k, but I wrote 66k in 3 weeks because of all that NaNo energy. The fact that I had words already doesn't negate the hard work I did, the hours I spent slogging away and doing sprints.

Not everyone is in a place to start a fresh new manuscript for NaNo, and for some, maybe your goal isn't 50k, but to edit, or to write 20k or 100 pages.

That doesn't make your goal less worthy, it makes me want to give you props for figuring out what works for you and going for it.

So...here's the deal. I challenge you to make NaNo work for you.

Add your name to the linky below if you commit to make NaNo work for you. You don't need a blog or website to participate, you can link it to your twitter or FB, or even just leave a comment below saying your registering this way. I just want to know you're real. :) I'm not asking you to tell me your goal, that's yours. However, feel free to share it in the comment section below if you'd like. Sign-ups will be ongoing through November--though the sooner you sign up, the more you can win.

Each Monday, I'll have a check in. You simply tell me how you're doing (it'll be between you and me, though you're free to comment publicly). On Fridays I'll give away random prizes to those who check in. The prizes with be a surprise and the number will depend on what I'm giving away.

At the end of NaNo we'll do a final check in. I'll do a random grand prize drawing. You get one entry for every week you check in. You get an extra entry for if you meet your personal goal for the month (we're doing the honor system here). You must be registered to win.

Grand Prize
20 page critique from me (or an extra book from my stash of awesome)
Ring from ViS Emporium  
Book from my stash of awesome
Innocent Darkness Swag
$5 Starbucks card
Special mystery prize

1st Prize
Necklace from ViS Emporium
Book from my stash of awesome
Innocent Darkness Swag
Special mystery prize

Bonus Prize #1

Steampunk pin/pendant from Steampunk Sweethearts

Bonus Prize #2
Your very own stone pet.

I will add prizes depending on the number of entries. Do you have a book to donate to the stash of awesome or swag you want me to give away? Contact me.

Book prizes have been donated by
Susan Hatler
Rebecca Ryals Russell
Veronica Blade


Oh, everyone participating qualifies for free shipping from ViS Emporium. Code: InnocentNaNo Look at their cute stuff!

So, who's game?

****ADDED--->>You don't need a blog or website to participate, you can link the linky to your twitter or FB, or even just leave a comment below saying your registering this way. I just want to know you're real. :)****

50 comments:

Caroline Gerardo said...

I'm game. Making it fun is important. I have a prize: anyone who finishes by nove 24 comes to dinner

amy kennedy said...

Suzanne, great idea -- anything that makes me accountable is good! And swell prizes!

ami_shaw said...

My goal is for edits. Not necessarily a new book. Thanks for including us who aren't staring a new work, Suzanne.

Sarah said...

I just want to finish my WIP by the December LARA meeting. I'm willing to slog and work and work...but encouragement is welcome.

Paul Ellis said...

I'm feeling distinctly like a weed in a plot of flowers, however, I'm game!

Christine Ashworth said...

I need to finish my edits and turn this book into the publisher. I can't promise to check in every week - but I'll do my best!

Jo Ramsey said...

I'm working on a few projects; a couple are young adult and a couple are romance (under my top-secret romance pen name). Goals for November are to write a YA short story (very short, 1000-3000 words), a romance novella (20-25,000 words), write at least 15,000 words on a YA novel I'll be starting mid-month, and write at least 25,000 words on the romance novel I've been working on.

Yikes, that looks like a lot...

Mia said...

I am in, but I don't have a URL (that I know of, pretty sure that I don't, I'd know, right?) I am in but not sure how to sign in without a URL.

Maria

Natalie Zaman said...

My goal is to have a finished draft of Reliquary, crapulence not withstanding... >:)

Amy Denim said...

Oh, this is great. I've been trying to convince some of my friends that it's okay not to follow all the Nano rules. You've blogged my thoughts exactly. Brilliant!
I'm totally in.

Mike Hays said...

Perfect. I am 8000 words into a 35K middle grade. I didn't want to start something new just for Nano, so I jumped in with the WIP. Now, I don't feel like I've cheated the system.

marissameyer said...

I whole-heartedly support this idea! My first novel, CINDER (also my 2008 NaNo novel!), comes out in January, so no Nanoing this year for me. Instead I've decided to do a National Novel Publicity Month - a different publicity experiment every day. Hopefully next year it'll be back to writing again!

Laura said...

Yes - let's do this! I'm in the submission-to-agents stage for my 83k contemporary romantic suspense, but in addition to the query-letter writing, I'm trying to get my next novel off the ground. So my focus this month is character development, world-building, plot outlining, and submitting more queries for my finished novel. Here goes!

Cherry said...

I'm like Mia - can we sign up without a URL?

Lena Corazon said...

Yay for NaNo rebels! I'm returning to a fantasy WIP that I abandoned a few months back after writing 25k. I *may* rewrite that first chunk, or I might let it stand, but either way, I want to use NaNo as a chance to push forward and work on the remainder of the novel. All of the accelerated outlining and brainstorming I've been doing has already helped, so I'm excited to see where I'll be at the end of the month.

Robin said...

Yay! I felt so bad not joining in with a new project- the 13 yr old is doing grown-up NaNo for the first time after participating in the Young Writers' Program for the last two years. But I have a messy draft of something I need to put back together and this is the month to get it done.

Anne Francis said...

Okay, I'm in. I'm off to a good start today (4K, yay), but could use the extra motivation to stay on task. Thanks, Suzanne!

Georgia Summers said...

This sounds like so much fun! My goal is to write 100k this NaNo instead of 50k.

And now that I've written that, I actually have to do it!

mercuryval said...

Great idea! For the first few days this month, I'm finish up a few writing projects (editing, polishing), and then I hope to write at least 50 K on a fresh novel I'm starting.

Kathryn said...

Awesome! At the end of day 1, I'm 2K in. I'm aiming to write at least 50K in November, but I know my word count for my fantasy novel will be approximately 95K, so I'm hoping to reach that by mid-December (holy crow, December already...).

JaimeKristal said...

I love this! I'm planning to use NaNoWriMo to actually finish a first draft of anything! I never seem to manage to complete a manuscript before jumping to a new idea because I was inspired. Now I just have to decide if I want to finish a past project or use my latest book idea...

tinachristopher said...

I have two projects I am working on, one erotic romance and one steampunk fairy tale retelling. The usual NaNo is not for me, I find the pressure gets to me. I would like to finish one project and make progress on the other.

Thanks for this!

Sharon Ashwood said...

I'm aiming to finish my WIP. I have words already, and this is my spring (marathon?) to the finish line. Thanks so much for the extra encouragement!

Steve N Bradford said...

My goal is to write a collection of short stories to help me establish the world I want to write in, and introduce the characters for a full novel down the line. Who knows, if I get carried away I might make it to 50k anyway.

Clara Kensie said...

What a fun challenge! My goal is to win NaNo: 50,000 shiny new words for my shiny new manuscript.

Suzanne Lazear said...

Mia, you're okay! I've got you down. :)

Suzanne Lazear said...

WELCOME EVERYONE! All your goals are *great*

Sarah Shade said...

I am moving forward on my current manuscript. Trying to FINALLY finish. I'm scared! I do better on word count sprints when I have fresh scenes to crank through. Instead, I have to fill scenes that are partly-written. Yikes!

Aheila said...

I'm in!

I'm shooting for 100k (which I missed by 4k last year). It means finishing last year's NaNo and almost completing the new project I'll start right after.

*writerly warcry?

Casey said...

I've always been in, but I really like this post! So I put mine down.
My personal goal for the month is 100k, but I want to finish this first draft and get started on my next one. Hopefully, both those goals can be contained in the 100k, but as I write, it seems this book will be quite long.

Valia Lind said...

Awesome! Its my first year doing NaNo officially and Im a bit nervous!!! I want that 50K on the new idea I've been playin around with!!! Here's to hard work!

RayDean said...

thanks for doing this.. :D

Rebecca Ryals Russell said...

I plotted a specific ms for this time. I've been wanting to write a Dystopian. My project is a YA Paranormal Dystopian. Planning on about 80k words. I wrote 85k last year so that's my goal. Thanks for the inspiration.

Tambra said...

I've plotted a steampunk novel and am writing it for NaNo. So far, I'm pretty much on track for the word count.

Thanks so much!
Tambra

tapestry100 said...

Cool idea. I've had the idea of a YA story knocking about in my head for awhile now, so I'm using NaNo to actually get it plotted and a start down on paper. If I finish, awesome. If I don't, at least I started!

Jennifer Quail said...

I need to finish two short stories for two different anthologies. If I get the rest of my fan fic sequel pounded out, icing on the cake.

Cecilia Ryan said...

I am *in*. And will contact you about possibly helping out with your prize-gathering.

Loving Books said...

YES! I'm in!

I'm writing a YA dystopian thriller that will need around 80k -90k to be complete so I really need to make some progress on that. Ha! I'm aiming to get 55k written in November - which is a lot, especially considering that I failed last year's NaNo and dropped out at 20k - but I have faith that I will make it this year!

Good luck everyone! *sends good writing vibes*

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

I'm in! Trying to get a new YA project launched. Have it started already so it's not quite NaNo and I'm aiming for 30K words instead of 50, but if I can get things going and can get 50, I'll be really happy!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Too fun. I just found this and I guess I'm kindof cheating but I'm doing NaNo but I had about 10k words, which basically means I figured out where the heck the story had to go.

Joining in and new follower :)

Rebekah Lyn said...

I'll play along. I need all the support I can get. I am planning to get a first draft on my next novel done this month. So far I have 10,000 words.

Sabrina Alexander said...

This should give me one more motivation. Thanks.

Linda: Book Ninja said...

Yay! My goal: write down the idea that's been bothering for forever! aiming for 30K.
Wishing everyone luck!

Cornelia said...

I'm going to sound like a Na No Write hot mess but first I've gotten involved in a project with a deadline that I must finish first so I should finish that this week before I will even start NaNo - then I want to revise a historical fiction short story that I'm turning to a very quirky steampunk and expanding it to a novella. My Goal for NaNo is to finish and submit it.

PKJ said...

This is my second time doing Nano and for some reason it's much harder. I have two young kids and I write at night so I'm usually tired but I'm trying to get a rough draft done so I can edit later.

Anonymous said...

My goal for NaNo, because I have other projects that I need to work on during November, is to write 15k of an original idea. I haven't started any real pages, but have been figuring out background information, plot, and characters. My NaNo participation was a last minute decision, so trying to come up with this at the same time as writing 50k is hard!

leeanna said...

whoops, that anonymous comment was me, I forgot to put my name in.

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Dooginator said...

I have two manuscripts I am proofing and editing for other authors and ghostwriting a book for my mother at this time. So, I will be writing every day... including some of my own shorts to keep me sane. But, alas, no novel this year.

Thanks for being so empathetic with your crew.

Seleste deLaney/Julie Particka said...

See? This is why it's bad for me to be twitter-scarce. I miss stuff.

I have edits on a Christmas short this month, and I'm doing pre-sub revisions on (at least) Badlands 2, but I'm trying for the 50k on a new manuscript anyway. I'll run over to the other post and update now.