Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why I'm Sitting Out #NaNoWriMo #amwriting

NaNoWriMo or November is National Novel Writing Month is a month long online writing party. Writers worldwide sign up at and get their badges, clean their laptop keyboards, and join writing teams to cheer each other on. It's a great experience, but last night I finished a 108K first draft for Hidden Under Her Heart. Talk about bad timing... and the reason why I'm not jumping in this year.

I'm going to start PlotWriMo a month early and get my Christmas shopping done.

PlotWriMo is Martha Alderson's creation as an antidote to NaNoWriMo hangover. Having done double NaNo last year I know the feeling well. The adrenaline and caffeinated hormones of whipping words into a word processor result in a writer's high. But once the ticker tape has been cleaned up and the balloons in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade have popped, all that's left is one hot, broken mess:

An oozing warmth permeated the paper towel. How did she get stuck with this? She breathed out with her nose, held the bag at arm’s length, and swept the paper towel into the bag. [Broken Build page 40]

So what does PlotWriMo do for me? It is a month of meditation and reflection, of letting themes emerge and marrying the characters' emotions with mine. It is rest and relaxation, equally as important as work, work, work. As any athlete knows, the resting period is where the muscles grow, the endurance increases and the mind is strengthened.

So while the NaNo ants are toiling, I'll be sipping hot cider and reading Martha's books. Good luck to all the WriMos and may your 50000 words fly off the keys.

The archive to December 2011 PlotWriMo can be found on Martha's videos with friendly backdrops of beautiful Santa Cruz are on her YouTube channel. Happy writing!

Don't have a KINDLE? Download a FREE Kindle APP and enjoy your ebooks on PC, Mac, iPad, Android and smartphones.


  1. Oh! Since I'm hopefully only a week behind you (and will finish my WIP very soon) perhaps I should pick up the Blockbuster Plots for Romance Writers and see what she says. Congrats on finishing your first draft!

    1. I downloaded Blockbuster Plots for Romance Writers. The thirty day PlotWriMo notes are at the archive and also can be found in Blockbuster Plots: Before the Next Draft: 26 Plot Steps to Revision Plot eBook [which is for people like us who pantsed the first draft].

    2. Alright - I'm game. I downloaded them both... now I just have to finish those last pesky couple of chapters. Thanks for letting us know about these. Good luck on revisions!

  2. Congrats on finishing your draft! WOO HOO! I think that deserves some R&R. Like the look of The Plot Whisperer.

  3. I'm not entering Nano. Tried it last year. Who has time to sit down and write 50,000 words in one month?
    An impressive accomplishment for anyone, but not for me. My life is full of interruptions.
    I reread SK's On Writing recently. His advive. Set up a what if situation, follow the characyers around, and write down what happens.
    For me, it works.

    1. I did double NaNo last year and found that I had to do major revising. I'd literally throw in either a fight scene or a love scene whenever I couldn't think of anything to do. This time, my first draft took almost three months, but I think I have a more coherent plot.

      A key element in the nature of creativity is giving yourself time to work things out.

      Alderson M.A., Martha (2008-12-15). Blockbuster Plots Romance Writers Plot ebook (Kindle Locations 138-139). Illusion Press. Kindle Edition.

  4. Sorry for the typos. Touch tablet.

  5. I agree with everything you've written - but me - I'm taking part in Nanowrimo. It's all too easy to slip into daydreaming about characters as an excuse for not writing. I need a very firm boot up the backside from time to time (ie nanowrimo deadlines) to remind me that writer's actually need to write.
    G x