Help Me Decide What to Write for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2016 Participant Banner

October was going to be my planning and plotting month for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I was going to decide which story running around in my head would get the full novel treatment, write an outline, do character surveys, make pinterest boards, etc. And I have done none of that. For the life of me I can’t even decide on what to write. So I thought I’d ask for some help. Please answer the following polls and help me decide!

I was expecting a NaNo reference in this episode the whole time I watched it!:

Also, if you would like, leave a comment with your favorite names. Naming characters is always one of the hardest parts for me and I can never do anything until that’s done. I usually end up using the same names over and over again so some new ideas would be great!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? We should be writing buddies! My name is Stephanie1.

When people ask what your book is about: | 21 Things That Will Make Sense To Writers:

NaNoWriMo 2015 Update: Final (Probably)

So first I want to say thank you to all those that gave me a little pep talk after my last NaNoWriMo post. I was behind and not feeling it, but buckled down that weekend and got caught up! But then last week happened…and I wrote a grand total of around 600 words. We started a new billing process at work last week (which is about 75% of my job) and we weren’t really trained on it like we should have been and this anxiety-disordered worker spent the whole week basically in a panic.

While I can’t control what happens at work, I can control (some of) the things that stress me out outside of work and this year NaNoWriMo has been a bigger cause of anxiety for me than enjoyment. Plus, I still don’t really care about my story or my characters, so at 26,000 words, I think I’m going to call it.

So Thank You for the support and Good Luck to all those still participating – and Congratulations to those who have already finished (there’s a guy in my region who has over 150k words already)! I’m sure I’ll give it a try again next year. And since I am extremely indecisive, there’s always the possibility that I might decide next week that I want to buckle down over the holiday and finish the story. I don’t expect that to happen, but I reserve the right to change my mind on the whole thing.

NaNoWriMo 2015 Update #2

Soooo I’m fairly certain I’m going to be a NaNo Failure this year. I started out strong, keeping my word count a day or two ahead all the time. I went to my second write-in event last Friday and while I did get a lot of writing done, it kind of un-inspired me. We didn’t get any charms, which I know sounds ridiculous, but it’s probably the biggest thing that got me through last year. And I’m so fricking awkward in any type of social setting. I just felt like an idiot the whole time. Then my computer battery got down to 5% and the only way to get to a power strip was to move to a seat that would make me even more socially awkward and kind of claustrophobic (I just need ROOM when in groups).

I’m also not loving my story. It’s supposed to be a suspense, but I haven’t actually written anything suspenseful yet. To get some inspiration, I decided to start reading Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter (it’s so good, btw!) and then I got too swept up in it to do anything but read it in my spare time, so I haven’t written anything since Saturday.

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My stats as of when I drafted this post Wednesday night.

If you’re participating in NaNo, how are you doing?

NaNoWriMo 2015 Update #1

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We are officially four full days into NaNoWriMo! On November 1st (which also happened to be my birthday), I went to a local restaurant to meet up with my region and attend the kick off event. Probably my favorite thing about attending the write-ins is getting the charms. In the picture above I got a Twisted Citrus (name of the restaurant) tag and a starfish charm for incorporating it in some way into my story. I got over 3,000 words written while I was there, which is almost double the daily target.

I’m not entirely sure about my story idea. Last year I didn’t have an outline or anything, but it was a story that had been living in my head for awhile and I was excited to write it, even though there were a few days where I felt over it. This year, I’m not as excited about my story. I’m still getting to know my characters and I feel like basically everything I’ve written will need to be re-done. But yesterday I decided to give up on trying to write it linearly and do a scene I was actually excited about and was surprised with how much writing I did. Here are my stats as of right now (Wednesday night, though this won’t post until Thursday):

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One other cool thing about NaNo that I wanted to share is that we have a published author in our region. She was at the write-in I went to. I didn’t really talk to her because she was sitting at another table (and I don’t generally talk to people…), but I heard her talk some about the process of submitting manuscripts and it was really interesting. I’ve seen her book around the blogosphere before I knew her, too, so that’s really cool. So you should all go check out Naked by Stacey Trombley.

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The best place to hide is in a lie…

I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much. I ran away to New York City…and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad.

Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don’t have to be The Girl Who Went Bad.

The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York.

Someone knows who I really am.

And it’s just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed…

NaNoWriMo Prep

NaNoWriMo

Last year I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time – and “won” by writing over 50k words (even though I’m awful and never actually finished the story). I’ve been debating a little bit about doing it this year, mostly because I can’t think of a really good idea that I’m interested in enough. I thought about just trying to finish my story from last year because I did like it and want to complete it, but I don’t think there’s 50k words left in it. I want to come up with something fresh and I have an inkling of an idea that I think I might be able to make work.

I also decided to download the special NaNoWriMo trail version of Scrivener. I watched the tutorial and thought it looked kind of amazing. However, once I downloaded it I felt a little lost. It didn’t seem as easy as the tutorial made it look. Do any of you use Scrivener? Can you give me any tips? I’m most concerned about keeping track of word count because once I figured out how to do it, it’s already telling me I have some words even though I haven’t written anything yet besides some stuff in the Research, Places, and Characters sections. Help me!

And lastly, we all know I have some anxiety issues and going to places I’m unfamiliar with – especially with people I don’t know – is a big trigger for me. The two places I went to write-ins for last year are not on the schedule this year. I think they’re still being decided, but the only place that’s on there for now is a place that I tried going to once last year and wandered around for a long time looking for people with laptops and never found them and about had a panic attack, so I kind of have some “PTSD” about trying to go there again. Going to the write-ins and getting charms was probably the biggest thing that got me through last year and I’m afraid if I don’t have some accountability like that I won’t finish it. So if you’re planning on doing NaNo this year, please add me as Writing Buddy! My username is: Stephanie1 (yes I am just as creative in all my life as I was with coming up with my blog name).

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Are you a “planner” or a “pantser”? Or a mix, like me?