It’s the Final Week Push

imgres-630,263 words!

We’ve been quiet over here, but we’ve been writing. Today’s the last write-in at Bowie State for 2013’s NaNoWriMo.

It’s the final week (4 days to go!) and some are finished and many of you out there, like me, are way behind and I bet some of you are despairing. Not me. We should be at 45,000 words, but that ain’t no thing!

This is not the time of despair. It is the time of words. Many glorious words we have not yet reached out to. It’s the time of sprinting. The time of ignoring small things to get to the finish line. The time of focus, focus, focus. The time of finding partners and inspiration to push us through. The time of realizing that any block is all mental. The story is there and available and it’s a matter of reaching for it. The time of telling the editor to go away. He or she can return in December, but in November it’s the time of the writer.

Any deficit can be overcome with time and furious typing. Join us for a write-in or find one or write on your own, but keep going. It’s not over until December 1.

*

Bowie State’s 2013 NaNoWriMo write-ins take place every Wednesday on Bowie State University’s campus (14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie, MD 20715-9465) in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. All are welcome.

Writing Into the Light: A NaNo Reflection

Here’s a post from Danielle Speight, who is taking part in NaNoWriMo for the first time. She can be found at our weekly write-ins (today at 4 p.m., more info below and at the side) brainstorming her NaNo novel and giving out valuable inspiration. Hearing her conceive of ideas I wish I had come up with has definitely motivated me. Here she writes about becoming daunted by a slim word count and finding the inspiration to overcome her trepidation. 

 

image

Danielle Speight

The first week of Nano Writing was for me a whopping FAIL! Well not exactly, but it sure felt like that. By Wednesday I was supposed to have 10,000 words written according to my plan. In actuality I was at about 500 with no stirring inspiration in sight. To be honest I was almost ready to give up. I began questioning why had I even agreed to this. It just seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. Just when I was ready to give up, inspiration stuck in the form of none other than….YOUTUBE!! I came across one of my subscribers: quotidianlight. This sister has NaNo writing down to a science. She posts vlog updates on her progress and her organization tips were just the thing I needed to feel like I could get back into this thing.

One tip that she gave that I found the most helpful was her suggestion to create an outline with scenes, then just fill in the scenes while writing. Simple but invaluable advice. I now have a story grounded in some kind of foundation and even though I may be a little behind (ok maybe more than a little ;)) I’m not quitting.

I hope everyone else is fairing better but if you’re feeling stuck keep writing! Keep writing! Keep writing! Keep writing! Please just don’t stop writing!

A vlog series that has provided inspiration for Danielle:

Danielle Speight is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Bowie State University. She is a true book connoisseur and comelibro, a member of NCNW, a mentor for the YWCA Empowergirlz , a Girl Scouts YLP leader and a raw food vegan and advocate of holistic health. She enjoys yoga, running, and artistic expressions of the spirit. This is her first year participating in NaNoWriMo. 

*

Bowie State’s 2013 NaNoWriMo write-ins take place every Wednesday on Bowie State University’s campus (14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie, MD 20715-9465) in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. All are welcome.

Nearly a Week in or Digging Through the Depths for That Good Word Count

Writers getting busy at a BSU write-in from last year.

Writers getting busy at a BSU write-in from last year.

6,149 words!

Which puts me somewhat behind. According to the word count tool on the NaNo site, we should be at 10,000 words by the end of the day to be on schedule. But today’s a write-in day so I’m looking forward to catching up.

With the last post, I shared some of the suggestions we brainstormed at our BSU write-in kick-off meeting to keep going, but there was one idea I forgot that I’ve been using to expand my word count in a useful way.

After I wrestle to pull words from my brain for the day, of course I rest, but the first thing I do the next day is go over what I wrote the day before with an eye toward expansion. In those 1,000-plus words there are usually areas that can use more description or more dialogue or more musing from the narrator or more something. I can normally get at least 500 words out of that. But the important thing is not to go back with an eye towards a full revision. Revision will come later when all the words are out there and you can see the work as a whole. So for the most part, avoid the urge to cut and restructure. And this is not about adding words just to add words. Think about where more words will add to the piece’s clarity or beauty.

Any more ideas out there, I’d love to hear them because I got some word-moving to do!

See you at today’s write-in (see below) or if we don’t see you, happy writing!

*

Bowie State’s 2013 NaNoWriMo write-ins take place every Wednesday on Bowie State University’s campus (14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie, MD 20715-9465) in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. All are welcome.

It’s Underway!

Nano1Our crazy NaNo Adventure has officially kicked off. I got off to a rousing start just after midnight with 39 words I lifted from a gchat I was having….

You know what happens when you leave chicken too long in the oven? It doesn’t burn. It crystallizes. Gets real hard. Fell asleep once and woke up hours later and those damn legs were hard as rock stone.

There it is, 39 words that didn’t exist before. I don’t know where they will go in my NaNo novel, but they now live.

Wednesday, if you missed it, we had a great kick-off meeting. There we brainstormed techniques to keep going (the results are in the picture above), because admittedly, this whole endeavor is a little bit crazy.

Here’s what we came up with:

  1. Write without judgement.

  2. Make a plan. (Though as the great philosopher Mike Tyson said “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.“)

  3. Register with NaNoWriMo.org and use the word count tracker. (One cool feature is that the site tells you how many words per day you need to write to make it to 50,000 words.)

  4. Outline.

  5. “Never give up, never surrender”. (This one’s courtesy of the movie GalaxyQuest)

  6. Keep a notebook for ideas and sporadic bursts of writing.

  7. Space out the writing/Write in sprints throughout the day.

  8. Clear you mind–meditate–before the writing gets underway.

  9. Pick out words from the dictionary and use them as a prompt when stuck.

  10. Focus on concrete things, such as objects to orient yourself in the text. Whenever stuck, ask yourself, Where is the object? What is happening with the object? How are the characters interacting with the object? 

  11. Leave something behind when you finish writing to pick up the next day.

  12. Storyboard.

  13. Start out strong (Getting behind early can be deadly.)

  14. Simplify! (Don’t try to take on the entire world in your manuscript. Sometimes the simplest story is the best.)

Good luck and happy writing! If you missed last week’s kick-off meeting, it’s not too late to join in. Come on out to our write-ins every Wednesday. Peace.

*

 

Bowie State’s 2013 NaNoWriMo write-ins take place every Wednesday on Bowie State University’s campus (14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie, MD 20715-9465) in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. All are welcome.

Pens in Gear! Join Us for NaNoWriMo

Some baby pandas resting after a few hours of working on their NaNoWriMo novels.

We have an awesome poster inviting you to share your NaNoWriMo with us, but I’m having difficulty posting it on the page here, so to the right is a link for you to click on and see our poster and above is some cuteness overload!

NANOWRIMO POSTER

From Dr. Monifa Love, director of the Bowie State Creative Writing Program:

It’s about that time, again. We are powering up for NaNoWriMo 2013. From November 1 at 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30. It’s the 15th year of the worldwide competition. For those of you who did NaNoWriMo last year, come on back; you probably learned a lot from the practice. If you didn’t get a chance to see what you could do in a month, come to the Orientation Meeting on October 30th from 4-5 p.m, in MLK 252 on Bowie State University’s campus (14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie, MD 20715-9465and write with us every Wednesdays in November from 4-5 p.m. in MLK 252. We’ll be working our way to 50,000 words and a complete novel. You have to cover the other days of the week alone, but at least you’ll have a live cheering section once a week. You can check this blog and nanowrimo.org for encouragement the rest of the time. Just think. That novel you’ve been dreaming about could be real 34 days from today.

*

Bowie State’s 2013 NaNoWriMo write-ins take place every Wednesday on Bowie State University’s campus (14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie, MD 20715-9465) in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. All are welcome.

 

bowiestatenanowrimo

December 1, 2012

So, this blog is going away now until next year when we’ll be back to try and write the next Great American (or great Whatever) Novel. In the next couple of days, I will update the resources on the side so that you have something to aid in your writing endeavors. And all the posts will remain up for you to peruse and use at your pleasure. I’d like to thank everyone who visited this blog. Everyone who came to our write-ins on Bowie State’s campus. Poet, Bro. Yao for contributing, a great post. I’d especially like to thank the Department of English and Modern Languages at Bowie State University for support; the people at the Smith-Vidal Language and Literacy Center for providing space for our write-ins; Prof. Jenise Williamson for the ideas and enthusiasm. And a very big thank you to Dr. Monifa Love, who jumped at the idea of bringing NaNoWriMo to Bowie. She was strong in all the organizational areas I was weak and offered so much insight and wisdom on the craft of writing. There is no way this would have happened without her. We’ll be back better and stronger next year! Peace.

–Rion Amilcar Scott