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NaNoWriMo 2007 – Day 1 November 1, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in literature, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Other, writing.

NaNoWriMo starts today, and I only got four hours of sleep last night (too tired to get up to turn the heater down, too warm and itchy to sleep, plus too much work crap to think about).  But this morning I find in my inbox a pep talk from Tom Robbins. 

Tom Robbins is one of those people who made me want to write, way back when.  I think I was a Junior in high school when I read Still Life With Woodpecker.  There was a time when I could quote the first chapter of the book, or the forward or whatever, verbatim.  Just having Tom urge me and the other 89,999 participants on inspired me.  Thanks, Tom–love your stuff. 

So, despite being tired and preoccupied, I’m doing this nano thing once again.

It’s going to be a little different this time, my approach. (do you like how wordy that sentence is, compared to how short it would be with active voice?)  Last year I posted the whole novel as I wrote it, finishing on the last day of November with the denouement.  So, completely linear.  If I hadn’t written it in a linear fashion like that, anyone reading it, day to day, would have been confused (more confused than necessary, I mean).  This year I’m trying to write a better novel, so I’m not going to be so linear.  I’m going to give myself the freedom to go back to chapter whatever and add some more, whenever I want, or start with chapter 15, if necessary. 

So I won’t be posting the whole thing.  Maybe some excerpts, if I think people might be interested.  Good luck to all the others bookmarked here who are participating, MoonTopples, strugglingwriter, Kaitlyn Gallagher, WritingGB, and the ones I forgot to list.  Let’s do this thing.


1. strugglingwriter - November 1, 2007

Good luck to you. I had trouble sleeping last night because I drank too many cups of coffee at work. I feel “weird” today.

I’m gonna be posting excerpts as I go. I’ll post my first one this afternoon.

Also, I have a question for you. Do you have all your chapters in one huge document, or do you do each chapter in it’s own document? I could see the benefits of both.

2. caveblogem - November 1, 2007

sw, I’m happy to see you using a computer this year. You tried a moleskine last year, right?

I’m not sure I understand that expression you used “drank too much coffee.” Is that indigenous to Pennsylvania? I can guess at the meaning, but it is not a phrase that I ever heard in Washington or Massachusetts, unless there was a fatality involved.

I’ll be putting all of my chapters in one MS Word document. That will make the wordcounts easier to manage. And I’ll use chapter heading formats and an automatic table of contents to make navigation easier while I’m jumping around and adding stuff (although doing a find-text on the chapter number worked just as well last year.

When I wrote my dissertation I did separate documents for each chapter, but that was for the benefits of advisors and readers, to help them focus. What other benefits do you see with doing it that way?

3. strugglingwriter - November 1, 2007

Separate documents would be easier to navigate, meaning if I want to read chapter 1 I only have to open the chapter 1 document. It also helps me mentally to think of each chapter as it’s own mini story if they are in separate documents. That said, I’m still going to use just one big document.

4. anxiousmofo - November 1, 2007

I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. I’ve never written anything close to a novel before; I have recently finished one short story and have another one which has stalled but which has sections I am somewhat proud of.

My wife is doing this thing too, which means I have someone in my house to a) give me pep talks and b) embarrass me by writing when I’m not.

5. writinggb - November 1, 2007

Good for you, cave! I’ll bet you have a ball once you get going.

Struggling writer: As for one doc or separate, I do both. When I decide to revise a part, I go to the chapter doc. and then cut and paste it into the big doc, replacing what was there. I do this because I like to work with a smaller doc., but I like the satisfaction of seeing a huge document!

Anxiousmofo: I see what you mean about the benefits of a friendly competition. maybe that will work for me and my husband, too, as we are both doing NaNo.

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