NaNoWriMo 2008?

Is anyone else signed up for this year? I have never done it before but last year promised myself that I would go for it in 2008. Then suddenly it's just a few weeks away and I seem to have no ideas at all. I write nonfiction so it's a big leap for me. I'm terrified but excited at the same time. I guess this is normal?


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Me too!

I'm doing it! I failed MISERABLY last year but getting myself geared up for this year, in addition to marketing my first novel.

I've been making notes on the plot lines and characters so all I have to do is start typing.

What genre were you thinking of going into? (I helped my Mom plot out her book this year. She "won" last year but hasn't let me read it yet.)


Thinking of working with an idea I've had percolating for years, which is I suppose urban fantasy. But part of me thinks I will have problems writing this without editing as I go. So perhaps I should go for something brand new that I don't care so much about. But even this, I feel, has to be "right" somehow. Need to get out of that way of thinking, I know, but it's tough!


I'm in it again this year -- last year was my first, and I won but just barely, thanks to a meddling internal editor that would not Shut Up and let me write. This year I've signed on as part of the "Typewriter Brigade" to add a little extra challenge and to keep my first draft far, far away from Mr. Evil Delete Key.

Terror and Excitement are the fuel of NaNo! Also, caffeine: sweet, sweet caffeine. I worked out my "plot" last year on Halloween night in-between trick-or-treaters: I don't recommend it, but even with that sketchy start I finished a few days early.

My suggestion is to think of characters and a situation, and then let them take over. Be absurd and silly and crazy if you're stuck, and don't be afraid to include something like "suddenly, NINJAS DROPPED FROM THE CEILING!" or the like just to jazz things up. Quantity is the goal, not quality.

Mike ("mclemens" on Nano)

Tried last year; trying again this year

I too took the challenge last year ... and failed. Managed about 8,000 words over the entire month. My first problem is whether to rework the ideas from last time.


I am doing it this year, but with their server fubar of the last couple of days, my account is wonky and they are to busy to get back to me and erase the back account so I can re-register.


So I am under my proper pseudo, finally! Find me there!


I won two years ago (the only time I tried) and I'm in again this year. I'm so excited. My husband isn't because he has some silly idea that I should clean up one of the novels I already have in draft form instead of creating another draft.

Anyone want to share their names on the nano site so we can be buddies? Mine, being the highly creative person I am, is Lisa.

How are you all organizing things? Right now I have two and a half small notebooks with ideas scribbled inside. I'm thinking of using index cards with a binder ring though them. I guess I could put one scene per card and add as I come up with more ideas. I could use other cards for characters and such. I don't know. My other two novels have ended up being all over the place, both in and out of my computer. I wish just once I could keep my writing organized. The beginning of a new one seems like a good place to start. Any ideas? I need help.

Box of cards

Here's my "organization" for this year, really just a box full of notes on index cards that I've jotted/typed over the past few months. I promised myself that I'm going to shape them up this month into something resembling an outline, or at least tidy, smaller piles.

I'm called kateb

- also very original!

I'm planning on using Scrivener, a Mac application I've used for writing other things (non fiction) before. It's designed for novels, though, so hopefully will work well. Having said that, I'm slightly worried that I'll end up spending more time messing around with it than actually writing, if I'm not careful.

And then I've got several notebooks. Once I know what I'm going to write, I'll try and get them all into some sort of order on the computer.


I'm doing note cards this

I'm doing note cards this year plus the character descriptions I've developed.

I go by "Sarchix" also on the NaNo site. (I know, also an original name.)

nanowrimo already?

oh i am so tempted! someone talk me into it! lol... i've always wanted to write books... even considered english as a major for college for a long while.

is there any way to hand write it and then scan it in? (like free ways?)

is anyone doing this that is pretty darned sure they won't finish on time? :)

my artwork | my blog

Do it, Sara

Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it.

There's a topic going for people who are hand-writing their novel this year. They will surely have tips for word-count, but you can just as easily do the honor system. Validating word count for your winner's graphic happens the last week of November, and you can easily make a dummy file in Word to upload.

I'm typing my first draft, and /maybe/ scanning for word-count. I may just count on the page and do the Word trick at the end. It'll need major revising anyhow, which I prefer to do on paper.

Do it!

Tried it twice, didn't win either time

I'll probably try again this year, and will probably not make the goal either. And that's ok, because the idea for me is to have fun and put words to paper.

sara, Look for my post


Look for my post (coming soon) on how to do it by hand. This year, my friends who have done nano by hand are doing it on computers... while i am going to write my story all analogue. :)

I has tips.

What about...

would 'writing' a book by dictating it to a voice recorder count?

I've got an old cassette recorder, a shoebox-full of old cassettes,
... and a near-endless ability to talk ;)

You would not be able to

You would not be able to have the word count verified by the site. You could do it, but they could not validate it.


I saw you were registered. Are you doing it to this year?

Heck yes. This is my 7th

Heck yes. This is my 7th year and my first year doing it completely pen and paper based.

i'm crazy.

What does 50000 words look like?

I've registered for this year though I'm very doubtful if I truly have the time to write a 1000 words. Most I've ever written is the odd short story, taken time over it and poetry so number of words not very impressive!

So what does 50000 words look like. How many pages of font 12 typing will be around 50000 words? Would it be about 100 pages?

The scientist in me cant help calculating that would be over 3 pages of writing every day. It is quite a challenge particularly if you would like it to make sense as well.

It seems like a fun thing to try though even if you end up using some of what you've written in a completely different way. I want to try to type on the train and in my lunchtime so we'll see what happens with that.

All I need now is an idea that would fill that number of words........

word count formula

According to the romance writers of Australia site [romanceaustralia(dot)com]

Computer word count and publisher word counts are different
To a computer, the encyclopaedias = 2 words.
To a publisher, the encyclopaedias = 3 words.
If you're a publisher, a word = 6 spaces, including empty spaces.

Publishers came up with this definition because they want to know how much space your manuscript will take up when printed.

So the formula they use is
A4 paper
non-proportional or mono-spaced 12 point font
3cm margins
25 lines per page
30 cm margins on A4 paper will give you approximately 60 spaces per line.

If you adjust your right and left margins so that you have exactly 60 spaces per line, then:
10 words x 25 lines = 250 words per page. This count includes empty spaces and empty lines.

Use of a non-proportional or mono-spaced font is essential. This formula won't work with proportional fonts, because proportional fonts will not give you a uniform number of spaces per line.

Calculating the word count then is easy. Simply divide the number of your pages by 4.

200 pages divided by 4 = 50 (thousand) words
220 pages divided by 4 = 55 (thousand) words
320 pages divided by 4 = 80 (thousand) words
340 pages divided by 4 = 85 (thousand) words

So, if you are printing twice as many words on a page, then 100 pages would be 50,000 words.


P.S. I believe the one of the secrets to writing a lot relatively quickly is to edit it after you've finished and not to worry about the quality as you're writing. I think the competition is in part about getting into the habit of putting many words on paper to get over hesitating about writing.

Bingo on the secret to NaNoWriMo word count

The emphasis is on putting words on the page. Ignore the internal editor. Ignore the spell checker (as long as you can read it). All the "make it pretty" work happens after you've broken through that creative dam and have let your words flood the paper.


I imagine I wont format much. I use an eee pc on the train and just typing away on a shoogly train is difficult enough. Now isn't shoogly a good word. Make sure you get that in your novels somewhere..........


It's completely normal to feel that way. I have participated for several years now and every year I feel the same way. Sometimes I have a plan and sometimes I just fly by the seat of my pants. Either way it's a blast! Just have fun! You will love it and want to do it every year.

Even if you fail, it's fun.

This is my third year. I've failed my first 2 attempts but ever the optimist I'm going for it again.

Get a writing buddy and try some word wars, again even if you fail it is the attempt is what matters.

I always feel like finals week in school, cram, cram, cram!

Writing buddy? Word war?

What's that all about then?

I've had a glance on the forum at my local groups and they're talking about meeting up and the like. Who could have time to meet, be sociable and write 50000 words ;-)

Looking forward to it now

NaN0 2008, 7th year or BUST!

Oh, I'm in. :)

This will be my 7th year doing NaNo. and my first year doing it by pen and paper. I'm working on this year's DIY post promoting it.