Tag: National Novel Writing Month

My Pros and Cons and Tips for NaNoWriMo 2016.



As you can probably tell, this is a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) 2016 related post. I have taken part in three of the last four having decided to miss one year as choosing to edit instead of writing 50,000 words for 2014. I considered taking part again this year but I managed to consider it far too much and now I have nothing prepared. I will, however, be doing a mixture of editing and writing throughout November as a substitute.

This year, I wanted to provide some (hopefully) helpful information for those of you attempting to write 50,000 words in one month. That number does sound a lot and it did to me when I first tried the challenge in 2012.

When you break down that number across the whole of November, it gets a lot easier to take in. The figure (rounded up as the exact figure is daft) of words to write for each day is 1,667. If you decide to commit to 2,000 words a day, that allows you 5 free days to do whatever you like with. I recall assigning those days for hangovers myself.

I only found writing 2,000 words to be a daunting task when I had no idea where my story was going. For the first 2,000, I planned what I was roughly going to write so I could at least have an idea (it is the first draft after all so I didn’t worry too much about getting it right first time) beforehand. After the first 2,000 were written, I planned the next 2,000 and so on. The plans I made were usually just a few paragraphs or even less as a rough outline. As I got into writing the story I discovered that when I knew where the story was going each plan and 2,000 words became easier.

On some occasions, I managed to write more than 2,000 because I was in the middle of an important scene. It was either a heated discussion between the quarrelling villains of the piece, or the hero’s in some cases. Or some back story or a battle scene (there were quite a few). All of which I could not stop at just the 2,000 because I found myself either in the middle of a sentence or that I wanted to finish at natural point (usually the end of a scene or a chapter) before finishing for the day.

Making sure to write at least some if not all of the 2,000 words a day was crucial to help me calmly reach the target and to not lose my sanity. Some days I managed just shy of the whole 2,000 but made up for it in the days after that. Other times I didn’t come close. Let me show you what I mean through a small scene involving me and my too laid back attitude to the word court in 2012.

Wednesday. “I don’t feel like writing anything tonight. I’ve been working all day and can’t face the laptop anymore” (This equals one day without writing 2,000 words)

Thursday. “I’ll just play one game of Pro Evolution Soccer on my Xbox. Then I’ll start.” (Another 2,000)

Friday. “My head hurts. Too much beer. Cannot write today” (Another 2,000)

“Okay. It’s Saturday. What’s my word count? Including today I’m 8,000 words behind! How can I write so many in one day? It’s the weekend! I’ve used all of my hangover days! HOW!!!”

On that Saturday, I ended up writing 6,000 words and then adding an extra 500 words to the next few days until I had caught up with my target. I kept to my plan for 2013 and 2015 and avoided the above, which made the challenge easier to handle.

The Pros of completing NaNoWriMo 2012, 2013 and 2015 were that I had three partially finished novels that I could work on to finish in future. I have since completed the 2012 novel but found that the 2013 novel will need to be started again (I now hate that it is written in the first person) and the 2015 novel is going to be a lot bigger than I thought and requires further planning. Without NaNoWriMo, I would not have discovered this about two of my stories.

NaNoWriMo also helped me to find discipline whilst writing. Since 2012, I have been able to commit to word counts per day to finish a story as I am able to use the same planning I used for NaNo on all my stories ever since. It allowed me to get down on paper (laptop) tales that have been spinning in my head for years. It is a great feeling to do so and to finish. When you do finish, I suggest buying a t-shirt or something to commemorate the achievement from the official website (http://nanowrimo.org/). It’s your own trophy and it helps to ensure that the fine people who organised the whole thing can continue to do so for years to come.

The Cons of completing NaNoWriMo? In my case they were:

  • My back hurt a little bit more.
  • I lost some sleep.

That’s all I can think of. I lay flat on my carpet after each days writing for about 10 minutes and that helped my back. I slept longer on weekend mornings to catch up on sleep.

I hope that this has helped you in your quest to conquer the NaNoWriMo challenge. Good luck and make sure you have some fun in the process.


Oh NaNoWriMo, hurry up and get here will you!



This post is shorter than usual for one reason and one reason only. I haven’t really done that much in the last or so to do with my writing. I’m not sure how it happened but I reckon if I break it down I can probably figure it out. Here we go…

Wednesday 02/10/2013.

After work, went for a run. Got home to find my mate had come round to watch the football (soccer). Watched the game, was tired by the end of it, it turned out to be a very dull game, and went to bed. That explains Wednesday.

Thursday 03/10/2013.

After work, went to my girlfriend’s house. That explains Thursday.

Friday 04/10/2013 – Saturday 05/10/2013

After work, went to see my parents and stayed over for the Friday night. Spent part of Saturday with them as well. Went home, had some food, and went out again to meet my mates to go watch some rugby. Rugby finished, went to get some food and then out to a rock/metal night. That explains Friday and Saturday.

Sunday 06/10/2013

Spent the day hung over and watching wrestling, football (soccer), a film and playing on my xbox. That explains Sunday.

Monday 07/10/2013

After work, had some food. Had a nap. Made my dinner for the next day in work.

But then…

BOOM!!!! Edited two of my short stories. There we go. At least I did something.

How did this happen? I did read a lot of 1984 which I’m getting ever closer to end of but I didn’t really write that much at all. I didn’t notice the week get away from me. After a week like that, NaNoWriMo can’t come soon enough. I’ve made sure I’m signed up for it and already know what story I’m going to write.

If you want to get involved, have a look using the following link http://nanowrimo.org/.

Well, I’m going to make sure this week involves a slight case of Character Profile fever. Along with finding the writing bug that didn’t bite me last week and letting it have a field day.

Good Pie

Not writing. A good thing?


After completing the awesome NaNoWriMo last month I’ve decided to take a break from novel writing for a week or two. This is to recharge the batteries a bit and help my back and, for some reason, left bum cheek get back to normal. I’m informed this is what can happen from not having a comfortable seat to sit on or from sitting for too long. Never mind.

It’s been good so far not writing. I didn’t think I’d like it but I know when I start to write again and finish the novel NaNoWriMo helped me start I’ll get right back into it. This break has been a welcome surprise so far. It has allowed me to mull over some ideas for the novel I’m writing and others that I’ve got to finish. Leaves me lots to do when I start to novel write again.

I also received an email stating I’ll be able to get NaNoWriMo winners only offers from tomorrow onwards. I wonder what they’ll have in store. And I now have something else to mull over.



It’s come to an end.


So for the last thirty days(ish) I’ve been taking part in the glorious NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge. It was hard in some parts but I managed to come up with a system. That system was to write 500 words at a time and take twenty minute breaks in between. It makes writing 2000 words a day seem a lot easier. The results of using said system were……

I completed 50,000 words in one month and bought a t-shirt to celebrate!

Now, I got a bit giddy upon seeing the ‘Winner’ title above my name and that’s why I bought the t-shirt but I don’t think it’s too geeky. Well, if it is I’m not bothered anyway. I’m proud of what I’ve done but I just hope an American size medium t-shirt fits me.

The novel is still a few chapters of the end and I’ll be posting some of it at some point. If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, I suggest you sign up for NaNoWriMo 2013. We won’t regret it.


Writing Writing Writing


Sorry I’ve not been updating my blog recently but I’ve been busy with this NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) thingy that I’ve not had time. Well, I probably have had time but I’ve just been so sick of looking at a PC screen I’ve wanted to do something else.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying NaNoWriMo immensely and have now written 33,610 words of the 50,000 word total. I have to say I’ve never been so happy with my own writing or what I’ve been able to accomplish.

What’s the novel about john? I hear you ask. Very good question. It’s about a world in which all the really bad crimes (rape, murder, child kidnapping etc) are not done by humans they ate done by demons who frame the humans for it for their own ends. To stop this, the world has demon hunters or ‘searchers’ who search out the demons and kill them. The demons have so far always worked alone but what would happen if they all banded together against the searchers? Can the searchers stop them from taking over the world?

That was how the story started in my head and has pretty much gone like that so far. I’m very happy with it and will share some of it with you once it’s finished.

The word count goal of 50,000 in one month is something different and challenging. Though it does give you focus. I managed to get 6000 words written in a day this past Saturday which I’ve never done before. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if not for NaNoWriMo. If you ever consider writing a novel in future, you should definitely consider this challenge.

Right I’m off to bed. Later

I’m only just starting to get going really.


As you may or may not know I’ve joined up with and started to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I started off well writing my first 2000+ words in quick fashion on 31st October and then doing the same on 2nd November. Then I had to go and watch WWE Raw at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 3rd (and only managed to get 1000+ words written before hand) and then go out drinking afterwards (not to mention during) and though it was a really good night I was a mess on Sunday. On Monday (still with a hangover) I went out to watch some fireworks with my girlfriend and her friends which again was a really good night. But all of this didn’t allow me to write as much as I’d like. #slightlyannoyed

I’ve started to get back on track and I’ve currently written 10,021 words altogether. The target so far is 11,662 if I’m to get to the 50,000 words mark by the end of the month. I’m writing 2000+ words a day so I know I’ll get back on track. I also found that I quite like writing this way and my speed has quickened. Hopefully I’ll keep writing like this when the month is over and this novel’s first draft is complete.

Till next time then.

Oh how I love a challenge. Apparently.


Following on from my last post, I’ve completed the secondary heroine’s point of view chapter of the book I’m working on. It was hard but I have to admit I enjoyed every minute of it.

Having already written one chapter from another point of view covering the key event in the story so far, I had something to refer back to when starting the next chapter. The next chapter and view point being from the main heroine’s point of view. One of the things I thought would scupper me was the dialogue I had to use. The main heroine is within earshot of the secondary heroine so she can hear what the main has said. But not all of it. I had to balance what she hears and what she says along with making sure the chapter flows well enough. And on top of this I had to get across the characters feelings about the whole thing. I think I managed it but I’ll go back to it at a later date.

I’ve now started the next chapter which is from the point of view of the main villain of the piece. This has started easily enough as he reacts to a lot of what the other characters in the room are saying. This means I can just copy and paste a lot of dialogue I’ve already written. Though I have to try and make sure his feelings are getting across as well using the voice in his head (not a demented one but the one we all have).

All this is challenging stuff, which I have enjoyed immensely. I’ve also decided, in the heat of loving a writing challenge and deciding to quit drinking for the month of November and needing something to occupy me, to attempt NaNoWriMo(National Novel Writing Month). This involves writing the first complete draft of a novel in one month.

One chuffing month!! Can I do it I wonder? I’ve signed up to the website now so hopefully. But I have got a lot of ideas I’d like to change into full blown stories so here’s hoping.

Ok, that’s it from me. All comments welcome.