Writers Group: To NaNo or Not To NaNo?

7 Oct

As the writing community approaches November, talk always turns to NaNo. National Novel Writing Month (NaNo to the idiots who compete) is a challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. I’ve done it once and I’ve doing editing efforts in other months since. I’ve been saying I need to get started on another novel for a while now, so I’m thinking of doing it? I’m still unsure? I wonder if anyone here will try to talk me into it?

We talked briefly about blogs and I’ll mention here one thing that some found useful. When you’re blogging, recognize that you’re putting out content for free. If your writing is available for free, publishers have to have a really good reason to want to publish that same content and ask people to pay for it. Why buy when it’s free? Be wary of publishing anything on a blog that you want people to pay for later.

We spoke about signatures. If you’re publishing under your real name, you may want to change your handwriting or signature to sign books. It’s probably not a great idea to have your legal signature floating around on copies of your book! Practice changes for a signature repeatedly, practice handwriting changes by writing slowly and using pangrams to practice every letter.

Two writers brought forward writing contests that we should be aware of. The first was the Write Michigan Short Story Contest. The second, with some broader appeal, is the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Both have deadlines in November so there’s plenty of time to enter!

The last thing we touched on was a computer program, Outlining Your Novel Workbook. It’s based on a book by the same title and goes for $40. It follows a three-act structure recommendation. No one in our group has used it so I have no personal testimonials.

I’ll be missing this group in October but will be back at it in November so I guess I’ll have to decide if I’m NaNo-ing before then.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!


4 Responses to “Writers Group: To NaNo or Not To NaNo?”

  1. Emily Wrayburn October 7, 2019 at 3:54 PM #

    I’ll be participating this year though if I don’t reach 50k, I’m not going to be too upset. I’ve got a couple of novellas to write, but I don’t think they’ll quite get me over the line. For me, it’s more about getting the projects written than writing a certain number of words.


    • Sam October 8, 2019 at 7:23 AM #

      That’s an amazing goal! I started talking through my plot with my husband last night. I think I’ve got some good ideas cooking, we’ll see how it ends up. Happy reading!


  2. Morgan October 7, 2019 at 4:14 PM #

    I did it last year and I’m glad I did, but I’m not sure that I like what I wrote. If I do it this year, I may not be trying for the full 50,000 though.


    • Sam October 8, 2019 at 7:23 AM #

      I’ve only done it once. Other times I committed to editing. I don’t really like the one I wrote last time but I think I have a good head around the challenge this time. Happy reading!


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