Obligatory NaNoWriMo 2012 Post

In the past, I’ve made NaNo posts after the event, but never before. This is my 3rd consecutive year participating and 4th year total. I have to say that NaNoWriMo is among the best tools for writers of all kinds.

I say “tools” because you can use NaNoWriMo however you like. The beautiful thing about the event is that it’s a self-challenge and the outside motivation gives plenty of writers (myself included) the added push to really dedicate themselves to their work for 30 days.

The “official” rules say you have to start from scratch on November 1st and write your 50k within the 1 month timespan, but the best rules about the creative arts are ones that can be bent.

And we all know what Seto Kaiba has to say about rules.

Personally, I’ve been a rebel in one way or another for the past three years. The only time I ever 100% followed the rules was my first year in ’08. I failed miserably because I started a day late and didn’t even know that preplanning was allowed. I skipped ’09 entirely since that was in the middle of an 18 credit semester, but in ’10 I came back with a few more strategies up my sleeve.

2010 was the first year I really tried. I had prompts for each chapter and outlined them as far as I could, but what really motivated me was the trickle down word count strategy I found and the 50% discount on Scriveneer. By the way, here’s that strategy if you want it:

Week One

Day 1: 3346

Day 2: 3216
Day 3: 3101
Day 4: 2986

Day 5: 2872

Day 6: 2757

Day 7: 2642

Week Two
Day 8: 2527
Day 9: 2412
Day 10: 2298
Day 11: 2183
Day 12: 2068
Day 13: 1953
Day 14: 1838

Week Three
Day 15: 1724

Day 16: 1609
Day 17: 1494
Day 18: 1379
Day 19: 1264
Day 20: 1150
Day 21: 1035

Week Four
Day 22: 920
Day 23: 805
Day 24: 690
Day 25: 576

Day 26: 461

Day 27: 346

Day 28: 231

Week Five
Day 29: 116
Day 30: 1

The idea is that you’re more motivated in the beginning, so you’ll write more. To adjust for 100k, you can double the word counts for each day, but if you want to make it so you’re still writing 1 word on the last day, you’ll have to do some kind of math formula that I do not know.

This is how I won in ’10. In ’11, I took it a step further and finished almost all of my November homework in one weekend in October so I’d have time to write (the fact that I was going for 100k with two novels aided my motivation for that). Being a college student has its perks. If you actually read your syllabus, you can do your homework ahead of time.

For NaNo 2012, I’m bending the rules again and aiming to finish a book I’ve been working on since May. My goal is to have a completed 100k draft in my hands by the end of November. Right now, it’s at 31k and steadily climbing.

Is anyone else doing NaNo this year? What are your goals and strategies?