You Gotta Chip Away At It

The Hemlock Notations

Hello, Everyone! I hope you had a good National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, as the hip kids are calling it). For those of you not aware: November is National Novel Writing Month, where people sit down and write a novel in a month. Breaking that down for you in pages 5 pages a day equals 150 pages, which is roughly 2,000-2,500 words a day. Anyway, if you participated then I hope it was a good experience for you.

So NaNoWriMo is the reason I didn’t post in November. Not that I was working on a novel (I had other things piling up on my plate), but because I figured everyone would be posting about writing and didn’t want to overload the Internet on literature. Also I didn’t want to contribute to the distractions of not writing. And again, the afore mentioned pile of stuff I had to get done.

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Writing & Blogging: Lessons Learned in NaNoWriMo2014


If you are a writer, an author, a novelist, or interested at all in the literary world, you know that November marked the popular National Novel Writing Month, or as it is more affectionately (or vehemently) known – NaNoWriMo.  This was my third year participating in the event where writers from all over the world commit to a monthly word count goal of fifty thousand words.  This was the first time I won; I wrote over 50K words and am still going.  But more importantly, I learn a few things from the experience.

1. Keeping a daily writing habit is essential. 

Doesn’t matter if the material is not my best, or even crappy.  Putting my body and mind in the habit of writing something, anything, everyday knocks the idea of writer’s block off its rocker a little.  It means I don’t worry about quality so much as quantity for…

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NaNoWriMo 2014: Finished!

Lauren Simonis

So NaNoWriMo ended 3 days ago, and I am happy to say that I finished!

So what am I going to do with my novel now? Nothing!

That’s right, I don’t plan on editing it or even really looking at it again. Why? Because this year, I was using NaNo to get my creative block out of the way so I can continue my novel I’ve been seriously working on.

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Nanowrimo 2014

Heather Ewings


This was my seventh year of NanoWrimo. It was a struggle this year. With a 4-month old baby, and the stress of the impending closure of my children’s most wonderful school, I wasn’t sure I would make it. In the last couple of weeks, I seemed to be constantly a day behind, and I kept finding myself wandering off track, and having to stop and regroup and remember exactly where this story needed to go.

Nano 2014 stats

I have some amazing scenes, and some incredibly dull scenes, and a lot of somewhere-in-between scenes. And writing a historical fiction has taught me there’s a hell of a lot of things I have absolutely no idea about, and the research I have done is far from sufficient. So it’s back to the books for a little while now. But with a bit of a luck, and a lot of effort, hopefully this NanoWrimo story will make it…

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50,000 Words

Sam's Online Journal

nanoWhen I tell them that I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month their first question is invariably, “does that mean you are writing an entire novel in 30 days?” I don’t really know how to answer either because the answer is both yes and no. It’s yes because a novel is technically 50,000 words, and one of the goals of NaNoWriMo is to hit that mark, which technically means I have a novel then. But it’s no as well because a novel needs a beginning, a middle, and an end, and I am hardly able to completely flesh out all three in the span of 50,000 words.

This year has truly been a labor of love because life interferes as it often does, so the goals I set for myself, while difficult at the outset, become even more fraught with a frantic dash to get each day in with…

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Last Week Of NaNoWriMo—Advice


I love giving and receiving advice. How can anyone not? So let me bestow some cheesy pieces of advice upon you, my fellow readers and writers. Feel free to comment and actually leave some useful tips below.

  • Do not give up. You have survived three weeks. You can survive one more.
  • Do write your story. Nobody in the right mind does otherwise.
  • Do not filter. You can do this later.
  • Do have fun. Enjoy the experience as much as you possibly can.

If all else fails, congratulate yourself for undertaking a novel writing mission. How many people can say that they are as awesome as you are? I’ll tell you the answer: not many.

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NaNo Progress: Things I Learn

Solemn Radio

It’s Day 14, and I’ve been plugging away at NaNoWriMo and neglecting my Japanese studies. I really need to study; I have the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in December, so my time spent writing may need to be decreased. But besides the point, in day 14, I’ve learned a lot about NaNo even more than my five years of doing it. For the first time ever, I’ve browsed the forums for plot help and inspiration. I’ve even offered a little bit of advice and encouraged others for the first time! During Camp NaNoWriMo, I participated in some word wars with my cabin mates, who’ve recently reunited with for this year’s NaNo. I even did a word war against myself, which was really inspiring and satisfying. It felt nice to get my word count up.

So this year…This year I can say it’s different. It feels different but at the same time…

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Random Musings

Elsa Holland

I shared something of this amazing book a couple of weeks back and here is some more for all the Nanorimo’s out there writing at the moment. I have just given key elements from a few paragraphs.

During movement into the imaginal, you experience a change in medium ….

The world that you are looking at is no longer a world of form but has instead become a living story filled with the mythic. At first what you are seeing is just a thicket of forms, symbols…slowly decoded, one at a time. But as you move more deeply into the analogical thinking, those textural forms soften, become transparent liquid, first viscous and sluggish, like a jelly of meaning, then ever thinner and more mobile, flowing faster and faster until, suddenly, you shift, and they are alive as you are alive, their interactive, communicatory expressions flowing towards you at the speed of thinking, until you can’t entirely distinguish the communications they are making from your own thoughts, so quickly do they move…

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Day 3 – How I Learnt to get to the Heart of a Story…

Born Again Writer

…through listening to critiquing partnersIMG_1397 I’ve leaned so much from having good critiquing partners, and I feel extremely lucky. However, not all critiques are equal.

Let me explain:

What makes for a Bad Critique

The worst kind comes from critiquing partners who essentially hope you’ll write the story they want to write themselves. Maybe they’re poets, who want more description, romantics who want you to include a love interest, fans of sci-fi or fantasy, who would like you to include the odd battle scene, you get the picture. Then there are the under-critical who ‘love everything’ or the over-critical who will tear new writer’s work apart,while seeing no benefit in offering encouragement.

What makes for a Good Critique

The best kind of critique comes from a partner who understands that you may be writing in a different genre, and wants to help you write the best story that you can. They tend to offer a…

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NaNoWrimo14 – Days 1 & 2

Observing the Scenery

Wordcount: 5962/50000

And it begins!

To address the previous month, though: yeah, I dropped the ball. But I must say that I’m pleased with how much I did manage to post for Blogtober even if I didn’t manage to post every day. I managed more than 50%, so I’ll call it a relative success despite not actually posting every single day.

But now it’s time to write a novel! As mentioned before, my usual kick-off tradition of starting right at midnight (along with viewing The Nightmare Before Christmas and eating Halloween candy) just couldn’t happen. Luckily work wasn’t busy at all, for some reason, but that didn’t mean I could exactly write when midnight hit. My break came in being told I could start work a few hours later on Saturday, so I used that time to write a huge chunk. I always like trying to get as far ahead as…

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