Eclectic Voices

Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More

So…Are You Doing NaNoWriMo?

press-start-fa915ffe8a6fb32bb3eabf7f771620b4So…are you?

It’s that time of year again.  November is National Novel Writing Month, when people from around the world endeavor to write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days (that’s a little less than 1700 words every day).  Last year, over 300,000 people participated in this free program.  You’re a winner if you reach 50,000 words.  And what do you get?  Bragging rights.  What makes you do it?  Ego and a little bit of ambition.

So…are you?

This kind of break-neck-writing speed isn’t for everyone.  But the popularity of events like this shows how writers are desperate for deadlines and community (and they respond very well to peer pressure).

I “won” only once – in 2011 when I “finished” a “draft” of my “novel” The Amazing.  I’m still working on revisions, which may, perhaps, be a little more difficult to do now that I have this lump of 50,000 words to shift through.  But for me, the struggle of getting words onto the page is far more challenging than tearing apart everything and stitching it back together.  In any case, I’m not sure yet if NaNoWriMo is actually a useful tool for my own writing process, but it can still be fun.

Chuck Wendig will be writing some NaNoWriMo dialogues.  Check it out.

I’ve decided at the last minute to do it again.  But I’m not writing a novel.  These days, it seems fiction writers NEED short stories to get a foothold in the industry.  You need to be submitting stories to journals and the like; and my backlog of stories is growing thin.  So my goal for November: write 50,000 words of short stories.  This could be anywhere from 3 to 50 stories, depending on what feels right.

Even if I get a few stories out of this, it’ll be worth it.

So…are you?

P.S. This isn’t a particularly involved post because I’ve been blogging other places this week.  Check out a little thing about titles at the Botanicum Seedlings blog and a rant about artistic statements over at my blog With Coffee Spoons.


Chelsea Sutton holds a BA in Literature from The College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Her plays have had readings and productions in Santa Barbara, New York and Los Angeles and she is currently participating in workshops with the Skylight Theatre Playlab and The Vagrancy Writers Group, as well as spearheading ECT’s writers group, Eclectic Voices. Her play The Dead Woman, was recently named a Semifinalist in the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference 2013. Her fiction has appeared in The Best of Farmhouse Magazine, The Catalyst, Spectrum, and Fictionade, and she was the 2011 Winner of NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Contest. Her story The Tick and the Tocking received Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She is a member of the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative.

6 comments on “So…Are You Doing NaNoWriMo?

  1. Nicola Kirk
    November 4, 2013

    I wrote a CampNaNoWriMo book once, and completed an 80,000 word manuscript which ballooned into a trilogy… I needed a little break from editing that “darn” thing and thought what better way than doing NaNoWriMo? It was perfect timing this year, I have a story idea, something to convey, characters and I love writing this way because it forces the bulk of the story out quickly, hones skills, sets a writing time, provides focus.. all those good things.
    (You did ask… :))

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo! 🙂

  2. Book Club Mom
    November 4, 2013

    This is such a great program. I did it twice on my own, prompted by my family who gave me the No Plot? No Problem! kit. So much fun!

  3. Late Summer
    November 4, 2013

    I’m doing NaNo for the first time this year. It’s only four days in, but I feel very accomplished thus far. I’ve been wanting to get this story written for ages now and it means a lot to me, but it’s always been “I don’t have the time” or “I’m not sure this story is really worth what I’ve built it up to…” But I’m doing it now and the story is progressing beautifully thus far. I’m so happy with it and am enjoying the experience to the fullest.

  4. Taylor
    November 4, 2013

    For the first time in a few years, I’m not even saying I’m going to try… I haven’t yet managed to really even make a serious attempt. This year I’m focused on getting that solid first draft of a play done by next June, which I started last year and still have so much to write, but I know I can’t manage it NaNoWriMo style this year!

    I’m hoping next year I’ll be truly up for the challenge of NaNoWriMo – I think it’s an awesome program, and I wish all of you doing it this year the best of… what? Luck? Success? Enjoyment? Satisfaction? The best of words?!? All those things!

    Rock your WriMo!

  5. Eclectic Voices
    November 5, 2013

    So glad you guys are on the NaNoWriMo train! Good luck! I hope to hear about how far you guys get by November 30. 🙂

  6. alisonwalsh93
    November 22, 2013

    I’m doing my first NaNo this year (snap decision on 30th October!) and loving it so far – it’s definitely a great way of getting past the ‘this is rubbish and there’s no point continuing it’ block. On the other hand, I am a little bit scared about editing 50000+ words come December… 🙂

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