To NaNo or Not? NaNoWriMo Decoded, Call-Outs & Book Give Away

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareVonda here: Writers, are you wondering what all this NaNoWriMo talk is about? Trying to decide if it’s something you should consider? Thanks Edie Melson, here are the answers to your questions! (I’m participating for the first time this year!)

To NaNo or Not? NaNoWriMo Decoded, by Edie Melson

Among those whose heart’s desire is to write a novel, November thoughts turn to the dilemma of NaNoWriMo. For the uneducated, November has long become known as National Novel Writing Month—NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is an idea that has exploded in popularity. The idea is that you write the first draft (minimum of 50,000 words) of a novel in one month. At first this may sound ridiculous, but many writing instructors advocate writing your first draft quickly, without editing. James Scott Bell encourages this in his book, The Art of War for Writers. I highly recommend this book, by the way and it was the very first book reviewed on this blog. Curious to learn more? Click here to read the review.
So how do you get involved with NaNoWriMo?
  • First, visit the website and set up an account.
  • Second, familiarize yourself with the site and the many things they offer.
  • Third, start brainstorming ideas.

Yep, I’ve found it helps me to have an idea of where I’m going with my novel. I don’t want to get into the whole plotter or pantster debate, but I highly recommend at least a glimmer of an idea before you start.

Still unconvinced it’s for you? Consider this, people participate in NaNo for many reasons—many of them good—here are just a few to consider.

  • For Fun: maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of writing a novel. Here’s your time to give it a try.
  • To Jumpstart Your Next Book: if you write professionally, the work of writing can sometimes get in the way of actual writing. NaNo can help you get back on track.
  • An Accountability Group: Some of us just do better when we have to report on our progress. NaNoWriMo actually requires that.
  • A Deadline and Goal: I don’t know about you, but I can do almost anything for a month—give up chocolate, start an exercise program, get familiar with a new routine. Why not try writing a novel?
  • Company in a Lonely Endeavor: writing is a solitary pursuit and can often be intimidating and discouraging. Aligning with a group that has a shared goal and purpose helps alleviate the loneliness and helps keep us motivated.
  • To Win: yes, I admit it. I’m highly competitive and just thinking about NaNoWriMo gets my adrenaline pumping.

Vonda here: Edie and I would love to see who’s participating in NaNoWriMo, so be sure to leave a comment and let us know your NaNoWriMo name (you choose it when you register). Ours are easy to remember: emelson and vondaskelton.

Also, if you’ve participated in NaNoWriMo previously, please share your suggestions and comments based on your experience. Thanks!


I want to hear about your successes! celebration - Morguefile

Okay, friends, now it’s time to hear from you! We want to know what you’ve been up to. Have you had something exciting happen recently in your writing or speaking life? Maybe you’ve had an article published, signed a book contract, released a new book, got an agent, or started a new blog. If so, we want to hear from you!

It’s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order ONLY:

**Your name
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)

I can’t wait for us to celebrate with you!


mogo7000 logoWho Worked on Their MoGo7000 in October?

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in October, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2015 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

To report your October results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written on a book project in October. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Sunday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2015 challenge continues! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules.

Each month that you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the “hat” for the drawing. Reach the goal one month and you’ll have one entry. Just starting out? Don’t worry! Meet it the next 2 months and you’ll have 2 entries!

So what are you waiting for? Get started now and you could have and extra $100 next year. Participating in NaNoWriMo? Those words can also count as your Mogo7000 words. And it doesn’t cost you a cent!Broken Butterfly Cover (1)


Who won Cindy Patterson’s book?

And the winner is…

Tammy Whitehurst!

Congratulations, Tammy! Simply contact me with your snail mail address and Cindy will get your book right out to you! And friends, I know you’re gonna want Cindy’s book, so here’s a direct Amazon link to Broken Butterfly.


Well, that does it for our first November meeting. Now get to work and write!



Posted in categories: Announcements | Business of Writing | Kudos | MoGo7000 | Uncategorized | Writing Contests | Writing Instruction

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  • Nan Jones

    Vonda, I’m so proud of you! It makes my heart smile knowing you are doing something for Vonda 🙂 Yay you!

    • Thank you, Nan! It’s been hard to fit in, but I’m making progress on my novel, so it feels good!

  • HI Vonda. I did 7300 words last month. Thanks.

    • Good job, Tim! I’m glad to see that you’re working on your new project. It was great to see you at Novelist Retreat. I don’t know about you, but it got my novel-writing fingers itching to get back to work on another book. 🙂

  • I’m participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time. My “name” there is SweetAnnabelle – the title of my blog. I tried to go back and use my actual name (haha!) but would’ve had to cancel my whole account and start over. I’m not writing on the weekends, so my word count goal is 2,500! Ack!

    • I know what you mean about not being able to write the whole 50,000 this month. I’m almost through with my narrative outline, and once that’s done, I’ll be writing MUCH S-L-O-W-E-R, so I know I won’t get enough words out then to hit 50,000. Yes, I’m a slow writer when it gets to the actual real writing part. But whatever we do is better than the NOTHING we’d get done otherwise, right? 🙂 Blessings on your project!

  • I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the seventh time. Blowing it out of the water already. Bam! Blitzing now so I can do other work later that still has to be done (the life of an editor!). I’m silygoos there!

    • Susan, as fast as you put out stuff, you might get TWO books out of NaNoWriMo! Did you meet the MoGo goal in October?

      • I didn’t write anything new in October – in prep for this one! And sometimes between all my editing work . . . anyway – blitzing NaNo like never before so far – partly because I have other things to get through and this story I have about 3/4ths of the plot mapped out which is unheard of for me (I’m a panster!) So I’ll blow the word count out of the water this month and then probably nothing in December while I focus on rewrites. The first year I did Nano I had 104K in 21 days- that’s close to 5K a day. I can often do a 5 or 10K day – but yesterday I broke my own record with a 20K day! PRobably will never happen again. I now have nine more books contracted (all written but need revising) so I have my work cut out for me!

      • My goal is not 50K either – it’s around 80 or whatever finishes the novel. 🙂 I’ve won six times in the past but only twice have I not completed the story (but finished in December).

      • No writing in October – lots of editing for myself and others to get jobs out of the way so I can tackle NaNo with all my focus!

  • My new book is “Ladies of the Fire” and I added 15,000 words in October!