Let's Do NaNoWriMo Together!

Hi folks,

November 1 is almost here… you know what that means… it’s NaNoWriMo time!

What’s that? National Novel Writing Month, a challenge that started in 1999 and continues to this day. It’s a simple, yet ambitious goal – to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days.

Here’s a link to their website with more information: https://nanowrimo.org/

I found their pep talks section particularly interesting. It features various writers (some of them very accomplished and/or famous) giving encouragement to those undertaking the challenge: NaNoWriMo

(Even if you don’t want to do the challenge, they’re pretty interesting reading.)

I’ve heard from my fellow Writerspace members that DMS members have done the challenge together in the past. Despite being an author for my main job, I personally have never done the challenge – but have always thought it might be fun to try.

As it so happens, I have approximately 50,000 words left on the book I’m writing (final length will be 100 to 120K), so this seems like a good a time as any. I’ve decided to try to finish this first draft by the end of November.

Here’s the thing: Even if you don’t make the goal, you’ll almost certainly write a lot more than you would have otherwise by trying.

Anyway, I wanted to start a thread and see who was with me! It’d be really fun to have a group of us doing the challenge at DMS again – sharing our progress and struggles.



im in! It will give me the push to round out my book ive been working on, so cool thanks for the info


I will do my best. Seems like I am busy all the dang time right now, but I should be able to sit down and write some. :slight_smile: It will be a fun challenge.


Yasss! I’m so excited. Looking forward to hearing about what you two write/how it goes.

@Bri_Gearhart You have such a strong narrative voice and so many interesting life experiences to draw on!

@trapper13 I remember chatting with you about genre fiction back in the pre-COVID days and I’m so happy you’re doing the challenge.


yeah ive been working on it awhile and its been a personal goal to at least have half the book done by the end of the year so this is a good challenge. so where do we start lol?

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I will be back frequently with my own wacky takes on things, but in the meantime, here’s a pretty good roundup of some third party resources on this challenge: NaNoWriMo Resources for Writers – Lara Willard

I’ll go into this in more depth later – but 50,000 words in 30 days comes out to an average of 1667 words per day. Some people write daily during NaNoWriMo; some people do it in longer blasts every few days.

Knowing myself and how I work, I’m probably going to do some mix of both! However, my plan is to check back in frequently and report my progress (or lack thereof).


A little bit of inspiration on this NaNoWriMo eve:

Source: https://twitter.com/Massawyrm/status/1053414946086764544

The wonderful thing about writing is that you can fix and fix and fix. Not so easy with some other forms of making. I do a lot of pottery these days, and while clay is fairly elastic (especially when wet), as it dries, it becomes more and more difficult to change and you need more harsh tools and possibly risk breaking the whole thing.

Writing stays plastic… it’s possible to even change a work AFTER it is published (new editions of a book, revisions to an online article, etc).

So the stakes are very low. You don’t need to write something perfect on the first go. Just write something you can sculpt into something else down the road.

Just finish. Heck, don’t worry about finishing. Just write something. And then something else. (If you do this enough times, you finish.) Worry about polish later.



I know in 2019, we requested some space for everyone to just kind of sit and hang out… would that be happening again? I know Covid is still a thing, so maybe not, but I know it helped me a lot, just to have someone in the same room as me, even if we didn’t talk, or anything…

If you want to set up some meetups/check-in events on the calendar and host them, then have at it!

I’m going to be focusing mainly on the virtual portion myself due to wanting to not overwhelm myself with logistics (have a lot going on at the moment)

I suspect VERY highly that I’ll write some of those words when I’m at DMS, and I’d go to a meetup/hangout/check-in event, health and schedule permitting – but I don’t want to manage both the virtual and in-person pieces (don’t want to burn out).


You could schedule an event/s in either Interactive or the North Lobby Classroom. Both of those are big enough that some social distancing could be maintained.


Hello everyone! Welcome to writing day 1 of the challenge.

If you’re looking to stay current day to day – the current ending word count goal for today is 1667.

If you’re going weekly, the current ending goal for this week is 11,667.

Since my draft is about half-finished, my big task so far has been reorienting myself to the draft and making a to-do list of the scenes/arcs that need finishing. I’m in a situation where I’ve written all over the draft and there are big gaps in it. The beginning is finished, the ending is written, but the middle is like swiss cheese.

My project is called Psychic Salvation. It’s the fifth book in a series called the Psychic State mysteries. (The first two, Psychic City and Psychic Inferno, are out and being enjoyed by readers; the next two are at my editor and should be out whenever we’re done eviscerating and rebuilding those drafts together.)

But yeah… Psychic Salvation is a quirky book. Among other things, it features a shapeshifter who is trying to date 25 psychics at once on a reality TV show and find one ultimately elimination style. (Yes, it gets very silly and complicated.)

I’m thinking today I’ll focus on a scene where one of my other characters gives birth. She’s an extraplanar being so there are some physiological differences in childbirth and labor, which I have a good handle on. However, I wanted it to ring true for readers who have given birth themselves (I haven’t) – so I interviewed my mother friends a while back about the most surprising facets of giving birth and taking home an infant. I’m hoping to incorporate some of that info to make the scene seem realistic – even with all the supernatural elements in this series.

I’ll report back in later about how it went.

I’m curious about other people’s projects. You don’t have to get as specific as I have, if you don’t want to. But what sort of thing are you writing? What genre, etc?

Anything you’re looking forward to? Anything you anticipate as a challenge?

Most importantly: We can DO this! Go Writerspace! Go DMS!


so i haven’t figured out the title just yet not to worried about it at the moment but my story takes place in the world of Autis and it follows my main character Ceil whos on an adventure gathering new friends and warriors in hopes of stopping a world destroying war. my problem has been introducing the other core characters trying to find the perfect place for them to be introduced naturally. thats going to be my project


Thank you for that daily word count. That will help me stay more focused. I haven’t sat down to write yet today (as I have been spending time getting sorely disappointed with Spirit Halloween’s after Halloween sales.)

I’m trying to decide if I want to do a bunch of short story compilations or write about my life. My life has been interesting, but I always fight on whether it would be beneficial to read. I can cover everything from abuse to being a child of alcoholic parents, abandonment, and all the trauma that has happened. I don’t want it to read as an “oh whoa-is me” book, but to really understand that I have traveled so far in my life and accomplished so much to be able to overcome everything and became the spectacular person you see today makes me think that it could give people hope. That’s what I want to do, but I’m not sure how to do it without it sounding like I’m trying to gain pity (which I do absolutely NOT want. I am proud of who I am due to the journey I have had to take)

This is probably wordy as it is. It’s just a bit of what’s in my head at the moment.


Not too wordy to me! I think maybe writing some shorts would be a good approach. They could either stay as separate pieces – or later on at the end, you might find that you can edit them together with some transitions and make them into a single narrative.

Either could be cool! And sometimes it’s hard to know which approach is better until after you’ve written them.

So I think starting with shorter pieces and then deciding later is a good tactic.

Oh yeah… that does sound tricky… I definitely think a variety would be good – and you’re right… doing it naturally is key. It’s almost like part of the character development at that point – where would X and Y characters both hang out?

And you’re right – titles are really a minor concern during the first draft stage.

Neato. Sounds like a fun read. I do love an ensemble cast. :slight_smile:

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One of my favorite bits of inspiration!

Chase that book one word at a time… :slight_smile:


Good morning everyone!

Welcome to day 2 (of 30) of NaNoWriMo!

Daily ending word count goal: 3334

Weekly goal: 11,667

Yesterday’s target: 1667

My current word count: 1741

Well, I made it. Was it easy? No. It wasn’t one of those magical days when the draft writes itself, that’s for sure.

As I mentioned yesterday, I had planned on making progress primarily on the labor/delivery part of the draft. I suppose I technically did… but just a couple of sentences that go at the very end of that chapter. Didn’t make much progress on that chunk – not for lack of trying!

I think my own expectations were getting in the way, as they often do. See, there’s a difference between “I can’t write anything at all” and “I can’t write well enough today to live up to my own standards.” And in general, I’ve gotten to the point where I can write SOMETHING most days, by just shutting off the caring switch – and giving myself permission to write something just okay or even bad (with the expectation that I can edit it into something better later).

But if it’s a scene or chapter that I’ve been really looking forward to… well, I start not being able to do that. This L&D scene is something I’ve been dreaming/thinking about for a couple of books (this project is book 5 in a series). So I have it waaaaaaay built up in my head to the point where I have made it so I can’t live up to my hopes for it.

I find the same thing happens when I go on vacation. I have to be really careful not to think about the trip too much before we leave – otherwise, I’m disappointed when we actually go. Reality has a hard time competing against my imagination – and so do my own words sometimes.

But it’s not all bad news!

When I felt that "stuck"ness on that one scene, I pranced off to another scene that dramatizes a pretty unconventional love story between a couple of immortal monsters – and I sat there editing it, which mostly didn’t move the count… but then I found myself adding a few sentences/clauses here and there to spice things up (funny/poetic ones occurred to me as I was messing around) – and ended up with a couple hundred words that way.

Still not enough. Grr…

At that point, I just kind of scrolled through my draft for a bit until I found a quote by Aristotle that starts one of the chapters – and after recovering from the pretentiousness of past self, I realized I hadn’t written that chapter and remembered I had a hard time figuring out how to get into it (it involves some planar travel – which can be hard to explain and I’m trying to do so creatively and make it particular to each plane, as a treat for the readers?).

But then I remembered a chat I had about how to introduce that plane – and even found my notes on it (which I’d forgotten to transfer over to my project file/draft) and it hit me like a bolt of lightning.

I figured out a major plot point and character arc mystery I’ve been chewing over for a while. And it was perfect! I was even able to link it back to something that happens in the very first scene in the first book. It was wild… like it was always meant to be.

Anyway, I easily wrote the rest of the words in that scene – and I have a good foothold in that part of the draft to write more there later.

But yeah! Sometimes I’ve found that is the way to make progress on days when you feel like you “can’t” write – if you’re writing something long like a novel, try switching to a different part of the same project. You might just be surprised.

I think editing/polishing another part also helped – it got me engaging with my own writing voice but in a way that felt casual/natural.

But yeah! That’s my update.

I still owe myself an organized list of what I have left remaining to write. I’m hoping to do that after I finish today’s words… would have done it yesterday but I had a TON of other writing to do and a medical appointment.

How are y’all doing?

It’s okay if you didn’t make it – just keep checking in and letting us know how you’re doing (even if it’s mostly planning or something).

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P.S. Another meme for you lovely folks this morning:


unfortunately i hit a wall until i decided to bounce story ideas off a close friend of mine. as i came up with a new plan of attack i noticed it was after midnight so i got very little writing done yesterday but im excited for when i get off i can hit the ground running