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Doing NaNoWriMo? I Made Something For You

by Abby Kerr

in Uncategorized

About this column

Well, I made something for us.

Magic Typewriter Flying Novels

In November, write the novel you’ve always wanted to read.

Because I’ve heard it’s tough to get through 30 days and nights of literary abandon solo.

Not familiar with NaNoWriMo? It’s short for National Writing Month. It’s an international non-profit that gathers 100,000-some aspiring and accomplished novelists yearly in a 50,000-word novel-writing challenge. With a time limit: 30 days, specifically from midnight November 1st to midnight December 1st. Pre-writing is allowed but pre-drafting scenes and chapters are not. {In other words, you’re not supposed to start the challenge with any of your first draft written.}

I’m doing my first NaNo this year in conjunction with four friends from my old college writing group: Brian, Caryn, Amanda, and Phil. We’ll be checking in with each other via Skype video chat over the four weeks, keeping each other accountable and, we hope, in good humor.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo 2010?

If so, you can join with me in spirit three ways:

1.} Download this Guide I created to help us get ready in October to rock our NaNoWriMo’s in November. It’s free.

This is the thing I made that I alluded to in the title. It’s called The Choose-Your-Method Guide To Rocking Your NaNoWriMo. I created this especially for me and my virtual writing group friends {hence the references to Brian Chaffee}, but I got so inspired half way through that I thought to share it with our fellow NaNo-ers everywhere. It gives you a loose October pre-planning/pre-writing schedule that you can adapt to suit your writing style. No rules, no pressure.

2.} @Reply me on Twitter to be added to the #NaNoLove Twitter community. Put #NaNoLove in your Tweet.

#NaNoLove is a Twitter hashtag community dreamed up by me and Eleanor Wragg, a copywriter/world-traveling journalist and another NaNo first timer. We’ll be Tweeting multiple times a day from now through November regarding all things NaNoWriMo: the process, the pain, the plot, the pleasure, the protagonist, you get it. Word is that in November, Eleanor will be updating her blog daily-ish/nightly-ish with anecdotal stories about her work-in-progress. {You can follow the lovely Eleanor on Twitter @EleanorWragg.}

You can follow the #NaNoLove list by clicking Follow This List, but your Tweets won’t appear in the Tweetstream for the list unless you @reply me to be added to the list.

3.} During the month of November — and maybe before; we shall see — you can eavesdrop on my NaNoWriMo experience.

Here I go getting all meta again. [grin and eye roll]

Each day, I’ll be recording a mini, 3- to 5-minute audio for my blog that shares something I learned from the day’s writing. Just naked audio, no frills. I want these audios to feel quiet, intimate, and inspirational, not the least bit coach-y or didactic. They’ll be short enough that you can listen to them while you check your email. Great for writing types who miss talking with other writers about their work.

So that’s all for now. In case you haven’t already, go ahead and download your free Choose-Your-Method Guide To Rocking Your NaNoWriMo using the big juicy link below.

Download your Guide here.

P.S. If you should happen to find any typos, errors, or broken links in the Guide, please feel free to let me know and they’ll be corrected straightaway. Thanks and enjoy!

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexia September 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Just what I was going to hunt for today! :) Thanks Abby.


Abby Kerr September 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Aw, sweet! I looked for something like this about a month ago and was surprised to not find much of anything. {Slyly hoping to get some Google juice out of this post, too. :)}


Penrefe September 28, 2010 at 10:12 pm

What a wonderful guide! I’ll be sure to pass this link around. Oh, and best of luck with your NaNo novel =)


Abby Kerr September 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Thank you! Yours, too.


Tracy September 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm

This is not the first year I’ve signed up for NaNo (err..*cough* number of times), but I think it may be the first year I actually have a serious crack at it, and maybe, just maybe, have a book-sized work at the end.

The difference? Well, using tools like your quick guide (and following advice given by other NaNo alumni) to create a structure prior to November, and the truly magical element – accountability.

I’ve already outed myself on Twitter and discovered a few of my tweeps are entertaining the same madness, and now looking forward to joining in the #NaNoLove with you, too. :)


Abby Kerr September 28, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Yay, so glad you’re with us, Tracy! As I said in the post, this is my first NaNoWriMo, so I’m relying on learning from the best experiences of those who’ve been there before me. But I don’t believe my novel will be finished in 50K words. That’s a short novel. Though maybe it’d be good to just bang out the story arc in 50K, as scenes and chapters can always be expanded in revision.

Wishing you luck during your October pre-writing!


Eleanor Wragg September 28, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Fantastic post and awesome guide! I’m madly clearing out my schedule so I can fully commit to the NaNoLove… It’ll all be on my new site (I’ll update you with a link when it’s live!)

For anyone that’s interested, I’ll be covering the trials and tribulations of a NaNoWriMo virgin (me!), with tips, anecdotes, and possibly a little sprinkling of inspiration for other NaNoWriMo virgins. I’ll even be posting excerpts of my novel-in-progress, so we can laugh together at my rampant purple prose.

Oh, and one last thing… I promise to stop using the phrase “NaNoWriMo virgins”. Because, really, it’s making me yak a little bit.

Can’t wait to get this started!

Thanks Abby for a great post!


Abby Kerr September 28, 2010 at 10:37 pm

So glad to be doing this with you, Eleanor. There’s no better way for two writers to get to know each other than through sharing their writing.

Even with all this talk and hullabaloo {have I ever used that word before?}, I still don’t think we have any idea of how it will feel to actually be doing it. NaNo non-virgins? Care to weigh in?


Caryn Caldwell September 29, 2010 at 1:05 am

This is great! Very inspirational.


Abby Kerr September 29, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Hope it works for you, Caryn. :)


kyeli September 29, 2010 at 3:27 am

This is stellar and awesome and exciting. Thank you!


Abby Kerr September 29, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Yay, so glad this feels like the right thing right now. Have you #NaNo’d before?


Becka (StickyNoteStories) September 29, 2010 at 3:02 pm

This is an awesome post for people getting ready to do NaNo! I’ll point all my Wrimos over here as soon as the boards come back up on Friday (I’m ML, so they listen to me… I think :P)

If you would like to join I’ve started a NaNo Blogchain to connect all the NaNo bloggers together. Your audio blogs would make an excellent addition to it! You can find the info here:


Amy September 29, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Very nice! Thank you. If I do it this year, it will be my first NaNo. Some guidance is wonderful! ♥


Abby Kerr September 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm

The first time feels like it’s going to be a grand experiment. My goals for my first time out are to learn about my writing process and to prove to myself that I can actually complete a novel {at least the first draft of one}. :)


Mary Havlicek September 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm

So I had a few people suggest that I Nano, but I wouldn’t be writing a novel, it’d be journaling and blogging and all that kinda stuff. More to get myself on a really good writing track and just write a crapload of words to get used to writing again. Can I still participate?


Abby Kerr September 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Hey, Mary!

You can definitely participate along with other NaNo-ers, but you technically can’t enter your work in NaNoWriMo’s competition unless you consider what you’re writing a novel. In their FAQs, they say, If you consider it a novel, we consider it a novel.

But I’d think it’d be greatly inspiring to be writing along with the rest of us this November!


Mary Havlicek September 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm

I would rather just participate with you guys than try to enter something into the competition anyways, lots less pressure that way to come up with a novel idea. :) So, yay, I’ll be writing!


Abby Kerr September 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm



Nanna October 1, 2010 at 9:52 pm

What a wonderful guide!
I was wondering if you mind me translating it into spanish. Of course, I will be giving you credit.

Good luck with your novel!


Abby Kerr October 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Translating it into Spanish? That’s a lovely idea! Thank you. :)

Good luck with your novel!


Nanna October 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm

No, thank you. I think your guide is very helpful, and I’d love to share it with some spanish fellow NaNo-ers. If you want, once I finish, I can translate their feedback and send it to you to read. : )


Abby Kerr October 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

That would be awesome. Thank you1


Ganymeder October 6, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Checking out your twitter stuff and download now. Thanks for sharing! Good luck with Nanowrimo. :)


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