I answered this same tag last year. It was from Natalia Leigh’s Youtube channel. I thought I would answer the questions again in preparation for this year’s event.
If you don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is an event that takes place every November and the goal is to write a 50,000 word rough draft of a new novel in the 30 days of November. To complete this you need to write 1667 words every day.
1. How many times have you participated in NaNoWriMo? How many times have you won?
This will be my 15th year participating. I have won three times in the past.
2. Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I am a pantser. I have trouble with plotting. As soon as I plot the ending of a novel I lose all interest in writing the story. I already know the ending so why would I bother writing it again in longer form. This year I have a handful of bullet points for the major events I want to happen in my novel, but nothing else. I don’t even know the main character’s name yet. I hope to have that part at least decided before November gets here.
3. What are the titles of the projects that you have attempted/completed for past NaNos?
A lost nanowrimo.org log in at some point over the years means I don’t have the titles for many of my attempted novels. The ones I do have working titles logged for are:
2012: Cloud of Destiny (taken from a random title generator)
2015: In Which a Sorceress, A Failed Magician, and a White Rabbit Save a World (also a random title generator)
2016: Silken Edge (third attempt at a random title generator)
2018: Love, Assassins, and Other Things That Nearly Killed Me (Another randomly generated prompt)
4. What are you working on for NaNo this year?
In November I will be writing fiction for the first time since last November. Our lives were already busy and then my husband got sick in January. It was brain cancer. We fought that battle until June when he died and we’re still trying to pick up the pieces of what is left our lives now. Truthfully, I never planned to write fiction again, but I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year at the urging of my grief counselor.
I plan to write a novel where we follow a woman on one day of each year to see how drastically her life might change in only one year. I know my life changed drastically his past year, in unfixable ways that have forever changed my present and my future. I am going to use my character to explore some possibilities of the future I might have at this point.
5. What is one tip that you’d give to someone else that is participating in NaNo?
Do not have any zero days. Even if you write only one sentence that day, that is so much better than having a big fat zero on your NaNo chart. Any progress forward is better than none.
6. What was the inspiration for this novel? Do you remember when the inspiration hit you?
As soon as my grief counselor suggested that I should write again this year the idea came in to my head. It’s loosely based on my loss of my husband and I had originally thought it would end with her suicide, but looking at the idea for a while I think it will end up in a more hopeful place than I am right now.
7. Read us the first sentence from your NaNo novel last year?
I haven’t opened the document since day 1 of NaNoWriMo last year. Entirely unedited and forgotten, the first line I wrote last year for NaNo was:
Aubrey pushed her hair back behind her ear again.
It doesn’t exactly grab me. This novel was literally so forgotten I didn’t remember winning or writing this book. I thought there was an error on the NaNoWriMo website because it said i had won last year. How could I block 50,000 words of work from my memory? My grief counselor assures me it has to do with the trauma of this past year.
8. What do you plan to do with your manuscript after NaNo?
Nothing. My novels sit unread in my Google Docs. I wrote to make my husband laugh. He read my previous novels. But without him here to read them I don’t imagine this document will ever be opened or looked at again after this event. I don’t even know why I’m bothering to do this challenge this year to be honest, but my grief counselor says I should and he hasn’t been wrong yet.
9. Are you prepared for NaNo? Are you nervous?
I am not prepared at all. I feel like this year I care so little about the event that I’m not nervous or anything. It’s just another thing on my to do list. Everyone seems to think it will be very healing so maybe I’ll be more excited about my writing again when this event is over.
My current working title is One Day. People think this is an important thing for me to do this year so I’m setting myself up for success as well as I can.
- I have posted in various places about participating to hold myself accountable to this project.
- I signed up to participate in the NaNoWriMo post card swap to get some extra motivation sent my way throughout the month. My husband was my biggest cheerleader and support system so I hope a handful of post cards will at least help buffer my belief in my self a little bit.
- I will do daily word count updates on Instagram again this year.
- My daughter is totally on board to be my cheerleader. She’s mostly a distraction, but it’s the thought that counts I think.
- Because the writing itself isn’t a motivation for me this year I purchased some external motivations. Pepper and I are very in to Paint by Sticker books right now and I ordered several. I get a new one for each 10,000 words I write up to 40,000 and then if I get 50,000 words I get to order the winner’s tshirt.
And I still don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this. For the last 9 years I have written for my husband. I have written to make him laugh and because he liked to read what I had written. Without the motivation of his love and belief in me and the prospect of hearing his amazing laugh while he reads what I’m writing I just don’t know if I can stick it out. I’ve agreed to try though and I’m as ready as I’m going to get.
Will you be participating in NaNoWriMo this November?