It’s impossible to write without considering National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’m new enough to serious writing that I’ve never participated before and I’m getting encouragement from all quarters to give it a try. It DOES sound like a good way to get words down, but I have to ask – does it really count if I’m just doing prep/background?

Don’t misunderstand me: I will still be writing key scenes for the novel and doing exercises to improve in general but I’m in no way ready to force a multi-thousand word first draft.

Part of this is because I’ve not completed my timeline of the historical events on which I’m basing my story. These cover 6 years and several countries, and while I already know I’m going to have to deviate from the reality to make a ripping yarn, I want to have this complete before I start the main writing so I know exactly how and where I’m breaking off from fact.

Figuring out a compelling story arc is the other problem. History seldom unfolds in a tidy seven-point story structure or the like, so once I have the fact down I have to hammer it into a readable fiction.

As such I’m going to end up doing more of a NaNoOutlineMo/NaNoResearchMo in order to get everything lined up. I suppose this is illustrative of how much writing doesn’t have much to do with actual writing, at least when I’m not done with my research.


2 thoughts on “NaNowriMo?

  1. dustdaughter says:

    All that matters in NaNoWriMo is getting fifty thousand words on the page in thirty days. The ‘manuscript’ doesn’t even have to make sense – and let’s face it, it probably won’t with all the sleep you’ll be missing out on. I don’t know if NaNo is well-suited for more deliberative tasks like outlining and researching. An alternative is NaBloPoMo, which is short for National Blog Posting Month ( You could blog your outlining ideas and/or research each day instead of trying to hit 50K words.

  2. A. Thurman says:

    I’m taking the month as just an impetus to get the timeline and outline done. I doubt I’ll post blow by blow though – not only would I not know how to quantify it I just don’t think “Today I put n new things into the outline” would make for very interesting reading 😛

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