What year(s) did you participate in NaNoWriMo?
Tell us if you won or not, and what you learned from the experience
I won. I wrote just over 50,000 words during the month of November. I highly recommend doing this if you want to write any sort of book. It’s a great motivator. My teen-aged daughter and I both did it. We challenged and encouraged each other! She was able to write two 50,000 word books!
What I learned was that with a little discipline, it is absolutely possible to complete a novel in 30 days. In fact, I was able to complete one and start another. However, it does take discipline–daily word count goals and a good working plan.
What specific advice do you have for someone attempting NaNoWriMo ?
I’m not a ‘pantster’ writer. I can’t just sit at a computer and bang out a story that is worth reading, especially one that’s 50,000 words! My advice is to get a working outline of specific plot points in your story before November. Of course, you can change it, but an outline to me is like a map, point A to point B, or scene A to scene B to scene C. Know your characters. It’s okay if they change something on you. Don’t edit!!!! You just don’t have time. A great book (and blog) is Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks. His blog is storyfix.com. As much as possible, try to write every day. If you write roughly 1800 to 2000 words per day, you won’t have any problems finishing by Nov 30. Keep believing in yourself. This is great fun.
In your opinion who do you think is a good fit to do the challenge and who is is *not* for.
Our family homeschools, so that makes our time much more flexible. Some things will have to wait, but you don’t want to make your family your enemy. This should be fun. You may have to get the children to help with dinner. I think anyone who is a competent writer can do this. However, good typing skills is a must. It’s not a good fit for people who can’t carve out time. Also, good coffee is very helpful!
Christina Li, BA, MA, is an author, journalist, inspirational speaker, and wife and mother of five. She homeschools her three children and two teenagers. Recently, she and her family relocated to the Northwest suburbs of Chicago to join the ministerial staff of The Life Church of Des Plaines. Besides writing, Christina enjoys a great cup of coffee, fresh roasted by her wonderful husband! Find Christina on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/ChristinaLiBooks. Check out her blogs! For encouragement and book excerpts: www.ChristinaCLi.wordpress.com For inspiration and information on writing and publishing your own books: www.ChristinaLiBooks.wordpress.com