In preparation for National Novel Writing Month next November, Ben Solah thought it would be fun to look back at previous NaNo’s and answer some questions about how he takes part in the event.
If you want to do this meme, please leave a link in the comments on Ben’s blog so he can keep track of where its going. And he’s offering double points if you post a photo with your answers in some NaNoWriFic action shot. :-)
When and how did you find out about NaNoWriMo? How did you go?
I signed up in 2006 and I’m pretty sure I found out about NaNo from the Absolute Write forums. I think I did respectably for a first timer. :-)
How many times have you done NaNoWriMo?
Technically, I’ve done it three times, although 2007 doesn’t really count because I don’t think I did much more than the title and maybe the first few paragraphs.
How many times have you won? If you haven’t won, what was your best result?The first year I did it I reached 32,00 words before I ran out of story. Last year I surprised even myself by winning.
How did you go last year?
Last year I reached 52,000 words a couple of days before the end of November and my novel topped at 57,000+ words.
Where do you write and with what do you write?
Last year I wrote mostly in the living room, really late at night. That won’t be happening this year because I can’t stay up that late. Mostly I’ll be writing in my home office, on my beloved laptop.
How do you find time to write?
Last year I had all the time in the world - I was unemployed. This year I’m in school plus I’m trying to juggle four blogs. I have no idea where I’ll be finding the time!
Are your partners, friends and family allies or enemies?
Good question. Wish I had a good answer! I guess only time will tell. :-)
What are your strengths and what do you use to help you get to the end?
My biggest strength is persistence. I think I’m a little better disciplined than I was last year - hopefully I won’t be wasting as much time because I won’t have as much time to waste. I keep a two-column pad on my desk with what my word count should be and space to fill in my word count for the day - this lets me see how I’m doing.
What are your weaknesses, obstacles and challenges that hinder you from finishing?
Time is certainly going to be the biggest obstacle. And procrastination. I really need to suck it up this year and apply some time management skills if I’m going to finish.
Do you plot/outline/plan or do you write by the seat of your pants? How much do you plot or how unprepared are you?
In 2006 I had a nicely detailed plot which worked well until I ran out of story before I finished. Last year I didn’t plan on doing NaNo - I was struggling with my writing and for the last two weeks of October I hadn’t written a thing. There was an idea stuck in my head but every time I went to write it down I hit a wall. Then November 1st rolled round and suddenly I was writing like a fiend. This year, I plan to have an idea by November 1, but the plotting will be all in my head.
Do you participate in the real life community, go to write ins and meet ups in your area?
I always mean to . . . but to be honest I live in a small town and it’s a 45 minute drive to the nearest write-in or meet-up. Not to mention the fact that I’m just not comfortable writing in public. And once I get into NaNo, I barely remember to check my e-mail, let along participate in the NaNo forums.
What are your writing aids? Special snacks, music, totems, rewards or punishments?
My secret weapons are Spider Solitaire and gummi worms. Solitaire focuses my mind when I run into snags, and gummi worms are just plain yummy. :-)
This year I’m seriously considering buying a NaNo shirt - or maybe a NaNo travel mug for my Chai tea. Maybe I can use that as my reward. As for a punishment . . . feel free to mock me if you finish and I don’t. :-)