Tuesday, November 1, 2022

ISWG - November

 It's the beginning of November so it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

The awesome co-hosts for the November 2 posting of the IWSG are Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton!

This month's question is a timely one:

November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

The answer to this is yes. I have done NaNo several times, both the traditional November one and the June summer camps. I'm not doing it this year, but only because the book I wrote during NaNo in 2020 is just in its final stages of revising and editing and beta reading and I'd like to finish that before diving into something new.

Plus, I generally try to take a day or two a week off work to write during NaNo and with having started a new job recently, I don't have a lot of leave up my sleeve to do this.

But I love NaNo and find it very helpful in getting words on the page. I'm a naturally competitive person and I don't like to fail at things I start, so setting a goal and working toward reaching it works well for me. I know it doesn't for others, but we all have our own way of working. I'm very happy to write through without going back to read what I've written before, but I know other writers really struggle to move on if what's already written isn't polished and perfect.

I'm also happy to skip bits if they're too hard to write right now or I'm not sure how the story is going to get from scene A to scene C. I just leave myself a note in the text and move on to the next point where I do know what happens. That scene B can be written later, once I've figured it out.

I think the downside of NaNo is that because they're written so fast and furiously, they tend to need more revision than books that might be written at a more measured pace. But my books always tend to need a lot of revision because I don't outline and I don't write in order and there are always messy bits that don't fit together properly or don't jibe with things that happened earlier. At least you have the words to revise after NaNo, even if it does take two years or more to wrangle them into some kind of shape.

Are you a NaNo person? What works for you?


  1. NaNo doesn't really go with my style of writing. Plus I never feel like writing in November.

  2. NaNo isn't for me either. I like to revise as I write. My current manuscript is pretty easy to revise that way. Also I don't have time for it.

  3. I like NaNo particularly when I'm trying to work through a first draft. It really helps me just get words on the page. I try to use it to experiment with new genres, but lately, I'm using it to try to finish up already existing projects. I've been living in NaNo Rebel land for so long, I'm not sure I'll ever leave. :)

  4. I can see how it works if you're already that kind of writer. It's good if you feel like you need something apart from self-motivation.

  5. I've found I'm definitely not a NaNo person.

  6. I find that Nano is useful if I already have a pretty good idea about what I want to write. If I start from scratch, I quickly find myself out on a tangent somewhere with no idea how to get back to the main story.

  7. It can be hard to give extra time to a writing project such as NaNoWriMo when you start a new job. New day jobs can get in the way of a writing routine making a person have to put it on hold to some extent; that's been my case at least.

    Good luck with the book you're working on!