Thursday, September 30, 2010

Interview with Crystal ~ Blogger and NaNoWriMo 2009 Participant



NaNoWriMo is coming very soon!

What the heck is it? ~ (That is what I thought last year so I have done some research).  Its National Novel Writing Month and from November 1st until the 30th, a ton of would be authors take to their computers or to the writing implement of choice, to try and achieve a goal of completing a novel of 50,000 words within 30 days! 

A true challenge in my opinion, but for any one who has ever wanted to create a novel, here is your chance. Starting tomorrow you have a month to plan.

In addition, I decided to go straight to a knowledgeable source and ask a 2009 participant a few questions. Crystal has kindly agreed to let me “pick her brains” to share with our readers.

Crystal is a blogger at The Crystal Perspective where she has been blogging for a little over a year. Although very busy with real life, she writes excellent reviews and has some interesting personal posts to peruse. Here are her experiences around NaNoWriMo and some advice to share.



Tell us about yourself and how long have your been writing?

I'm an accountant and I live in Seattle. I've been blogging for just over a year. I started writing in the 4th grade and remember entering stories into every writing contest I heard about. I also won a school contest to attend a Young Writers Conference.

Why write, what is your motivation? What types of things have you written - length and genre? Has any of your work been published? If not is this something that you would like to happen?

The passion for writing is my motivation, and I write mainly fictional short stories.  Sadly, none of my fictional work has been published. I do have a blog where I post book reviews, but I've never posted any of my work.

I would love to have my writing published and probably pursue publishing in the future.

Tell us about NaNoWriMo - what is it? How does it work?

NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - is a personal challenge to authors to write 50,000 words from November 1 to November 30. There are no prizes, just the satisfaction of participating. If you do reach the 50k words mark, you do get to print out a certificate.

Starting at midnight November 1, authors begin a story from scratch. You have until midnight November 30 to write 50,000 words (or more!). For your novel to be counted, you submit your work to the NaNoWriMo website, which officially counts the words. If you meet the goal, congratulations!!

I know you were part of the program last year, was that your first year?

Yes, 2009 was the first year I participated. 

What was your process for the program? Outlines? Characters already defined? Start from scratch?  Or did you just start writing?

I created an outline of the story first, with notes about main characters. Following my outline, I set aside time to let creativity flow. I typed the first ideas that came to my head. I wasn't too concerned with editing, there's time for that when NaNoWriMo is over.

Are you worried about someone copying your work or using your idea(s)?

I'm not too concerned with people stealing my ideas. When you upload your work to the NaNoWriMo website, they use software to count your words, then they delete your work.

What did you get out of your NaNoWriMo experience? Will you do it again? What will you do differently?

I learned that writing 50,000 words is a lot harder than I thought! I was also surprised with how easily ideas flowed once I did started writing.

I would definitely do NaNoWriMo again!  It's a great way for any author to challenge themselves. I did not meet the 50,000 word goal last year, so I want to participate again just so I can complete the challenge.

As for advice I would set aside more time to work on my story.

Any tips or suggestions for “newbies” and participants?

Even if you don't think you have enough time, I highly recommend writers to participate in NaNoWriMo. It's a great way to challenge yourself and get that story that's been bouncing around inside your head written down. Don't stress about meeting the 50,000 word deadline, just start writing and see what happens!

Thanks Crystal for sharing.


Here are some links: 

Please let us know if you plan to participate in this event, so I can follow and support your efforts. If any one has any tips, suggestions, or links, it would be great to include them in this post. 

Thanks for reading!


Robin M said...

What a great post and thanks for giving nanowrimo a plug. Alot of people still don't know about it. I will be doing it again for the 4th time in a row. Discovered it is a great way to get a first draft going.

logankstewart said...

Man. I don't think I'm gonna have time to attempt NaNoWriMo this year, but I'd like to. Life's too hectic to attempt a novel. I could definitely do ShoStoWriMo though. Maybe I'll have to create something like that.

Nice interview. :)

Unknown said...

Robin -
Thanks! I have so many people who write and authors on my readers list, I thought it good to gear the blog toward that.

Besides its so very interesting. I am looking at the structure of novels right now... quite a challenge.

Wow number 4! perhaps you will let me "pick your brains" at some point too?

Now I have two people that I know of that are in the challenge - yourself and Laurel-Rain Snow.

Cheers Robin!

Unknown said...

Logan -
Are you sure?

I think you should give it a go! People like you are why I write posts like this.

Thanks about the short story challenge. I had no clue.

Its in February and hosted on live journal? That's what Google came up with.

logankstewart said...

@Shellie: Wow, who knew such a thing even existed? What a crazy random happenstance!

At the moment, I don't think there's any feasible way I could pull off 50k words. Last year was less busy and I only managed just over 30k; this year... who knows, though, maybe I'll do give it a go anyway.

Unknown said...

Logan -
Wow....So you did not know there was a ShoStoWriMo... that is so funny!


No blogging, no reading, no reviews - just NaNoWriMo - Well at least try.

I've been reading about what it takes .. and the key is not to go into editing mode. Take it from me I'm an expert at these things. *big wink*

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Good post! Thanks for sharing thoughts about NaNoWriMo, which I'm seriously considering doing. I didn't know about it last year.

However, my WIP is one in which I completed a first draft and now I'm tweaking, changing POV, etc.

So I guess if I participate, it would have to be a completely different story.

I'll have to think about it....

Unknown said...

Laurel -
Last year when I first saw this challenge online I was very confused as well as overwhelmed as a new blogger. So I thought it would be good thing to clarify for some newer blogger and writers we have floating around here on Layers of Thought.

Yep - I think you can have an outline for the novel but it must be the rest needs to be from scratch.

I'm thinking that it will be something where everything else in your life will be on hold?

If you do I will cheer you on!

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