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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

#IWSG: NaNo or Not


It's the 1st Wednesday. Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts:  Tonja Drecker, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass! Oh, yeah, and me, too.


Do you NaNo? In the event you've been in your writer's cave since the 4th of July and haven't heard all the hoopla, tomorrow is the beginning of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers' Month). Until a few years ago, I'd never heard of NaNo and couldn't believe the fuss about it.

For those of you who participate by writing a book in a month (Yep. 50,000 words in 30 days), have a great time. While the premise is great, it doesn't work for me. I can't keep writing and not go back. If I don't fix, edit, change what I wrote before, I'm unable to go forward. It's the OCD in me. I know, I know. I should just write down the "shitty" first draft and edit/revise later. A good practice . . . but one I can't do. "Try it, you'll like it." To quote Toddler Girl, "I don't think so."

Have fun, folks. I'll keep plodding away at my WIP, writing, revising, writing, revising.

For those of you following my posts since this summer, I'm happy to report the twins arrived on Saturday. DIL and the boys are well. Can't wait until they come home.

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today. 

Go, NaNo writers!

Here's this month's question:  Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?


119 comments:

  1. I'm with you on this one, Di. No No Na No for me. It makes my OCD hurt. I have had success with limited sprints, though, and at Write-Ins, but a whole month? Shudder! Thanks for hosting today!!

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    1. I agree about sprints and write-ins. Short enough to maintain my attention.

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  2. Yeah, NaNo isn't for everyone. I'm almost the opposite of you in that I'm terrified to look backward and the stuff I've already written for fear of seeing some truly terrible stuff. I'm kidding, sort of, but NaNo works for me so long as I don't get obsessed with the idea of hitting that magical (arbitrary) 50k. Thanks for hosting this month's IWSG prompt, and happy writing to you. :)

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. I admire writers for whom NaNo works. Best wishes to you.

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  3. I second that thought Diane. I need to review and revise before I move on. What if the last sentence in a scene isn't just right? :)

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  4. I don’t officially na no either. With me, it seems every time November rolls around I have a manuscript due or am in the middle of one that will be due soon. Sigh, maybe next year. Congrats on the twins. Tell DIL and son, they will do fine, I promise.

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    1. Thanks, Margo. That's true for me most years, too. Right now I'm finishing up a novella and don't want to take time away from that.

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  5. Great post Diane. I don't participate in NaNo either but kudos to those who do.

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    1. I agree, Nicola. I admire those who do NaNo. Best wishes to them.

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  6. I don't go back, but I do try to perfect as I write, which makes me slower than ever. However, it was great motivation for me when I tried it a couple years ago.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. NaNo is a great motivation. I did book-in-a-week a couple of times and that worked for me. Short enough time.

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  7. I love the Toddler Girl quote :-) NaNo is one of those things that works well for some and not for others. I'm going to give it another go this year. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Best wishes to you, Ellen, and everyone who does NaNo. Like writing in general, use what works for you.

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  8. I've never participated in NaNo either. I write like a snail and I don't have the time. But, perhaps one year when life settles down, I'll give it a try.

    Thank You for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Will life ever settle down??? LOL Not for me. Just when I think it will, something else will come up. Best wishes on your writing. Do what works for you.

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  9. I've tried NaNo a few times and am giving it another try this month hoping it will give me a boost. I've been a total slug for what feels like forever LOL.
    Congratulations on the new grandbabies!! How exciting.

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    1. Thanks, Julie. We are thrilled. Good luck with NaNo. I really admire those who do it.

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  10. I'm not interested in spewing out a novel in a month either. For me, I have to think about the characters and the plot away from the desk. It's vital and not something I can force out of my brain. If I did, I'd probably produce garbage.

    Congrats on the grandchildren. Glad to hear they and their mom are doing well.

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    1. Thanks, Tamara. Since my characters reveal themselves as I write, I'm not good with doing detailed character charts, etc. Or plotting either. But, as I understand it, if you do both ahead of time, NaNo works well.

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  11. Congratulations on the new grandchildren! :) I don't have time to do NaNo this year either, but I'm happy to cheer everyone on. Thank you for co-hosting today!

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    1. Thanks, Christine. Those babies are so precious. I agree about cheering NaNo'ers on.

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  12. I have not won Nov NaNo yet, but participated since 2013. I don't worry about the word count as much as it motivates me to get into the daily writing routine. I need all the push and motivation I can get it.

    Thanks for hosting. Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. That's a great way to use NaNo. We all need that push. :)

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  13. NaNoWriMo is pretty much the only time I can write without going back to edit. I really hate to lose. So, if I decide a scene has to go, I copy and paste it into a chapter at the end called "Scenes to delete come December 1st."

    Happy writing and revising!

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    1. LOL at saving what doesn't work. Good luck with NaNo this year.

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  14. I'm with you Diane, both because I need to go back and edit but also, I can't be creative on demand. It comes when it comes and that may not be within 30 days!

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    1. Good point, Jacqui. We do what works best for us.

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  15. "I can't keep writing and not go back." I'm the same!
    It can be such a hindrance in the sense that I can never get large chunks of writing down in a session. But that's okay with me.
    Congrats on the arrival of the twins!
    Thank you for co-hosting today!
    Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. Can't wait until the boys come home. Then I can hold them as much as I want. :) I love IWSG day. So many people who write the way I do. LOL

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  16. Hi, Diane! Congratulations on the new twins in your family! I'm heading out of town tomorrow and will be seeing my new great niece. Babies add such joy to our lives! No NaNo for me this year or in the past. I'm with you in the OCD camp! Maybe in the future, but life is always throwing me surprises. Thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. Enjoy visiting your new great niece and your sister's retirement. Double pleasures.

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  17. I feel the same way about NaNo, it just doesn't work for my writing style and pace. But I'm cheering for everyone who does it!

    Congrats on the new twins!

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    1. Thanks, Megan. I agree about cheering the NaNo'ers on.

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  18. Congrats on the babies!! I don't do NaNo either. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  19. Same here, Diane. NaNo doesn't fit my writing style either...and I can't handle & don't want the added stress! For those it works for, that's awesome! Kudos! Congratulations on the birth of the twins, Diane. Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks, Sandra. I don't do stress well, either. So anxious for the boys to come home.

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  20. I'm with you, Diane. I can't turn off the editor in my head for nothing. I'm constantly rereading and editing.

    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month!

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    1. Surprising how many of us they are who can't turn off that internal editor.

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  21. I hear you! People say to just write your first draft and let it be crap. Nope. Doesn't work for me. If something isn't working in the set up. I can't finish. My brain won't let me. I tried NaNo, and the result was a train wreck. I'm still getting up courage to touch that pile of you-know-what to try and make something of it. (Back from 2009.) Here's to figuring out what works for you and going with it!

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    1. Absolutely, Crystal. How can you write with that bundle of joy you have waiting for cuddles? :)

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  22. Thank you so much for co-hosting this month. I agree with you on going back and revising before you move on to write more. I do that too and I feel very comfortable with that. In fact, it gives me a big kick-off into developing the story even farther.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. See! There are a lot of us who can't move forward without fixing something. :)

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  23. I'm with you, I can't write without editing, revising or even - gasp! - deleting. Thus, it seems to take me forever to finish a writing project. Finding a critique partner has helped tremendously, but I still don't have the courage to try a NaNo project without being on permanent vacation ;-)

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    1. Diedre, we just find what works for us.

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  24. NaNo is great for writing a first draft (after plotting it, of course) -- it helps me to just write instead of agonizing over every sentence (or word). I'm sticking to rewrites this month, though. Thanks for co-hosting this month :-)

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    1. NaNo works well for many writers. While I don't agonize over each sentence, I do need to fix something that doesn't work for me. To each his own.

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  25. First, congrats to mama and family on the twins! And I'm SO glad I found someone else who likes to go back and edit a little before moving forward! It seems like all of the advice out there is to vomit out the first draft without stopping, then edit. But my brain just doesn't work that way and it left me feeling like a weirdo. It's reassuring to find that other authors edit and still do just fine, so thank you! And thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. S.E., I hope you read the other comments. There are a lot of us who write that way. If you're a weirdo, welcome to the club. :)

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  26. Hey, I say, write your own write (to modify the hiking community's "hike your own hike." Some of us like to spew it all out and clean up later. Others don't. There are arguments to be made either way, but the bottom line is what works for you!
    —Rebecca
    My IWSG Post

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    1. Absolutely, Rebecca. I like that slogan. I'll have to remember that.

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  27. Congratulations on those twins! That is one exciting event. And thanks for hosting today's IWSG.

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    1. We're so happy that the boys are here! Thanks.

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  28. I'm with you. I can't do the NaNo thing. I respect those who can, but I just can't. I have to backtrack and edit what I've already written. I don't feel confident about what's supposed to happen next in my story if I feel in anyway uncertain about what happened before.

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    1. Hey, you're in good company. Do what works for you.

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  29. Twins are double the fun! Congrats. I'm giving NaNo a chance. Wish me luck!

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    1. Thanks, Mina. The boys are so darn cute. But then I'm prejudiced. LOL Good luck with NaNo. And have fun!

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  30. You described my thinking to a "T. Write without editing. Allow the words to flow. At my stage of development, the NaNo exercise would be perfect for me. Help me develop free-flow habits (my personal goal). However, the intense 30 day commitment is not a match this time. Maybe, in the future. Thank you for co-hosting the 1 Nov. IWSG. Your contribution is very much appreciated.

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    1. Thanks so much, Lynn. I'm in the final editing phase of a novella. The timing isn't good for me to even try NaNo.

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  31. I did BuNoWriMo-same thing. It was a hot mess and I had a lot of revising to do. Good news is that I had a first draft. Congrats on the twins and thanks for hosting this month!

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    1. What is BuNoWriMo? You're about the 4th person to mention it? It's great that it worked for you. Thanks for the congrats.

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  32. Congrats on the twins.
    I don't do NaNo either - it doesn't work for me. Nice to feel that I'm not alone in such attitude.

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    1. Thanks, Olga. Yeah, we're a fine group of non-NaNo'ers, aren't we?

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  33. I've done NaNo, but I can't do it now. I'm trying to unpantser myself and NaNo, for me, was all pantser. A shitty first draft is one thing, but a shitty incomprehensible first draft is just...overwhelming.

    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. I hear you, Michelle. Editing a mess is no fun.

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  34. My sister had twins recently, sure double the fun and shitty diapers lol

    Yeah, it is never a challenge to me much. And my ocd makes me go back and fix things too. So I never did it.

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    1. We're still in the honeymoon phase with the twins--they're still in the hospital. LOL I'm sure we'll all come down to earth once they're home. We write the way that works best.

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  35. Congrats on the twins!! OCD, eh? Perfectionism? I decided when I was 12 I was not going to be a perfectionist. However, it does pop up when I am writing. I try to pound it back, but eventually I have to give in to it, but not every time. I am proud about that! I have a great quote from Anne Lamott on my blog today that may help. Thanks for co hosting!
    JQ Rose

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    1. Thanks so much. I work at not being a perfectionist. Hah! As you say, sometimes you can't pound it back. I'll check out your quote from Anne Lamott. Love her Bird by Bird.

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  36. Congrats on the new additions. I'm glad all is well. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  37. Hello Diana, I have just joined your wonderful blog.I have not taken part in NaNo due to personal isuues.
    I congratulate you on your grandchildren.....wonderful blessings. I have four teenage grandchildren time flies very quickly so enjoy them while they're young.
    Have a lovely Novemeber.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Thanks, Yvonne. Time really flies when those kiddies are young. Ours are 10, 7.5, 2.5, & the newborns. Love them to pieces. So much more fun than raising kids.

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  38. Twin grandchildren - yaaaay! Hubs and I are still waiting . . . and waiting :-) I haven't done NaNo yet (on next year's agenda). It will mainly be an experiement, because, like you, that process is not really my style. Thanks for co-hosting today.

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    1. Thanks. I can't imagine trying NaNo this year, not with all the commotion. LOL

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  39. Hi Diana,
    I'm looking forward to next year's NaNo. Maybe it's procrastination getting in my way. Is there ever a perfect time?
    Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. LOL, Adrienne. I don't think there is a perfect time. Just glad I didn't start it this year.

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  40. I'm doing the same as you, plodding away on my WIP. I wanted to finish it before November but it didn't happen.

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    1. Life just gets in the way of writing, doesn't it? LOL It's hard to go with the flow, but I try.

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  41. It's hard for me, too, to not circle back, but it does help me get through the initial draft faster and forces me to write through doubts and roadblocks instead of letting them stall the process, so I'll keep trying! But, I know it's definitely not for everyone. @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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    1. Short sprints or write-ins are great for me. I can shut down my internal editor for that long. Just not a whole month. But for those who can, NaNo is great.

      Delete
  42. I'm the same way. I can't write like that and I don't like to follow the rules. :)

    Great post!
    Congrats on your news!
    Heather

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    1. Thanks, Heather. Who me, follow rules? Hahaha. I'm such a product of the 60s.

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  43. I also have to go over the last bit of what I worked on before I can write new words. At least it helps me put my head back into the story.

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    1. I agree, Sandra. I always read what I've written before to help me get back into the story.

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  44. I'm with you. If something needs fixing, I have to take care of it before I go on. It takes me a long time to finish a story, but that's the way I write. Everyone is different.

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    1. You are so right, Beverly. We're all different; we all write differently.

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  45. It's been a few years since I rode the NaNo train through November. It was an interesting ride, but I'm not ready to do it again. Maybe someday.

    I'm like you in that I like to edit as I go. It looks better doing it that way when I go back to read it later.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Good analogy with the train, Lee. It sounds like a bullet train to me.

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  46. I can't edit as I go, but I'm not doing classic NaNo either.

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    1. Good luck on writing the way it works for you, Shannon.

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  47. Huh, my creator is surprised (and it's a glad surprise) to discover others who feel the same. Uhhh, no way am I saying she's OCD (o.k., well maybe she is sorta an Occasional Crazy Dame), but don't tell her I said so!

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    1. LOL. I do like your explanation of OCD. Only I'm not Occasional.

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  48. I can't go forward without looking back either. I don't have to make the words perfect, but they have to be coherent enough that I can figure out what's going on when I come back to it later. I feel as if I'm procrastinating if I don't take care of the problems right then and there.

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  49. Congrats on the twins!

    My problem is the opposite. I can't go back and edit, like, at all. I rip through the first draft and then never want to look at it again.

    (Okay, in truth I've gotten better at this, but it took me years)

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    1. Thanks. I guess we all have to learn how to make adjustments in our way of thinking.

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  50. There's no way I can write that much that fast. Maybe it is OCD...I call it my inner-editing monster.

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    1. Ooh, a monster. Perfect for this season. Whatever it's called, we have a hard time with it.

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  51. Doesn't suit me either Diane. I prefer to write shorter stories for a start, plus I need to to-and-fro with writing and rewriting and allow the process to happen at it's own speed (to some extend). I could easily (and have) write 50k word in a month, but they wouldn't for anything readable! :)

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    1. LOL We all write in different ways, don't we? Good luck with however you write.

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  52. This is so me, Diane! I write, then before I write more, I have to re-read what I wrote and fix things! I'm forcing myself not to do it so much this time, and by having to write daily, I don't have to look back. But I'm on that boat with you!

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Usually, I have to go back if I realize I made a mistake on something. Then I go back and fix it.

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  53. I used to have the same issue with having to edit as I go, so what I started doing is jotting down comments whenever I think of something I want to change or add. This way I can keep going. It has helped me. The grammar and spelling errors get fixed though...that I can't stop...

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    1. LOL, Renee. I can't help fixing those pesky grammar or spelling errors.

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  54. Been there and done that as far as NANO is concerned. I did finish, but that WIP is still in progress. I hate editing. I'm much better working it out along the way. My hat's off to those who can do it and finish and publish with regularity, though.

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    1. My hat is off with yours. Some people thrive with NaNo.

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  55. I don’t officially sign up for NaNo but I try to use it as inspiration and motivation. :)

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  56. Thanks for co-hosting this month. While I do a complete first draft and rewrite and edit later, NaNo still isn't for me, so I totally get where you are coming from.
    Also, thank you so much for stopping by my blog. It meant alot.

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  57. I also appreciate your stopping by my blog and loved learning about your writing. I'd like to write romantic adventure stories that wind up happy-ever-after, but I keep getting drawn to the dark side of our history (currently stuck in the 19th Century), and my characters struggle for that happy-for-now ending! Thank you for all the work you do in supporting other authors AND participating so honestly in IWSG. Make it a good month!

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    1. Thanks so much, Beth. Our muses certainly certainly lead us where they want us to go. No matter what I write, there's always mystery and suspense.

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  58. yes, more power to those doing the sprint that is nano!
    i might try it again some day, but not this year...

    thanks for co-hosting this month!
    and thanks for signing up to give my new release a shout!

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    1. Hi, Tara. Glad to help with your new release.

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  59. Nope. I am one of the many who do not Nano. Credit to those who do, and succeed! Thank you for cohosting!

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    1. NaNo isn't for everyone, as we've found out this month.

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  60. I'm a NaNo Rebel in that I go ahead and rewrite, I just save what I rejected to a separate file. So far in NaNo, I've rejected over 1K words, but technically I could still count them toward my total.

    Thanks for cohosting and sorry for the late return visit.

    ReplyDelete

Love getting your comments. BTW, your comment won't show up until you refresh the page. Isn't that a pain? Thanks for stopping by.