Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the tag “NaNoWriMo”

Will you WriMo?

Below is an excerpt from a great article by Brian Klems of Writer’s Digest. He explains what NaNoWriMo is and how to get more information. I’ve won NaNo twice, the first in 2008 and then again last year in 2010. I’m in an intense debate with myself about doing it this year. It has been the single most effective tool I’ve discovered for writing; setting a word count goal and meeting or exceeding it every day for 30 days. No excuses, just writing. I’m coming off a nasty bout with the stomach flu and so everything seems insurmountable today. On the other hand, what I have I got to lose by trying? Certainly not my cookies, those are long gone.

What about you? Leave a comment and let me know if you’re up for the challenge this year. We could have a lot of fun together!

November is known by most literati as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. How it works: Start writing a 50,000-word novel on November 1 and finish by midnight on November 30th. (For in-depth details go to the I’ve participated in the event twice. First, let me share these three important takeaways from my experience.

1. It was unbelievably fun.
2. Being that productive gave me the shot of adrenaline I needed to write more.
3. I was terribly unprepared both times and ended up with 50,000 words of useless material.

OK, so “useless” may be a bit harsh, but when looking back at my past attempts I realized that if I had just done some planning and preparation, not only would I have been able to complete more words, they would have been the making of a publishable story. I bring this up because I believe that 1) You should TOTALLY try NaNoWriMo if you haven’t before—you won’t regret it and it will be one of the best writing decisions you make this year, and 2) spend the next few days preparing yourself to write a story that’s not only good, but has the structure to be great.

The key to preparing yourself for the challenge is to ask yourself these questions (which were once suggested to me by @JaneFriedman):

What’s going to happen in the story?
What does the character want?
What will the turning points be?

If you can nail these down, you will set yourself up in a much better position to write something meaningful and (potentially) publishable.


On Words & Whiskers #NaNoWriMo

I'm heading strong into week two of NaNoWriMo. I've never worked this hard, and yet never had so much fun writing. Fiction is a creative blast. I'm at 10,252 words, about 1500 behind. But I intend to catch up today, especially when I stop procrastinating by writing and reading blogs.

My son is participating in his own contest of sorts. While I'm attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days, he is partaking in No Shave November. Trying to grow 50,000 whiskers in 30 days. I think he's up to about 11,660, so he's right on track. He needs to grow 1,667 whiskers per day. 

Yesterday, he caught our youngest son staring at him from the passenger seat, as he backed the car out of the Church parking lot.

"Stop staring at me, I see you looking at my beard."

"It's gross. You really need to shave," Landon said. Turns out he wasn't aware that Keegan is in the "proper care and feeding" of a beard phase.

To Keegan, I say "Way to go son! You make a momma proud. When the whiskers won't come, never give up."

And to myself I say I better wrap this up.

True tip for my fellow WriMo's: French Cafe' on Pandora is the best writing music ever. Period.

Check below for more inspiration. 



Like a NASCAR Winner

As we drove over the hill, I thought we would lift off, I was flying for a second. Singing with my son to some old school 90's country, Alan Jackson has never sounded better.

And then I saw him. With the radar gun pointed right at me.

I looked down and was stunned to see that I was driving over 90 mph.

"Keegan, I'm going so fast that I could go to jail," I said to my 17- year- old driving son. "Get out the registration."

The Officer pulled out right away, and yet he stayed back at least 8 car lengths, with his lights flashing.

Maybe he's not really after me.

So I didn't pull over. Big mistake.

After a half mile, I pulled over just to see if he would pass. No such luck. He says he clocked me going 88 in a 65.

He went through the usual formalities; asking where we were going, who was playing baseball, what kind of league it was, if I had any weapons and then to step out of the car. 

As I walked around to the side, he said, '"You do know I could arrest you right now don't you?"

"Yes," I said as my knees knocked together so hard he had to have heard it.

"Is there a reason you didn't pull over sooner? You really confused me," he said. "Is it because I was so far back?"

"That is exactly why," I answered. I confused him?

"What do you do back in Scottsdale?"

"I'm a writer."

"Wow, have you been published? What do you write?"

"Yes, and I write about abandonment, marriage and parenting."

Did you know there is a high incidence of mother primates who abandon their young? It's fascinating and I don't think I've ever pulled over a writer before," he grinned.

No smile came to my face, I didn't feel like we were friends.

He confirmed that when he wrote me a hefty ticket for criminal speeding, told me to slow down and wished me great luck with my writing.

During the festivities, our middle son was watching a DVD in the back seat. Ever since he was little, he has said "Go Big or Go Large." That was my first ticket ever, so I'm thinking he's pretty proud that I went extra large.

Skip ahead a few days and today is the first day of NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in 30 days. I'm planning for lift- off around week three. Nobody's stopping me this time for speeding and crossing the finish like a NASCAR winner.

All my fellow wrimos: you too, need to go big or go large. You're most likely already home!

For NaNo support and inspiration, check out the blogs below:


I’m A NaNo Blogger

Once again I'll be trying to win the NaNoWriMo contest come November 1. My last attempt and victory was in 2008, I wrote a non-fiction novel in the style of Capote's In Cold Blood.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Writers all over the world will try to compose 50,000 words in 30 days, beginning November 1. That's about 1666 words per day, but I don't like the 666 thang, so I'll be going for 1700.

Currently I'm working on story arcs and then I'll proceed to the outline. This is permissible by the way, you just can't start the actual writing until November 1. 

The word count doesn't stop for Thanksgiving, grandma's gravy and/or black Friday. 

1700 words every day.

Have you got what it takes?

I'm part of a blog chain to provide NaNo inspiration.

Check it out HERE now, maybe it will encourage you to jump!

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