Balticon 47 Wrap up – Part 18, NaNoWriMo

by Doc Coleman on September 30, 2013 · 8 comments

in Balticon

Writing is often a solitary occupation. But periodically, there are events that will bring the writing community together for mutual support and the friendly spirit of competition. One such annual event, is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Each year, during the month of November, The Office of Letters and Light, and writers everywhere, challenge each other to write a 50 thousand word novel in just 30 days. Some folks revel in the challenge, others despair of meeting their daily word goals, still others despair for the flood of self-published first drafts that are sure to flood the market in December and January, presuming to be finished without editing or review. No matter your view on NaNoWriMo, it still has a lot of good lessons to teach writers who are looking to move their writing up from a hobby to a more professional level of production. Professional quality comes later, as one learns the value of editing…

This episode of the Balticon 47 Wrap up, is the recording of the panel NaNoWriMo, where P. G. Holyfield moderates a panel of writers, including Starla Huchton, Pamela Gay, Allison Gamblin, Hugh O’Donnell, and myself, in a discussion of NaNoWriMo, or various experiences, how we prepare for it, what you can get out of it as a writer, and what you need to do after November to get your work ready for publication.

There are many reasons why writers choose to take part in NaNoWriMo, but in the end, it all boils down to the desire to write, tell stories, and bring the level of one’s writing production up to a more professional level. While there are many different styles of writing and crafting a story, eventually each writer who wants to share their story with the world is going to have to deal with the need to produce content and meet a deadline. NaNoWriMo provides a crucible for new writers to test their skills and refine them to a more advanced level in an atmosphere of friendly sport.

The panel discusses the techniques that each of us have used, and a number of the tools that we have found useful for getting ourselves prepared, motivated, and productive in the art of writing. With so many writing aids available, you should be able to find something that fits your style of writing.

NaNoWriMo is all about getting started and producing a first draft, but that isn’t the end of the journey. That draft has to be finished and edited before it is ready to be seen by the world. Those are tasks that come after November, but they must not be forgotten. We hope you find this panel to be entertaining and educational.

Enjoy the show!

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