There’s no doubt that doing NaNoWriMo is a slog and sometimes you need a break from fighting through all those words by yourself.
So, the other Saturday I went along to a NaNoWriMo ‘Write In’ in Birmingham city centre. The organisers had reserved several tables in a café and, apart from the expectation that each participant would purchase refreshments from the café, the event was free.
When I arrived it was easy to spot the novelists – they all had laptops and their fingers were dancing over the keyboards. It was at this point that I realised I hadn’t fully thought through what a NaNoWriMo event might entail. I’d come armed with a notebook because I wanted a break from the computer screen and time to think about some additional plot twists and/or characters. I hadn’t expected to see such industry.
Nevertheless I was made welcome.
As well as offering the time and space to write, chat or do whatever else NaNo related you fancied, there were some organised activities during the afternoon.
We were given the word of the day to incorporate into our stories. It was ‘pyknic’, meaning ‘short and fat’.
Then it was time for the first ‘Word Wars’ session. The aim was to write as many words as possible in a timed 45 minute session. Without a laptop it was difficult to join in but the silence and atmosphere of work during that time was fantastic and I found myself scribbling outlines for several possible scenes to act as triggers over the forthcoming days. It was definitely time well spent.
There was an interlude to catch our breath and discuss general NaNo stuff. Also at this point the origami bunnies were brought around. For every 10k words completed, a bunny was awarded. I got one because at that point I had around 17,000 words done.
Coffee cups re-filled and cake bought it was time for another ‘Word War’.
As I was leaving a ‘Word Sprint’ was getting under way. Each individual picked a lolly stick at random. The stick contained a number of words and a time limit in which those words should be written.
So, for those lacking motivation or those just needing/wanting to get through a whole pile of words – get yourself along to a NaNoWriMo ‘Write In’. But don’t forget your laptop!