So I’ve recently written about NaNoWriMo and what it is, so now let me get to what I like about it. There’s a variety of things, but it really boils down to two parts. Accountability and community. Read more past the break!
You see that graph? That’s MY graph. (said in a proud voice!) This is definitely something that is incredibly motivational, for me, at least. When you first start a project, you enter your word goal along with a brief synopsis, project name, etc. It gives you this “Line of Death” (My name for it) that tracks where you SHOULD be. Plus the little bars tell you where you are at this time. To be honest there’s definitely times I update that bar a dozen times while writing. It helps me see and feel that there’s progress being made. Which is exactly what I want, because progress begets progress. You can see how many words you’ve written today, your average per day, and a whole bunch of other stats.
In the Camp NaNoWriMo, your cabin has a Line of Death as well, along with a cumulative bar. It’s nice to see how all your efforts come together to push for completion. (As far as I know you don’t win anything as a cabin for completing the challenge as a cabin.) Also, in order to win any prizes or the winner’s recognition, you must copy and paste the text into their validate function so they can make sure you aren’t cheating. (You can still beat it, but really, why would you?) Also, in case you worried about the computer stealing your work, it counts the words then deletes it from their server.
While this isn’t something I’ve been really good at doing (since if I’m writing I want to write, not talk) but the community around Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo proper is amazing. Young, old, veteran, novice, editors, writers, everyone is in it to finish it!
Here’s a selection of topics. Honestly these are so useful I wish I had spent MORE time looking through them. Especially the naming part (There’s only so many Roman characters I can name Julius). But these forums are also open year round, and you don’t have to have a project running to join the forums (you do need an account though). I love these forums. The camp portion also has a cabin talk, and if you’re really paying attention when you first join a cabin you can pick your cabin mates or the cabin topics, which can help focus you on your goal (and allow your teammates to be useful to you, and vice versa)
So there you have it! My thoughts on the best parts of NaNoWriMo. Will I do it again this November? Absolutely! Perhaps for Laurel Emperor or my next novella, the Last Gladiator.