NaNoWriMo Tag

I’ve been seeing this on WordPress over the last week, so I’ve decided to join the party. It’s really just a way of procrastinating, but it sounds like fun to answer too. These questions were originally posed by Kristine Horner in a YouTube video, but I don’t do videos. I’m only barely a blogger, really. So anyway, here are the questions with my answers:

1. How many times have you done NaNoWriMo?
I have done NaNo 5 times before, with the first being in 2007.

2. How did you first find out about NaNoWriMo?
The admin of a fanfiction forum I was part of, specifically fanfiction for Ragnarok Online, mentioned it in October 2007. I will always be grateful that she made that off-hand comment about who was going to be participating, because it’s opened up a whole world to me.

3. What was the name of the first novel you attempted with NaNo?
It was called “Outcast,” it was fanfiction, and it was the best thing I’d ever written. It’s still one of my absolute favorites, and will be revisited and adapted to the world I’ve created for my series of novels eventually.

4. Give us a 1 sentence summary of what you’re writing this year.
A loud, obnoxious blade smith disappears during a historical reenactment, and the daughter of a neighboring blacksmith begins to suspect foul play when she notices the suspicious behavior of some of the other reenactors.

5. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t edit the crap out of your writing. I’ve read so many articles and blog posts by writers who make it seem like a manuscript will never be ready. It will always need another draft. While it’s true it will never be perfect, just maybe it doesn’t have to be. That’s given me a lot of freedom in my current revision of my first novel to not feel like I have to keep going for another 2 years, editing it to death and probably losing my voice at the same time.

6. Did you ever take a year off from NaNo? Why?
Yes, I skipped 2008, 2010, and 2011. 2008 was mostly because I didn’t have any ideas for what to write and didn’t know how to coax inspiration at the time. I was also wishing I could transition from fanfiction to original fiction, and it wasn’t working out. The other two years were mostly because having a baby (in 2010) and then young toddler (in 2011) along with homeschooling an older kid made me feel that doing NaNo would be too overwhelming. Add to that the same “lack of idea” issue from 2008, and I gave those years a pass. Though I spent at least half of November those years thinking “maybe I could still jump in.”

7. What’s your biggest inspiration when figuring out what to write?
All sorts of things. I don’t know if I can narrow it down. Song lyrics, a movie I watched and thought, “What if this were different?” Some random thing someone said, or something that came out during free writing. My husband also makes a great sounding board, and helps me break through blocks in planning sometimes.

8. Read us the first sentence from one of your novels.
“Thousands of years ago, the world was much more technologically advanced than it is now.”

9. Why do you love writing?
It’s so much fun to develop these random ideas into something real. Something that’s outside of my head. Something I can share with someone. There’s just something about letting the thoughts spill out that is better than keeping them swirling around in my head. It’s become such a part of who I am that I don’t think I would be the same if I couldn’t write anymore.

(My plan to write 25K words on the first day took a bit of an unexpected turn around 7 this morning when I realized I had no choice but to get some sleep. I haven’t stayed up all night in quite a while, and apparently I can’t do it anymore. But I’m still on target, and if you want to check my progress, you can do so here.)

Why do they call this a “tag” anyway? I thought it was because we’re supposed to tag others to do it, but I’ve yet to see anyone tagging anyone in these posts. Feel free to share your own answers to any of these questions.

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