Saturday, November 12, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update

I've been a bad blogger neglecting my poor little blog these past two weeks. The reason...NaNoWriMo! In my last post I explained about my word goals and a brief synopsis of my story. I'm happy to report that besides deciding on a working title ("Source & Sacrifice") that things are going well. I've been not only hitting, but surpassing my daily word goals almost every day this month. By the end of week 2 (which was today), I had hoped to be at 26,000 words. I'm ahead of schedule with just over 29,000! =) The month isn't even halfway over and I'm already to passed the halfway word mark. Huzzah! At this current rate, I should be able to complete at least the 50,000 words by the Thanksgiving holidays, which is good since on that Thursday any writing time will be nonexistent.

Originally I wanted to "win" NaNoWriMo (i.e. make it to 50k words) just to see if I could. It was a personal challenge. And while that is still my main motivation, I have found another "driving force" to push me to finish. NaNoWriMo has various sponsors that support them and offer discounts to the NaNo participants and winners. Last year I didn't really pay attention to the winner prizes and special offers, but this year I decided to look into them and a few writing programs caught my eye. I've always just used Microsoft Word because it was handy, simple, and I understand the format. But I was curious about these other writing programs so I thought I'd look into them more.

The first writing program is an online application that is currently free while it's still in Beta mode. The application is Yarny found at It's super simple with a basic text writing program, but it also allows you to have different create new documents for different sections of your writing. These different documents can be apart of one group or broken into different groups. In one of the sidebars, a brief snippet of each document with its title is laid out for you to rearrange as desired. On the other sidebar, you can create special documents for special research and information that isn't necessarily a part of the story. That sidebar is broken into three categories of people, places, and things. And since I have been using Word thus far, I can easily copy/paste my work into and from this program. It also provides an excellent way to back up your work should something  happen to your computer. The only problem with it is that you have to have internet access in order to operate it.

Another writing program I discovered (but have not gotten to play with yet) is Scrivener. I've heard great things about this program, but never really looked into it. But its developers are offering the NaNo participants a free 30 day trial offer of the program. I downloaded the installer, but my computer is having some issues so I haven't installed it yet. But I'm super excited to try it. Apparently with Scrivener, you can separate your work from one whole document ("a binder") into various smaller documents with it (chapters/scenes). Then each of these individual chapter/scenes can turn into index cards along a virtual cork board in another part of the program. You can rearrange the index cards and/or add new information or notes to them. There is also a place to part you research and inspirational images separate from the main writing document. There are a lot more cool features on it, but since I haven't gotten to play around with it, I don't quite understand them.

Now while I'm used to writing in Word, I find it sometimes difficult since I don't write in a linear format and always have to create new documents for different chapters/scenes. (If I don't, then the document becomes to cluttered with random notes and sections.) But I have to open a completely new window and version of the program in order to see all my notes and chapters. This often creates virtual memory issues with my poor computer and confusion of flipping back and forth between all the windows. I like having an organized system when I write, but until now I have found it difficult to organize much more on the computer. With the online Yarny and Scrivener program, I think I would be more satisfied with my writing's organization.

So what do these writing programs have to do with my new "driving force" to hit 50k words? Each of their developers are offering discounts to the NaNo winners! And while Yarny will always have a simplified free version, Scrivener is a bit pricey for my tight budget. But if I make it to the "winners' circle," I will get a 50% discount on the full Scrivener program in December. It'll be like an early Christmas present to myself as well as a NaNo completion prize. Of course, I'll still have the warm fuzzies of success and the bragging rights of winning, but having a tangible object to show for all my hard work is nice as well.

Yay for motivational rewards!

Any other NaNoWriMo participants have a motivation goal or driving force pressing you to the finish line during this crazed month? Or are you simply driven by the sheer bragging rights? =)

(Elvish Farewell)


  1. I didn't know anything about the rewards - that's cool! I'll have to look it up. Mainly I'm NaNoing for sheer bragging rights, and the desire to stretch my writing.

  2. Cool the denim.

    ....taking a look around.