My 2015 PerNoReMo

Well, it’s that time of year again, and given my post topic, uploading it today rather than Tuesday makes some sense.

autumn

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the views around the new neighborhood!

Thousands are taking on the challenge of NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. If you’re one of them, I’m cheering you on and wishing you every success. If you’ve been with me for most of my now four years of blogging, you know this is one challenge I’ll never undertake. But I use the energy for something else. Something I call PerNoReMo.

The “Per” “No” and “Mo” don’t change in meaning from year to year: Personal, Novel, Month. But the “Re” in PerNoReMo can stand for just about anything, depending on my focus. It can mean reworking, revising, reviewing, reinventing, resuscitating, and so on.

This year, I’ve been stumped as to what the “Re” means, but “Reconnecting” might fit the bill after all the distractions I’ve encountered. My plans are to focus on the missing-in-action middle sections of the current WIP. I know I won’t get them all written. But I’m hoping to draft at least some of them and to sketch out more detailed outlines for others. For example, I have a couple of scenes that should be “a confrontation of Tarletons.” But the exact nature of the confrontations and the information the scenes need to provide are still a blank. Those are the elements I need to discover to bridge my first third of the book with the last quarter or so.

Some ideas are already percolating in my brain. Here’s hoping more will follow!

Are any of you doing NaNoWriMo? Taking on other challenges for the month? Or, like me, also wondering where the heck the year has gone?!

41 thoughts on “My 2015 PerNoReMo

  1. No NaNo for me. November is just too busy of a month for me, especially this one. And yes, I’m definitely wondering where the year has gone!

    Good luck with your reconnecting. Hope you find those middle parts with ease. 🙂

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    • Yes, the launch of a new novel will be keeping you busy this month—in a good way! Work can get way too busy as clients realize they want something done before the end of the year, and I hope I can keep going, even if that happens. Only time will tell, right? 🙂

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    • I just can’t face that word count. 🙂 And as I work on this latest manuscript (hoping third time’s the charm), I don’t want to write garbage just to put something on the page. Constantly tearing down a manuscript is not how I want to write anymore.

      Best wishes for reaching your goals, too, Peter!

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  2. I’m just struggling to meet our 5 month first draft challenge at 5writers5novels5months, and that’s more than enough pressure for me! Good luck with filling in your middle blanks JM! I love your sensible approach. The hardest writing challenge, at least for me, is finding the right balance between being tough on myself and being kind to myself.

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    • I love balance, but boy isn’t it hard to find! I think I lurch at times between those two extremes you mention. Forcing myself to write and then hating what comes out seems counterproductive. But when I cut myself some slack, do I give myself too much and then take the easy way out by saying “I’m busy”? My answers tend to vary based on my confidence level at the time. 😉

      I hope you’ll be able to meet that 5writers challenge—I know you have some great stories in you!

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  3. I’ve got a novel that will never see the light of day. Not even NaNoWriMo will resuscitate it. (It may not be the same thing) but I find that if tell someone about an article I’m writing, or write my thoughts out. the angle I’m taking becomes clearer, or may even change direction.

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    • That’s a great approach to take. Sitting down with friends or fellow writers and hashing out ideas or describing how we wrote ourselves into a corner can really help get us over that hump. I should be doing more of that. Alas, my personality is such that I feel like I don’t want to bother people and waste their time! And yet I know there are folks who would be happy to lend an ear and offer suggestions. We’ll see if I can go that route if I still feel stymied after my PerNoReMo. 🙂

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    • You go, Vanessa! 🙂 For me, I just can’t write that many words in such a short period of time. If I did, I’d have to chuck most of them out. But that doesn’t mean you and others can’t succeed! Here’s to you having success and fun with it!

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    • Now if I can just get those ideas from my brain to the page. 😉 So far, two days into PerNoWriMo, I’m 500+ words into one of those missing scenes. Not a bad start given how out of practice I am!

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  4. I hope the month goes well for you and the middle section comes out nicely toned and not soggy!
    I was interested in the comments about talking it through. My bipeds work in a technical environment where people sometimes get stuck when trying to solve something and they will ask to talk it through with someone else. 9 times out of 10 the issue becomes clear in stepping back to give an overview to someone else. It’s very easy to get too bogged down in detail.

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    • Talking through those sticky points can really help, especially as you say, when we’re bogged down in the details. At those times it can be so hard to see the bigger picture or an obvious way around or through a problem. Maybe after November, if I’m still stuck, I’ll contact some of those folks who I would normally turn to for those talk throughs. I don’t want to do it now because so many of them are busy dealing with work or other issues just now. Life seems to be impacting too many people I know in tough ways just now.

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  5. I don’t do NaNo either, JM. I just can’t force myself to write. I have to let it flow when it wants to flow. I haven’t even been writing since the move. However, I’m making some plans to shop my finished novel and re-release my memoir anthology. Good luck with filling in the blanks on your works. I know you’ll get it.

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    • I can’t force myself either. If I do, it seems that all I’ve written is garbage to be tossed. And it hurts to throw out that work. Definitely not good for my self-confidence!

      I know how tough moving can be, and it sounds like you’ve had more than your fair share of issues with it. Good luck with the shopping and re-release!

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  6. I’ve always enjoyed seeing your take on the NaNoWriMo rush of words, JM. Good to hear that you’ve found a new way to connect with your stories, with the Resuscitation angle. 🙂 Giving our stories a voice is keeping to the spirit of NaNo, so I think you’re in good shape with those writing frantically throughout the month.

    I’m not doing NaNo this year, either. I just didn’t have a solid idea this time around. I am going to follow your example and put my head down for a last push to revise my NaNo story for last year, though. So, I’m doing a NaNoReMo, too! And, I’ll join you in cheering on folks like Vanessa, who have taken up the 50K-word challenge this year.

    Good luck with your middle act!

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    • I had a good day yesterday—1,400+ words that fleshed out three partial scenes and completed one of them. And I’ve taken more notes for “things that must happen” in several more scenes. Of course, those 1,400+ words took a huge chunk of the day. It’s not like I banged them out in a couple of hours. But that’s okay. I really am coming to understand that I’m far more a tortoise than a hare when it comes to writing. And there’s nothing wrong with that. 🙂

      Kudos to you for using the NaNo energy in a way that works for you. If you think about the purpose of NaNo—to get people to START writing—it should be meant to be a one-time thing. Beyond that, maybe the folks behind NaNo should create some “follow up” challenges for editing and revision….

      Have fun with your editing!

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  7. I love that you’re doing PerNoReMo again. Reconnecting sounds like a great way to get back to the novel. It’s easy to lose those tiny threads of a story if we’re not on top of them day to day.

    I’m not participating in NaNo, but I am working on a new book. I started it at the beginning of September, then had to put it aside for a few weeks, but then was able to return to it on a daily basis last week. Writing every day has helped me across the board, and I love feeling excited about a new story.

    I did challenge myself to finish the rough draft by the end of November, though. I find that when I give myself those kinds of goals, I don’t hit blocks as often. So, I guess in a way I’m doing my own version of NaNo too!

    Good luck!

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    • I’m ashamed to say how lost some of those threads are, even though I have looked at the WIP more often than not. Somehow I missed getting some important continuity into my outline. For example, the main character wasn’t connecting nearly enough with the two main supporting players after the first quarter of the book! And yet they really need to be there for the story. Yeesh!

      I am so happy to hear you have a new novel underway! And I hope I’ll have the chance to read a draft when you’re ready. You know I’m always available for alpha/beta reading for you! So please take the NaNo energy and make it your own this month. 🙂

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    • Hey, I’ve NEVER done the true NaNoWriMo, and I’d bet I never will. 50,000 words in a month? That just isn’t in the cards for my writing style! Even if I had a 10,000 word outline of the entire book and every scene, I couldn’t keep that pace and write anything worth keeping. And I’ve reached the point where I don’t want to be chucking out scene after scene or completely rebuilding a novel to get it right. Now, is that a sign of maturing writing or an excuse not to write regularly? 😉

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  8. Yes, definitely wondering where the year has gone! I love your fall colors view. Even just looking out at that must be pretty distracting. That’s great that you’re reconnecting with your WIP. I’ll cheer you on from the sidelines. I thought about doing NaNo for about two seconds, but I guess I’d rather torture myself with my current WIP before launching into a new one. Best of luck with your writing!

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    • I have to say, we are really enjoying this location. 🙂 Lots of beautiful natural scenery, a historic city, tons of stuff to do here, and still an easy trip to DC when we want. But yes, it’s definitely a distraction from the writing!

      If you think about it, the idea behind NaNoWriMo makes it a one-time thing. After all, the goal is to get people to START writing. But you and I and most other people here are already well past that point. Maybe the NaNo folks could come up with some other challenges that would build on people’s NaNo drafts?

      Best wishes for many successful writing and editing days on your newest work!

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    • I think there comes a point when most writers move beyond NaNo. After all, we’ve already started (and probably finished) at least one novel if not more, regardless of publication status. I made good progress yesterday with writing, and I’ve also been setting down more concrete ideas for the missing bits of the story. Reconnecting has really shown me that I’ve lost track of some important threads! This PerNoReMo is a good time to set that right so I can finish the blasted thing and you can someday read it. 🙂

      I hope you’re seeing good results for The Crazy 8! And I’m not sure if you happened to notice my left sidebar widget: “Blog Buddies’ Recent Releases.” 😉

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  9. I’ve always said that I’ll never do Nanowrimo. And I’ve also blogged a post that’s entitled “Never Say Never.’ Yup, I started on November 1. I want to give it a try -it’s definitely challenging me and making me write down those words. I’m going to talk a bit about it in tomorrow’s post

    But I love your photo and your PerNoReMe !!! 🙂

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    • There’s a good reason we have that old “never say never” cliché, isn’t there? 🙂 I admire people like you who can take on the NaNoWriMo challenge—it’s just not for me. I could never write 50,000 words in a month even with a good outline already in place. But I know a lot of writers who have successfully completed it and were able to turn that manuscript into a published story. And who wouldn’t love that result?!

      Good luck with your story, and remember to have fun while you’re at it!

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  10. I don’t participate in Nanowrimo because of the time factor – I don’t have it. I just stick to my regular writing time and with work, the time is swallowed, digested and spat out to do over again!
    Good luck in your PerNoReMe 😀

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    • That time factor is a big killer for me, too. November just doesn’t make sense to me for NaNo, either. Here in the US, we have the big Thanksgiving holiday, and (alas) the push to start preparing for Christmas. And even if I had the time, there’s just no way I write 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s not going to happen. But I can set my own more modest goals. 🙂

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  11. I can’t even keep up with off the screen life and get in a little blog reading as it is. For me, this really is a bad time of year for this forced marched. The blog writing is just keeping a hand in…eventually I’ll clear a space in mind and house for more…(Boy, do I miss that corner in the old house…just the corner…not the house.)
    Different routes to the same city are built for a reason – same with writing. You’ve already got a work under construction – wouldn’t make sense to detour…and like you say at some point you want to surgical skill writing instead of bulldoze. Good idea to just tweak and do piecework as needed.

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    • November is not the month I would choose for this kind of challenge. Only December could be worse. Why not August? Or even October? After all, Halloween isn’t until the 31st. But no matter the month, 50,000 words is not something I could do well. And yes, I’ve reached the point where I don’t want to be tearing down a novel to rebuild it. Even with a good outline, 50,000 words in 30 days would include too much garbage for me. We never reach a point where we don’t need to edit, but we should need less of it. And that’s where I want to be.

      I have a nice office in this new house, but also tons of distractions from writing—beautiful natural setting, fantastic historic city, and still close to DC. My husband and I really enjoy getting out on weekends, and, of course, that’s when I would have the most “free” time for writing.

      I have to admit, the thought of retirement and having the time to focus on the fun stuff is more appealing every day. 😉

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      • Maybe January? Quality not quantity…once a writer is writing on task and not flailing around trying to find the path or prime the pump perhaps? Distractions and breaks are beneficial – shifting gears then coming back focus….the hard part is getting back into it the work and the mood you left.
        Retirement. Now there’s a dream. Although my parents said they had never been busier in their whole lives. Sun – for 48 hours, so outta here….you should too – winter will trap us soon enough. HA HA

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  12. I sorta NaNoed this summer. I wrote TGWIG’s sequel in 3 months. That’s the fastest I’ve drafted. Sometimes I have a ton of trouble reconnecting with my work. With Six Train’s sequel, I was really struggling. Then I got sick and stepped back from social media and somehow that helped me reconnect with the story. Good luck with revisions and reconnections. Just keep coming back to it and it will happen!

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    • I cannot begin to imagine writing a book in 3 months. 🙂 Overall, my month turned out better than I expected, and I’m completely astounded by how many words I actually wrote this year. If only they’d been in a single work! But here’s hoping for a draft of the current WIP by sometime in the first half of 2016….

      I hope you’re back on the mend and finding that energy and fresh outlook for your revisions and writing, too!

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      • It’s like training for a marathon. I started writing part time 300 words, 5 days a week, then I moved up to 500 words a day, 5 days a week. Once I was writing full time I jumped to 1000 then 1500 and now 2000. Next book I will try to do 2500 a day. This all happened over 8 years of writing. I used to be in 2-3 books a year and be advancing each project a little big more. If anyone can focus on one story and get it done in 2016 it’s you! You can write 60k in a year and you know it now.

        I am finally better! I started working out again this week. Finally. I felt like such a slug laying around for a month. I’m working on a Margie Lawson lecture packet on Empowering Character Emotions and it’s making me fall back in love with writing in with my third series. 😉

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        • Word count is probably like exercise—we need to gradually ramp it up as we get better at reaching the desired levels. 🙂 Glad to hear you’re feeling better and are enjoying the writing, too!

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