Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back from NaNoWriMo Land

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and this was my second year participating. The goal is to write 50,000 words minimum during the month of November, and my story wrapped up at 50,191 words yesterday. Whew!

They have a T-shirt that says "Camp NaNoWriMo: An idyllic writers retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life." It's true! It's like a mini-vacation without going anywhere. Normal life goes on, but the things I would otherwise do with my spare time (like posting on this blog) give way to the effort of getting that next 1000 words written, and then the next, and so on.

Last year I finished a novel too, but frankly, it stunk. I haven't even looked at it since then and probably never will. I like this year's novel much better. It's definitely a rough first draft, but this time I think it's worth revising and improving. The great thing about NaNoWriMo is that it motivates you to finish a first draft, even if it's rough, so that you actually have something to work with and not just an idea in your head.

One of the ways I stayed motivated was to go on the NaNoWriMo forums after each 1000 words or so and play some of the creative word games I found there. My kids enjoyed the games too and helped me come up with ideas. We found that some of the games are fun to play with each other in the car or while waiting in line, although they sometimes get us laughing hysterically and people give us strange looks. Here are a few of our favorites:

The Useless Super Power Game
One person thinks of a useless super power to grant another person, like "You can fly, but only for 2 seconds on alternate Thursdays," or "You can read the minds of earthworms." Then the next person grants a useless super power to the first person, and so on.

Good Idea/Bad Idea
One person gives a good idea, like "Good idea: brushing your teeth every day." The next person might say, "Bad idea: brushing your teeth with corn syrup every day." Then that person gives a good idea of their own which the next person will turn into a bad idea.

Corrupt a Wish
One person states a wish, like "I wish I had a pizza." The next person gets to corrupt that wish by saying something like "All right, but it's covered with anchovies." (Assuming you don't like anchovies.) Then that person makes a wish and the next person gets to corrupt it. We make a rule that you can't be mean, only funny. It's also fun to try to come up with a wish that can't be corrupted, like "I wish I had a pizza with only the toppings I like, that tastes good, isn't poisonous or harmful in any way, won't choke me when I eat it, and has nothing else wrong with it." (Then the next person might say, "Okay, but an angry dragon is holding it.")


BruceCrow said...

Love the games. I will have to try them the next time my youngest complains he has nothing fun to do inthe car.

Cori said...

Congrats on finishing your story! That is a big accomplishment! And the games are cute. I think my kids are already skilled at the good idea/bad idea one in real life though. I will now turn it into a game ha HA!