Video: NaNoWriMo Pep Talk!

October 9, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Geek Events, Writing, YouTube videos by Kristina Horner

In addition to being in up to my eyeballs in Halloween party planning and putting together another epic 24 hour live show for Extra Life – I’ve also got the pre NaNoWriMo jitters something fierce. We’re still three weeks out, but I find it creeping into the back of my mind pretty regularly already. What am I going to write? How am I going to make the time? Is anyone going to do it with me?

That’s why I decided to post a pep talk video early this year, to make sure those of you on the fence about it have ample time to mull it over. Here is that video!


I will likely be posting more videos to help participants along this year, as well as hosting my usual word sprints on twitter. Make sure you’re following me if you want to join in the fun!

I’ll also be heading down to San Francisco for the Night of Writing Dangerously – it’s a gala/write-a-thon they throw every year to raise money for their organization (as well as their free creative writing programs in hundreds of schools and communities all over the place), which I am all about supporting. I am trying to raise $500, which is minuscule compared to the amount this project has done for me over the years. If you’re interested in donating, here’s a link to my funding page.

How do you decide what to write each year? Usually I start with format – do I want to write a “diary” book? First person? Letters between people? Back and fort POV between two characters? Then I figure out the genre I’m interested in, and then start to flesh out the details. Let me know your methods in the comments!


And as usual, if you get stuck, you can always rewatch my NaNoWriMo music video. It’ll be trapped in your head for days, at the very least. 🙂



I have NaNoWriMo jitters, also. But mine are because I’ve never tried it before. This year I actually have an idea I want to write about, so I’m gonna give it a go.

I was wondering if you’ve found any resources or concocted any tricks over the years that help you with the outline process? – this is also my first writing endeavor over 15 pages, so I’m sort of have no idea how to start.

Also, is it frowned upon to have an outline before NaNoWriMo actually starts, or is that okay?

Having an outline is totally okay! I usually map out the chapters, and a few bullet points about what happens in each other the chapters, at the very least. Helps give you a visual of where the arc is going.

Lacee says:

My gosh, I definitely had to write an outline for this year. For me it’s going to be choosing how much of the outline to write for this month because I want the book to last past 50k (ideally, 130k, but somehow I don’t think the story will stretch that long).

Becky Allan says:

Try Scrivener! The free trial is usually thirty days but they’ve created a special trial for nanoers which lasts up to December 7th 🙂 You can read about it in the forums on the mainsite

Kristina says:

I am so excited about NaNoWriMo this year! I’ve already decided what I am going to write about. I just wish I had friends that wrote so they could do it with me but I am determined to make a new writing friend this year.

Patrick says:

I officially joined last night, and set up a livejournal account where I’ll do the writing (because that makes it easiest for me to use work computers to continue writing on a few of the weekends where I’ll essentially be working as the night watchman for an empty building… we’re talkin’ thirty-two hours of nothing better to do than write!)

I have no clue what I’ll do yet, but like you, I’m just letting my subconscious sort out that format, and the genre over the next few weeks. It’ll come to me. My brain is pretty good about that if I give it enough time. 🙂

Cassie says:

I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year! I’ve done it every year since 2009, yet have never won the event. In any sense of the phrase. I’ve always fallen short by at least 20K words or more. It’s because I always lose inspiration for the novel and then I stop writing on the project and then . . .yeah. Or else I do write and everything every day, but I don’t manage to write the word count needed to meet 50K within the month.

This year I’m hoping will be different! I’m planning out my novel as much as I safely can without actually starting the novel, and I’m in a new environment this year. Also: I’ve decided to try to have NaNo Penpals this year, as extra reason to do well. That way I can brag/celebrate with my NaNo Penpals! ;D

Be sure to watch out for my word sprints as well! They’re so helpful.

Richard says:

You got me all pumped for November now 😀 We’re all in this together now!

Cassidy says:

I wasn’t going to do NaNo, but last night I had an awesome idea and now I can’t wait to start! I hate starting from the beginning, so my strategy is to write the most interesting chapters first, then write the beginning. Sort of like a backstory.
Will you be doing another Writing Process video? The one last year was really funny!

People liked that video so much, I feel like I HAVE to! 😀
And what a good idea. Good luck with your novel!

Misty says:

I just started doing NaNoWriMo last year, and won. I’m addicted now, and look forward to every November. Sure the whole chaos of it all can be stressful, but I warn my family ahead of time that I’ll be off the map unless there is an emergency for that month. I can’t wait for NaNoWriMo to actually begin, but I still have the jitters. Your videos saved my novel last year. They kept me pumped up and going. Thanks for all the support without even realizing you were doing it.

Wow, you’re welcome! I look forward to hearing about your progress this year!

Emma says:

I am so excited, I did a 10000 goal in camp nano and this will be the first November one I can actually stick to for more than a week as I’m not going to have exams for once 🙂 I’ve got an incredibly vague idea, I’ll deal with how I’ll do it closer to the start.

katrinamyla says:

I sort of feel a tad obnoxious when I complain about this, but I have been utilizing and expanding upon last year’s NaNo story as well as posting the chapters semi-regularly. The thing is though… I’m still not done, In still have a good amount of stuff from 2012 to use in the story.

So now I’m stressing about getting ’12 story done and posted so I can focus on ’13. (Which makes me feel like ‘oh no, I have too many ideas and so much writing done to sift through! And also my mom bought me too much chocolate and my cats are too adorable Wah day wah!’)

I am excited though, just hope that’s not how I come off when I grumble about my non problems. 😛

Hahaha. This comment made me crack up.
Have you considered finding a way to turn editing/finishing your ’12 story into your project for ’13? I don’t think it’s cheating at all.

Anglynn says:

I’m pretty scared this year because classes have not been kind so far, but I’m taking the same number of hours as last year (which I won on day 26), so it could work out. I’m also planning to just add to a story that’s about 10k long (viva la rebellion, right?), and I actually have sort of an outline, so that might help… Whew.

At any rate, I’ll at least start out strong and see if I can keep it up. If not, I can’t say that I’d feel too bad about it this year. I’ve already proven that I’m capable of it (with a really silly story, but whatever works).

Ha, any other parenthetical remarks I need to add to this comment?

Good luck to you! And I don’t think it’s cheating if you already have some written… just don’t count those words in your wordcount for 2013!

Christopher D. Rosales says:

I found out about NaNoWriMo last year through you but, alas!, it was too late. So this will be my first time and I’m so excited cause I’ve always been interested in writing. Now I could talk myself out of it by telling myself “Chris your taking AP French and AP this and that” but why would I do that? Kristina! Let’s write these novels!

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