#NaNoWriMo, writers tricks of the trade – me, you and coffee

Oh it is that lovely time of the year where writers come together virtually with shared mugs of coffee and a plan to take over the world  write a novel.  While copious amounts of coffee isn’t exactly what a lady in my condition should be consuming, the fresh aroma of that mug calls my name: “Sarina, Sarina! SARINA” Sometimes it sounds more like a creepy voice –  a whisper. Other times it’s a child singing a familiar tune: “Ring around the rosies, pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes! We all fall down!”  How much coffee do you think a pregnant writer is to permit herself on drinking?

Either way I’m still on blogging hiatus and taking things nice and easy. Straining myself to reach a 50 thousand word count within a month seems like an absurd thing to be doing right now. But you know, it’s like someone is dangling a huge slab of chocolate right there in front of me and I just can’t resist the allure of the challenge.

Either way I’d be writing this novel anyhow, because I was already working on the characterization and the plot of this story that has captured my imagination in September. I can now proudly say I have a solid plot in place. I’ll likely be following pretty much the same strategy as Heather from Write on Sisters.

yWriter5 – a nifty tool for NaNoWriMo

To add to that, as a winner of NaNoWriMo 2014, I do actually know that this is not mission impossible. To this end I’ve again employed the use of a free to download writers program called yWriter5. It served me well in 2014 and it has already started serving me well for this latest endeavor – one I hope to actually bring to publication.


If you are like me, and most writers seem to do this – you like to break your first draft up into many little files, folders and word documents.

Each chapter on its own. Each scene separate from the rest. I find writing is easier and much more manageable this way. This is where yWriter5 comes in handy. It permits you to open chapters and scenes under each of those chapters all in one project. You can then take your many chapters and export them into several different formats including text, html, e-book and RTF.  And for all the NaNoWriMo’ers there is even an option to export into “Nanowrimo Obfuscated text”.

For those who have not done a NaNoWriMo challenge before, the NaNo people require you to copy paste your entire 50k words into the validation section of the website, before you can get access to that fancy certificate and be declared a winner. For your own peace of mind they advise you convert your novel into “obfuscated text” before you do so (you know, so that nobody has the chance to pirate your project – although that is not likely to happen)

Where yWriter5 also comes in handy is in the characterization and planning phase of your novel.  There are sections to list all your characters. You can do in-depth bio’s on them with notes and you could even add a picture if you wanted. You can do the same for all the places your scenes take place. For e.g perhaps you have a courtroom and a park.  You could describe these places and put in all your little writers notes on these places. I found this especially useful last year, while writing my sci-fi novel – which takes place on three different planets and in outer-space.

The program has many nifty features. Along with the planning of your characters and locations it also helps with the planning of your “items” and even a place to file all your “project notes”.  It also gives you a nice overall word count and can help you with daily word count targets.  Additionally, the easy back up features under the “tools” section of the program make this an overall joyful program to work with – especially for a NaNoWriMo project. And best of all, for those who’d rather spend the forty dollar another popular writers program may cost on lets say copy editing or something – which can be quite costly, yWriter5 is absolutely FREE.


If we were having coffee

If we were having coffee, I may be telling you some other things I’m planning and a new thing I’m going to be trying for this blog soon. For now though I’d rather keep it a surprise until I’ve figured out all the technicalities.  As for what a serial blogger such as myself has been up to on hiatus, except for plotting, planing trying to eat healthy and chill-axing – I’ve been reading as much as I could.

For those still on the NaNoWriMo fence, those needing more NaNoWriMo tips and those that enjoy good writers blog chat, Ron and his team over at Lit World Interviews are doing a NaNoWriMo feature this year.  He has even started a pinterest board for all the NaNo’y stuff.

As I’ll not be writing much in the form of blog posts for the next few weeks I think he will be a good motivator for anyone planning on taking on the madness challenge.  As for all them lovely coffee chats bloggers like to have over the weekend, why don’t you give Diana at Part Time Monster a visit? The weekly coffee link – up is a wonderful way to catch up with us coffee types. And last but not least, if you’d like to buddy me over on the NaNoWriMo website you can find me here.

19 thoughts on “#NaNoWriMo, writers tricks of the trade – me, you and coffee”

  1. Good luck with your NaNoWriMo! I wrote a book in a month in late August/early September so I’ll spend November making a second draft and sending query letters about the other book i worte a couple of years ago.


    1. Why is there no edit button on comments? I talk about writing and read my comment and think I need to be righting instead… 😉 Anyway, as I said, good luck with your NaNoWriMo!


      1. Well, there is an edit button if it is your site, but not if you are making comments on someone else’s site. I mean, I only made a couple of mistakes in my first comment, but still…. 😉


  2. I’m so happy you will be NaNoWriMo-ing with me this year. I’ve already sent you a buddy requests. : ) Now I’m off to check out the other coffee shares and see how many of us are jumping into the madness this year.


  3. Hi Sarina, thanks so much for the shout out! And happy to have you in my buddy list for NaNoWriMo. I can’t believe it starts in one week! I should go stock up on more chocolate tea…


  4. thanks for that link to that writer program – I never heard of it, and free is so much better, I agree with you. Well, I will not have time to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but I will cheer on anyone who is. Good luck – blessings!


  5. When I read this before I thought, “I know these things work for other people, but I’ve written 2 books with word, I don’t need a tool like yWriter5 or Scrivener,” and so just went on to the next thing. Hmm, maybe I was wrong. I think I will look into it. It’s free, so what’s the harm? Thanks for the suggestion! And Congratulations again (third time? fourth?) on your third NaNoWriMo!


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