Archive for the ‘Guest interviews’ Category

Nanowrimo 08

nanonovember120x90penIn the first of a series of occasional guest interviews, Anastasia Drummond has all the facts on this year’s National Novel Writing Month and how the Highlands fared in the annual wordfest. Anastasia, from Skye, has participated in Nanowrimo seven times and is a Municipal Liaison volunteer.

Tell us about Nanowrimo and how you got involved.

Nanowrimo is an annual writing event as well as a web contest. It’s about getting folks who say they want to write a novel to actually take a shot at doing it. It’s an amazing challenge. I’m not a writer. I got into it the first year because my daughter challenged me to. I beat her that first year, but only just.

The challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel from scratch in a month. Are there many mad scribblers in the Highlands and Islands who had a go this year?

There are a lot of folks in the ‘Scotland – Elswhere’ region. It’s hard to isolate them as a group, but there are more every year. We have folk scattered all over. On Skye this year we had 8 people sign up and 6 finish.

119,390 people worldwide signed up for the challenge this year. How did we do in Scotland?

Scotland as a whole was amazing this year. We had a 31% finish rate. Comparing that to the world average of 18.2, I’m really pleased. On average word count, Skye was fourth in the world.

Must be something in the water in Portree, or maybe all the encouragement that’s on hand. What’s your job as an ML?

I organize meet-ups, write pep-talks, monitor the forums so that people play nice, give encouragement and ‘repeated encouragement’ to anyone who needs it. I answer questions and e-mails. I send out press-releases. This year I went on local radio to help promote the event. I hung up posters. Did my best to help folks reach their dream.

Would you recommend Nano to anyone thinking of signing up next November?

By and large I think Nanowrimo is something most folk should give a go. But especially anyone with a story to tell. I think it’s good to challenge yourself, even if it isn’t your idea of fun. It isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either.

It’s not a casual challenge; it’s hard work for most people. But there’s a lot to be gained from the experience.

Thanks to Anastasia for taking the time to tell us about Nanowrimo 08. If you’re looking for any further encouragement to sign up next year, I can reveal that her ‘encouragement’ involves plenty of chocolates and coffee. It worked for me.