NaNoWriMo Sucks.
Shaunta Grimes

Although I have been making a living writing and editing for more than three decades, I accepted a challenge from junior staff to enter. They claimed that I wouldn't manage as I hadn't published a novel since the ’90s. That was true, the last novel I published was before Tim Berners-Lee and his WWW became ubiquitous.

I completed with no problem, but the way I write nowadays gives me an advantage. I am an aficionado of Dragon Dictate. Being able to write at better than three hundred words per minute is great for first drafts. Working on “scenes” rather than a contiguous novel and copying those scenes into Scrivener makes writing — even under a deadline — fun. Once all scenes are in Scrivener and sorted into order using the chalkboard, editing is straightforward. I do not use Dragon when editing, though I do use it for proofreading. I have Dragon read the text back to me. Very easy to spot problems when listening to the flow.

I’m not sure whether I’ll do this year, it depends on travel. I won’t be back in my Australian office for a couple of weeks and my connection to the internet is patchy. I use a VPN located physically in our Australian office and it is having problems. A lot of down time and dropped connections. I won’t rely on local WiFi access after what has happened recently. Many Frankfurt attendees had data stolen last year.

I have a project that might be suitable for the challenge, so maybe I will. Last year I got 71,000 words in the thirty days. Perhaps I will see whether I can top that. The new project will probably run past 90,000.

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