Welcome to Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children's Books (archive list here) which includes my Creating Picture Books series, Advice For Young Writers and IllustratorsWriter's and Illustrator's Guide To Twitter, interviews, my poetry for young readers, #BookADay, writing/publishing industry surveys, and 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day Writing Challenge. Also see my Inkygirl archives,  and comics for writers (including Keiko and Will Write For Chocolate). Also check out my Print-Ready Archives for Teachers, Librarians, Booksellers and Young Readers.

I tweet about the craft and business of writing and illustrating at @inkyelbows. If you're interested in my art or other projects, please do visit DebbieOhi.com. Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Entries in nanowrimo (44)

Sunday
Nov092014

Comic: There's More To A Girl Than Just Her Word Count (a #NaNoWriMo Breakup)

Friday
Nov072014

Comic: It Was A Dark And #NaNoWriMo Night...

If you're doing NaNoWriMo, I encourage you to check out my friend Errol Elumir's daily NaNoToons!

Thursday
Nov062014

Wordcount Envy Clinic (a #NaNoWriMo comic)

If you're doing NaNoWriMo, I encourage you to check out my friend Errol Elumir's daily NaNoToons!

Wednesday
Nov052014

NaNoWriMo comic: The Word Pusher

If you're doing NaNoWriMo, I encourage you to check out my friend Errol Elumir's daily NaNoToons!

Friday
Nov012013

Comic About Writing Challenges: Remember Why You Do Them

Speaking of more writing challenges, there's also Robert Lee Brewer's November "Poem A Day" Chapbook Challenge, which is lots of fun. Guidelines here.

Thursday
Oct312013

NaNoWriMo: Should You Participate? My Answer Plus NaNoWriMo Comics, NaNoMusicals and Songs About NaNoWriMo

 

For those of you who don't know, every year there are thousands of people who participate in National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo. The Goal: to write 50,000 words during the month of November. NaNoWriMo has grown over the years, and now includes a special section just for young writers.

I participated for a number of years and have had a lot of fun with it. Some experienced writers sneered about the event in the beginning, saying that it was only for amateurs, that a book written in 30 days is going to be garbage, etc. Now more professional writers are participating, some to jumpstart current or new projects. I checked the official NaNoWriMo site just now, and over 190,000 people have registered for this year's NaNo-extravaganza so far.

I completed one novel at an early NaNoWriMo which I ended up revising heavily before sending out through my agent. Although I had quite a few editors say they liked my writing, it never found a publisher and I ended up pulling it out of circulation.

This year I'm not participating because timing isn't right. NaNoWriMo's great for hammering out a first draft of a novel, but right now I'm immersed in writing and illustrating picture books. I do plan to participate again someday, though.

If you have problems motivating yourself to write and have no interest in socializing with other writers, then I'd advise against participating in NaNoWriMo. If you expect NaNoWriMo to be some kind of shortcut for you and have misguided plans to send out your novel right after NaNoWriMo without taking the time to revise, DON'T do NaNoWriMo. Let your mss cool off for a while, then do NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) in March.

If you're the type to get depressed and disillusioned if you don't make the 50,000 wordcount goal by the end of the month, then try my 250, 500 and 1000 words/day challenge instead.

However, if you're looking for a fun motivational writing event and enjoy commiserating with other writer-types online or in person, I heartily encourage you to give NaNoWriMo a try. If you'd like to participate but need to bend the rules (e.g. you've already started your novel, you're writing nonfiction or a bunch of picture book mss instead of one novel, etc.), you can still participate as a NaNoRebel.

If you plan to turn this into something you'd like to submit to agents or editors in the future, I also STRONGLY recommend doing some outlining ahead of time. Even just a one page summary to give yourself a rough idea of the story, especially the ending. This will save you much angst later, trust me.

 

Another piece of advice: Have some fun! On social media like Twitter, you can easily find others talking about NaNoWriMo by searching for the #NaNoWriMo hashtag. Many are blogging about NaNoWrimo. Some, like my MiGWriters critique partner Christy Farley, are vlogging about their NaNoWriMo experience.

My friend Errol Elumir has a been huuuuuuge supporter of NaNoWriMo for many years, so you should definitely follow some of the projects he's involved with, such as:

(1) NANOTOONS - Daily comics about NaNoWriMo!

(2) If you missed NaNoMusical last year, you can watch it now! All six video episodes are on the NaNoMusical website. I was an extra, and you can see me dancing with my iPad in the first episode here:

(3) If you're on Facebook, check out WrimoSongs. You can listen to NaNoWriMo-themed songs throughout the month plus have the option of purchasing some if you like them (proceeds go to NaNoWriMo).

Related links:

Official NaNoWriMo website

NaNoToons

NaNoMusical

WrimoSongs

Debs & Errol - Errol's band website, where he posts daily comics related to whatever is on his mind (nowadays, that's mostly NaNoWriMo). Debs = Deborah Isaac, not me. :-)

NaNoEdMo

250, 500, 1000 Words A Day Challenge

Wednesday
Nov212012

New NaNoMusical episode out today: "Page and Page Count" (and my book is in the first scene, woohoo!)

Yay, a new episode of NaNoMusical came out today!

 

And LOOK, a copy of I'M BORED is in the background!!

2012 11 BoredNaNoMusicalEp4

Even if it wasn't, this episode would still be my favourite.

I love the chemistry between the two lead actors, the humor, the background characters (Muses?) who assist Jill and Dale during the genuinely touching duet at the end.

Ooo, and it looks as if the NaNoMusical crew is putting together a professional CD!

Thursday
Nov082012

Daily NaNoToons being posted over at NaNoToons.net

Just a reminder that Errol Elumir and I are posting daily NaNoWriMo comics over on NaNoToons.net. Here's today's:

Nov08Nano

Throughout November, you can read daily comics about NaNoWrMo.

AND Errol and I have also been posting our archived comics about NaNoWriMo from previous years, so please do bookmark: http://nanotoons.net/

Wednesday
Nov072012

Episode 2 of NaNoMusical now online!

Yay, episode 2 of NaNoMusical is online! I just love the delicious NaNoEmoAngst of the first song. Plus Dale and Jill are just SO ADORABLE together. :-)

In case you missed the first episode:

Thursday
Nov012012

NaNoToons, NaNoWriMo & Nanomusical...plus why I'm a NaNoRebel this year

Starting today and throughout November, Errol and I are collaborating on daily comics about NaNoWriMo at http://nanotoons.net. You can also follow the comics on our NaNoToons Facebook Page.

Errol's doing NaNoWriMo, of course. I won't be participating in NaNo this year except as a NaNoRebel. If I had finished my outline for my novel, I would be so doing NaNoWriMo. And I -have- done NaNo without an outline before.

This year, however, I just have too much going on and also will be away for a chunk of November.

In the past, I've found NaNoWriMo a great motivational challenge in terms of getting me writing. Nowadays, though, I find I already HAVE that motivation -- my main challenge is more efficient time management. I still believe that NaNoWriMo can be a fun and useful event for aspiring writers as well as experienced writers, given the right mindset and situation.

 

Source: nanotoons.net via Debbie on Pinterest

 

For aspiring writers, NaNoWriMo can be a much-needed motivational kick in the pants, and a chance to prove themselves that they can write a novel-length manuscript. I've heard several pro writers who say that NaNo helped get them to finish their first novel. The key, I think, is to remember that the 50,000 words you write in November is a FIRST DRAFT. Don't make the mistake of thinking you've written a finished manuscript and DO NOT immediately send it off to agents and editors.

You will be doing yourself a great disservice by sending out a mss that you have bashed out in 30 days for the following reasons:

1. Your novel is not nearly polished enough for submission, no matter how pumped up you are about finishing it.

2. Editors and agents are likely already being inundated with naive NaNoNewbie novel submissions in the months just after NaNoWriMo.

3. If you are an unpublished writer sending out your first draft of a NaNoWriMo novel, there is a 99.99% chance (ok, I can't prove that but I still am confident that my stats are accurate) that you will be rejected.

My advice for NaNoNewbies who are writing their novels with hopes of eventual publication: let your novel sit for at least a few weeks before looking at it again. Then start proofreading, editing, polishing. Work on your craft. Study the industry. DO THE WORK.

For more experienced writers who like online communities, NaNoWriMo can be a fun way to work on your first draft of a novel that you've done prep for: an outline, character studies, etc.  Why fun? Because you can commiserate with other NaNoWriMo participants as you're writing. The atmosphere can be compared to writing to a deadline in the same room as other writers working to a deadline.

 

Source: pinerly.com via Debbie on Pinterest

 

You could also share your writing tips with other NaNotypes on your blog -- this will not only attract traffic this year but add permanent search-friendly content to your site. In 2011, there were over 250,000 NaNoWriMo participants and chances are excellent that numbers will go up this year. 

But in the end, NaNoWriMo is not for everyone.

 

Source: nanotoons.net via Debbie on Pinterest

 

I've seen a number of posts out there from pro writers who bitterly rail against the event, saying it's a waste of time. I believe that NaNoWriMo can be fun and useful for writers of all levels of experience, but it depends on each individual's mindset and motivation.

And if NaNoWriMo isn't your cup of tea or you don't need these kinds of motivational challenges to write, that's fine. Cheer on other writers and then go back to your work. :-)

If you'd like an ongoing writing challenge but don't have the time for NaNoWriMo, you could try my 250, 500 and 1000 Words/Day Challenge.

And speaking of NaNoWriMo, the first episode of the 6-part Web series NANOMUSICAL is now online! You can see me as a dancing extra (yes, I said dancing) in this episode, too:

Friday
Oct192012

A new NaNoMusical trailer (and I'm in it, woohoo!)

A while back I mentioned that I had volunteered as an extra in NaNoMusical, a 6-part Web series about writer friends participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In the spirit of Nanowrimo, it was written in a month, shot in a month and edited in a month with no budget.

Yay, another NaNoMusical trailer! And yay, I'm in it:

I volunteered as an extra & you can see me in this trailer, looking all serious and concerned as 'Manda Whitney (one of the NaNoMusical co-authors) freaks out. :-D Errol Elumir (the other co-author) is singing...and he also has a new Debs and Errol comic about NaNoMusical.

You can find out more info on the NaNoMusical Facebook Page and NaNoMusical Twitter feed.

Script written by Errol Elumir and Manda Whitney

Music by Errol Elumir and Deborah Linden

Directed by Kelsey Goldberg

Starring:

Luke LaRocque as Dale

Blythe Haynes as Jill

Errol Elumir as Rick

Manda Whitney as Val

And Errol is also starting to post some prologue NaNoToons as November approaches. I'll be jumping in to help with NaNoToons starting November 1st.

Tuesday
Oct092012

NaNoWriMo Comic Archives (Part 1)

As my friend Errol Elumir and I start ramping up for NaNoToons this year, I'm going to start posting some older NaNoWriMo comics from previous years, starting with 2008:

OHI0151 NaNo 2008Nov01

 

OHI0152 NaNo 2008Nov02

OHI0153 NaNo 2008Nov03

OHI0154 NaNo 2008Nov10

To see more NaNoToons, please do Like the NaNoToons Facebook Page!

And speaking of NaNoWriMo, the first official trailer for the NaNoWriMo Musical is online. I was an extra, and you can see me briefly in the background in the dancing clip near the end :-) :

Wednesday
Nov092011

NaNoWriMo comics and songs from my friends Errol & Debs

NaNoToons

For those of you doing NaNoWriMo, I highly recommend you check out Errol Elumir's NaNoToons. Heck, even writers who AREN'T doing NaNoWriMo will appreciate some of the writer angst in some of these comics. :-)

But wait, that's not all! Debs and Errol are also writing about NaNoWriMo in their daily comic and I MADE A CAMEO APPEARANCE RECENTLY!!! I only stumbled across it just now as I was putting this blog post together! Heh.

Errol also writes NaNoWriMo songs! Here's his newest:

And in case you missed it, here's the music video that Debs and Errol did about NaNoWriMo (I make a cameo appearance here too!):

 

 

Monday
Nov072011

Neil Gaiman retweet fame, NaNoToons, Debs & Errol NaNoWriMo Comics

NeilGaimantweet

How very cool. Author Neil Gaiman, who has like a ZILLION followers, tweeted about one of my friend's Nanowrimo comics! Here's Errol's post about the comic and a link to the comic.

You can follow Errol Elumir's Nanotoons on Facebook (unfortunately there's no way to link to individual NaNoToons on the NaNoWriMo site, plus new comics are added at the bottom of the page rather than the top :-( ).

Plus geeknerd music duo Debs & Errol (Deborah Linden & Errol Elumir) are posting comics about their NaNoWriMo collab novel adventure on their website and you can follow them on Twitter.

DebsErrol

Sunday
Oct302011

NaNoWriMo Music Videos & NaNoWriMo Comics & a new NANOTOONS Facebook Page

For those doing NaNoWriMo (or even if you're not), my creative twin Errol Elumir posted this NaNo music video above last year. Actually, he posted a bunch (so do check out his YouTube channel). Debs and Errol will be posting a NEW NaNoWriMo music video very soon.

AND I strongly recommend that you Like Errol's NaNoToons Page on Facebook! Errol made me a co-admin because I've done Nanotoons in the past & may again in the future (but not this year). I'll be posting some of my Nanowrimo cartoons from my archives during November as well.

Monday
Nov222010

Daily NaNoWriMo comics!

As I mentioned before, when Errol Elumir & I discovered that the official NaNoWriMo site was only posting our comics on a weekly basis rather than daily (which is fine, except we wish we could have known earlier :-)), we scrambled to find a way to provide comics on a daily basis.

So check out the Toronto NaNoWriMo site to find daily NaNoWriMo comics!

Wednesday
Nov172010

NaNoToon archives: "You First"

Monday
Nov152010

More Nanotoons from the archives

Monday
Nov152010

Nanotoon comics from the archives

Looks like the NaNoWriMo blog is posting the comics that Errol and I created once a week instead of daily, so we'll be creating just two more comics for the NaNoWriMo site.

To satisfy those looking for daily NaNotoons, however, I'll be posting some comics from the archives as well as (possibly) creating some new ones to post here. :-)

Thursday
Nov042010

Yay! Comics are up on the NaNoWriMo site now...