NaNo No No By Kait Carson


Oops, I confess. I am a NaNo No No.nano

For those who don’t know, NaNo (a/k/a NaNoWriMo), is the National Novel Writing Month. There are numerous stories behind the creation of NaNo. If the narrative provided by Chris Baty in his NaNo handbook No Plot? No Problem! can be believed, NaNo started out as, a type of post college drinking game on July 1, 1999. Yes. July.  And about the drinking thing? I made that up. Almost.

no-plotOn July 1, 1999 twenty-one writer friends decided to write a novel. Nothing surprising there, they were each writing their own novel. It wasn’t a group effort. To sweeten the pot, they added a ticking clock. They would do it in a month. No Plot? No Problem! is essentially the story of that first NaNo, and a handbook of how to avoid their pitfalls. I highly recommend it. Even in non-NaNo months. My dogeared edition, paged foxed and yellowing, dates from 2004. They say there is a revised one, I’m not sure how you improve on perfection so I’ve skipped it.

My first traditionally published book, Death by Blue Water, was a product of NaNo. I don’t

death by blue water

claim perfection at the end of that November, but I had words on the page. 50,000 of them. Something I could work with. And work with them I did. By the way, the original title of Death by Blue Water was Diving Diva. Which explains my NaNo name… Mystery Diva.

So, why am I a NaNo No No?  That long ago NaNo was my first and my last. Since then I have always had a book in final edits, due for release, in final draft, or another writerly commitment that made attending NaNo an exercise in futility. I signed up every year, but never even cracked the webpage. It wasn’t so bad, I was writing, but I missed the camaraderie that NaNo engenders. The creative synergy that develops when writers beat their heads against the wall in unison.

This year I was in final edits for the third book in the Hayden Kent series, tentatively titled Death Dive. Fingers crossed, in late October I signed on for NaNo. This isn’t my first book, it’s my fifth. I understand how long it takes me to edit. Right? Right. I realize it always takes longer than I think it will and this book was no exception. On November 9th, I sent Death Dive off to my editor, and flopped, exhausted, into bed vowing to write no more until the weekend. Here we are at the weekend. Saturday, I caught up on sleep. Seriously, a four-hour nap should help settle any sleep deprivation. Then today, blog writing day.

I will visit NaNo for the first time tomorrow. November 14th, and I will try to plow through my 50,000 words by the end of the month.  Will I make it? I’ll tell you next month. It’s only 3,333.333 words a day, but whose counting!

Author photos 009Kait Carson lives in an airpark in south central Florida with a pilot husband, seven tropical birds, and six rescue cats. By day, she’s a practicing probate and litigation paralegal, in the evening, legal pads give way to a keyboard, and she spins tales of murder and mayhem set in the tropical heat. Kait writes two series, the Catherine Swope series, set in Miami, and the Hayden Kent series set in the Fabulous Florida Keys.

Kait loves to hear from readers, check out her website at; follow her on Facebook at, on Twitter at @kaitcarson, or e-mail her at




10 thoughts on “NaNo No No By Kait Carson

  1. Have fun with Na No. How do your birds and cats get along? Also, birds make a lot of noise and it appears you never really sleep. Do you hear the birds in your sleep? Do birds ever sleep? I have been wondering about these questions, really. It’s almost one AM so I think about odd things. Best on the word counts Kait!

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  2. Hi MJ – I do enjoy NaNo. This year I made a financial contribution to them (they are a 501(c)(3)) I figured maybe if I put my money where my pen should be…We’ll see.

    Birds and cats have no problem together. Which I think is strange. Our cockatoo has tea (decaffeinated herbal) every night on the floor with the cats eating all around her. Every now and then one of the conures will do a low fly by over a cat and the cat will leap for the bird, but it’s a game, not a hunt. FYI my husband–I call him the bird whisperer–has managed to train the birds so they only do their business in their cages. It may be instinct with the birds, I don’t know. But there are few accidents.

    Sleep–I don’t get a lot. Never did. Four hours, good to go. I can keep it up for the workweek, but at the weekend, I indulge in an afternoon nap. By nature, I’m a night owl. I was never meant to work a day job! My mother used to tell me that when I left the nursery the nurses were glad because I was the child who was up all night. i didn’t cry or fuss, I burbled and cooed, and kept much of the nursery awake.

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  3. I can’t even imagine trying to write 50,000 words in a month, or 3,300 &1/3 per day. I need another 25-30 K words to finish my current WIP, and feel like all the creativity has leaked out of me. I MUST get my butt in my chair and get to work. It’s got to be done. Poor me. 🙂
    I do find that book No Plot? No Problem! of interest. Never heard of it before, believe it or not. Off to check it out and see what it’s all about. Maybe it’s just what I need.

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  4. Becase NaNo is done in November, I’ve never seriously considered participating. I’m pretty sure with that mtoivation I’d get the 50,000 words in, but it’s never called to me enough. (Okay, it might be fear;’ don’t tell anyone!) Have you read Dean Wesley’s Smith’s WRITING INTO THE DARK? No edits! I write that way and rarely change much after the first draft which is written with not outline. I did not always right away correct things as he advises, and my post-plot outlines (done after each scene is written) are way too long. He says two or three sentences should do it. Anyway, I love reading about how other people do the process, so I really enjoyed your post.

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  5. I can relate. Wish I had a solution. I went through a period like that in the beginning of the year. Awful. Finally broke through by making myself sit and write. Somewhere around the third day, I got interested in my story again and wanted to see where it went. Good luck!

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  6. Thanks for the bird and cat explanation Kait I have been wondering about it all. It is an interesting and unusual situation for the birds to do play fly byes and be cage trained. I kept thinking of a kids book with illustrations of that and a story of a day and night. No body here writes kid’s books or illustrates but nevertheless it was like a cartoon running in my mind. I know it’s totally off the subject matter but I have been scratching my head since the election. Today is better. Poor Michael, the creativity drained out of him. Probably last a day or two. OK I have added enough typos. Take care all.


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