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NaNoWriMo – Shimmy on the High Seas

Working Cover for the upcoming novel, "Shimmy on the High Seas" by Dawn "Davina" Devine

In 2018, I’m taking on the challenge of NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. Although I’ve written nearly 2 dozen books, hundreds of articles, and thousands of social media posts, until now, I’ve never attempted a work of fiction.


My mum initially challenged me to write a novel. It was a little over a year ago, and my schedule looked too tight to squeeze in yet another project. However, after much mulling about, I realized that perhaps I was just procrastinating. So, on her last visit to my house, we talked about this project again and decided that I would tackle this project during #Nanowrimo. NaNoWriMo heraldic crest

What is NaNoWriMo?

This challenge began many years ago, back before the turn of the century in 1999. Since then, the hosting organization has become a non-profit and includes events throughout the year. They even have challenges just for youth writers. Each year the pool of novelists grows, helping authors with support History of the NaNoWriMo challenge here.

Nanowrimo Prep Prompts50,000 Words

The challenge is simple, write a new 50,000-word novel in 30 days. The thought is to finish the month with a rough manuscript ready for editing. To achieve this goal, participants need to write 1, 667 words a day. The difficulty is in resisting the urge to edit as you go. People also need to stoke their creative fire to feel motivated and inspired to achieve a high level of production.


Although I came up with the concept for this novel a year ago, it’s only in the past two weeks that I’ve focussed on getting the stage set to tell this story. Although I’ve never written a novel before, my research and organization skills have come in handy when planning this mythical event, describing the locations, and writing character profiles. The official Instagram feed from the @Nanowrimo Preptober Prompts 2018 on Instagramorganization featured the above right October challenge to prep before the novel writing begins.

I also found a great resource in Scotland based novelist Rachael Stephen who has a great set of prep and planning resources on her website. This year she also hosted a #Prep_toberchallenge that has simply stunning autumnal photography and thought-provoking prompts. I started in the second half of the month, but if you are interested in seeing my response to these prompts, you can check me out on Instagram.

Preptober 2018 for Nanowrimo

The Adventure Begins Nov. 1

Starting on the first, I’ll be re-arranging my schedule to add an extra hour of novel writing to my morning, and another hour in the late afternoon/early evening. My personal goal is to hit 2,000 words a day to build in time off for family visits, weekend business adventures, and Thanksgiving.

If you are interested in tracking my progress on the official Nanowrimo page, my handle there is DavinaDevine. Alternately, I’ll be posting regularly in all the usual social media places. If you’re on FaceBook, you can keep an eye out for a few live feeds throughout the month where I share my experience of tackling this challenge.

Wish me luck!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
October 23, 2018

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