November 3, 2012

Writing a 50,000 word novel in a month- NaNoWriMo

Nuts, huh?  I’ve done it…five times!  I’ve spewed out over 250,000 words and created five works of narrative fiction that occasionally made sense.  National Novel Writing Month, November, is a writing marathon, a participatory peer pressure writing environment.  Some people try it out and wonder what the heck all the excitement is about, and others make it an annual event or even a way of life.

So, advice from a grizzled veteran about how to win NaNoWriMo. (caveat- there are no real prizes for winning, beyond bragging rights.)

Tips for Winning NaNoWriMo

  • throw yourself into it
  • lock your inner critic in a box for the entire month of November- nothing is bad
  • just keep writing, even if you have to write things like “this plot makes no sense here”
  • add in pirates
  • let your characters take over
  • don’t fall behind- as long as you do your 1,667 words a day, it’s not overwhelming
  • get local writing buddies to make it more interactive- meet up with them
  • get other people to do your chores
  • use Thanksgiving as a catch-up day
  • add in dream sequences- any novel can have dream sequences!
  • get ahead if you can, especially in the beginning- that way when life throws a curveball, you have some wiggle room
  • coffee, with a chocolate-covered expresso bean chaser
  • instant frozen dinners
  • early bedtimes for the kids
  • write at work- it’s a motivational exercise, right?
  • turn off the internet for a set writing time- no internet until you meet quota
  • cut down on distractions- write in a locked room in a cardboard box under a blanket
  • stop writing in your blog…oh, wait-

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