Sunday, October 30, 2011

NaNoWriMo



I've been talking a lot about NaNoWriMo this month.

With only two days until it starts, I can think of little else.

I thought it might be a good idea to just write a post about it.

I came up with a few very basic tips for anybody who thinks they might want to try writing a novel in a month. ( I should mention that everyone writes differently and what works for me might not work for you.)


1. Plan- It's a good idea to have at least a basic outline of your story before you start writing. I know not everybody works this way. There are some who don't like any outline at all, they just sit down and write. There are some who create very detailed outlines and character descriptions. I'm tend to fall somewhere in the middle. I like to have a very basic outline that I can follow, but not one that I'm so invested in that I get upset if the story starts to take a different direction.

2. Network- If you can find a friend to join NaNoWriMo with you, that's awesome. If you don't know anybody else who writes, check and see if there are any local write-ins. It's a great place to meet other writers who are going through the same thing you are. Also, write-ins give you a chance to catch up on your word count if you fall behind.  Last year I wasn't sure I would finish in time, so I went to a write-in and I was able to write about 5,000 words in a couple of hours. I was able to finish my novel a couple days early because of all the work I got done that night.

3. Write- This seems obvious, but it's also the one thing that keeps people who want to write, from writing. If you want to write a book, at some point, you are going to have to sit down and actually write. You have to find the time and you have to write. It can be scary if you've never done it before, but that is what #2 is all about, finding people who are going through the same experience.

That's about it. I could write pages of things you should or shouldn't do, but I wanted to stick to the basics and these were the first 3 things that came to mind.

I would add one more thing. If you do happen to reach your goal of 50,000 words in a month, you should celebrate it. My favorite thing to do when I win NaNoWriMo is to buy a winner's shirt.

Then you'll have something to wear to remind yourself and everyone else that your are a writer.

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