Obligatory NaNoWriMo Post.

| Monday, November 1, 2010
Today's Tune: The Compromise


NaNoWriMo is upon us again, and I'll be willing to wager these delicious TJ's dark chocolate peanut butter cups on my desk that a good chunk of us are going to be swallowed by the novel-writing bug this month. Are you participating?

I'm "cheating" this year, because I'm just rewriting another draft of my current project. But I need to get it done, and what better month, right?

I won NaNo last year, and I'm hoping to do so again this year. If you're interested in tips and tricks of the trade, here's how I was able to crank out 50,000 words in 24 days last year.

1.) Set your limit to 2,000 words a day. Or, BARE MINIMUM, 1,667 words. I made my goal at least 2,000 a day in order to give myself a little wiggle room in case I had to take a day off.

2.) Discipline yourself. This isn't going to be easy to do, but it's not impossible. Set "writing time" in chunks - morning, afternoon, evening. Or like I did: 500 words before work, 500 on lunch break, 1,000+ in the evening after work. You may have to give up sleep, TV, crazy parties, etc., but it's just for this one month.

3.) This isn't going to be perfect. In fact, you're probably going to be lamenting how much it sucks even as you're writing it. But it doesn't matter. Suck anyway. Let the suck flow freely.

4.) DON'T GO BACK AND EDIT. It will be tempting, but DON'T DO IT.

5.) Write whatever comes to mind. Don't worry about rules or everything you're not supposed to do. Write the lengthy backstory. Write the annoying prologue. Write the monologue explanations. Write the adverbs and dialogue tags. Write it all.

6.) Dream sequences, characters randomly breaking into song, and lengthy descriptions of the scene are all good for plumping up word count. And that's what NaNo is about: word count.

7.) Take breaks. If you're getting too stressed out, then it's time to relax. This is supposed to be an exercise. Something fun that will allow you to say "I wrote a NOVEL" at the end. If you're having the opposite of fun, then your brain needs a little R&R.

8.) Make up your own science and have one character explain it to another. Works for me.

9.) Push through writers block. Introduce a new character, a new obstacle, a sudden revelation, a change in plan. Shake your characters up and keep going.

10.) Don't take this too seriously. If you don't finish, it's okay. There's always next year. Just enjoy it.


{ fairyhedgehog } at: November 1, 2010 at 8:49 AM said...

That's all very good advice! Good luck with your Nano.

Oh, and I don't think you're "cheating". Nanoers who aren't going by the regular rules are called Nano "rebels" which sounds much nicer!

{ Meredith } at: November 1, 2010 at 8:54 AM said...

Such good advice! I definitely need to work on turning my inner editor off. Good luck!

{ Old Kitty } at: November 1, 2010 at 9:47 AM said...


I love your tips! I'll keep them handy if ever I do decide to join Nano one year in the future! Esp the not taking it too seriously!! :-)

Thanks so much!! Take care

{ Magan } at: November 1, 2010 at 10:34 AM said...

Funny story: I'm doing the same thing with my novel. Okay, not the same thing...but I really need to get my second draft done, so I'm going back and adding chapters, line editing and hopefully getting 52,000 words edited in a month.

Oh and if you ever need a reference on steam punk hair...I was in a steam punk wedding this weekend...my head hurts and I could tell you the pain caused by my wicked updo. lol.

{ aspiring_x } at: November 1, 2010 at 4:50 PM said...

i love the title of this post!
good luck with nano!
and the advice looks super helpful! :)

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