Monday, 3 November 2014

Grab Your Pens, it's the NaNoWriMo!

It’s that time of year. Writers, prepare to type until your fingers drop off, preferably after you reach the 50,000 word goal limit. It might seem like a stretch right now, but think about how you’ll feel next week! Yes, it’s time once more for the National Novel Writing Month. We’re on day three already, but there’s still time to join in.

The goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That’s about 1,666 words a day, and it’s got the sign of the devil in the numbers for a reason: it is super hard.

This is my fifth year at writing, and I have a few bits and pieces which may help you along your way.

  • Before you even start, don’t plan on querying agents with your NaNoWriMo novel in December. Or January. Probably not February either – just don’t so it. Trust me, it won’t be ready. Agents are on the lookout for rushed writing this time of year and they will spot you and drop you. 

  • One you get into flow, keep going. And you don’t have to write in chronological order either. Write where your inspiration takes you.

  • If you finish crafting your major scenes and start to stumble, change your tactics from main plot to subplots and character oriented scenes. Develop your side characters and get to know your main players– it doesn’t matter if the scenes won't be in the final cut. What would your character do if they saw a car crash? Write it and learn. 

  • If you want to make it to the end, worry about the plot not the prose. Always remember that writing quickly doesn’t make a good novel. It’s not the point of it. The point is to sit down and get your ideas in an adaptable form. Don’t worry too much about editing right now, but remember that you will need to do a thorough edit in the months to come. 

  • If you do manage to get to the end of the word limit, remember that you’ve really pushed yourself. There’s a good chance that 45,000 words of it needs to be completely rewritten – but redrafting is much easier than creating. 

  • If your creativity becomes exhausted before the finish line, there’s no need to worry. A good book takes time. The important part is that you’ve made a start, got your brain thinking about the plot and characters, and maybe inspiration will hit soon.

  • Once November passes, set your novel to one side and enjoy the holiday season knowing you’ve made a grand leap with your manuscript. Then pick it back up months later when your brain is refreshed and ready to bring new ideas.

Good luck everyone. Post below if you’re giving it a go!