NaNoWriMoIt’s November and I’m excited. Why?
National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/). This is my third year to participate and each year I’ve completed a bare bones novel, the second of which I will finish revising in December.
Why do I like National Novel Writing Month?
It’s an excuse to write something new, a story idea I’ve been excited about for a bit, or maybe a story that’s a departure. The first year I wrote what was supposed to be more action adventure, less romance, but it turned out to be the most romantic of all the books I’ve written. This year, after plotting a romantic suspense, I changed my mind. Now I’m writing my first historical. If I write it in a month and decide I don’t like it, what’s been lost? 30 days.
It’s an excuse to put writing first. Granted, November isn’t the best time for this, with the holidays around the corner, and you emerge in December in a kind of “What day is this?” fog, but you commit to the story, to the challenge, and everyone sees how important this is to you.
It feeds your competitive soul. You can add friends to your page on the NaNo website and track your progress against theirs. My friend Natalie kicks my butt every time, but I hold my own.
How do you survive NaNoWriMo?
1) Clear the decks. Reduce your outside commitments as much as possible. However, the first time I did NaNo, my dad and stepmom came for five days at Thanksgiving. I managed to win that one early, and that was stopping to clean house and entertain. I told them what I was doing and I got up early to do it, so I would still have time to visit. This year I think I have 2 night activities, not including my local chapter meeting.
2) Find your prime writing time. Mine is around 5 AM. No one’s up wanting the computer, no one’s emailing, no one’s calling. I write for an hour, sometimes two before work.
3) Plan it out. The only way I got through NaNo last year was that I’d plotted the story out at plotting bootcamp. Otherwise, I’d still be hung up on that book.
4) Break it down. 1,667 words a day is all you need. I find it so much easier to go by word count than page count, because every word is progress. Every word counts.
5) Remember this is a fast draft. Get it down. Perfect it later.
6) Join the community. Different regions have community gatherings, where local Nano-ers meet face to face. My community activity has all been online, but I enjoy setting up my page and adding friends and checking on their progress. I also download the WriMo Radio podcasts and listen to them on the way to work.
What do you say? Want to NaNo with me?