Grace Tierney, self-published author, gave great tips and thorough answers to my questions on the planning, procrastinating, plotting and persevering through National Novel Writing Month.
Q: How much pre-work did you complete prior to Nov 1?
A: None, because I swapped onto a different novel on Nov 3. This is NOT a good
idea. I was just blithely writing the first chapter of a book I had no outline
for. Just going with the flow, and honestly, probably not doing very well.
Q: Did you give yourself a word count to meet each day?
A: Yes. I like to think of myself as organised so I printed up a one month
calendar in Word (there’s a calendar template in there somewhere) and filled
in all the days/times I couldn’t write due to existing writing commitments
(although I’d worked extra in October to clear most of those) and due to my
family (I have two small children so when they’re about I can’t write. I
wait until they’re asleep or at playgroup 3 mornings a week). Then I filled
in about 2000 words for each day (I had to make up for some
non-writing-days) and thought that would keep me on track. Hey it was
colour-coded – how could I go wrong? I realised during NANO 2008 and
subsequently that the ideal 1667 un-edited words per day is actually do-able
for me, but if I slip behind, I really struggle to write more than 2500
words per day in order to catch-up. Doing the daily wordcount is vital for
my NANO to work out.
Read more on Grace Tierney:
“The Writing Contest Expert’s Guide to Fiction Contests” – more than 200
contests for flash fiction to novels
“Positive Thoughts for Writers” – Helping your Writer’s Soul Every Day of
Available now at www.lulu.com/gracetierney and www.gracetierney.com