22 days and counting…
Is it too soon to begin plotting out your novel for November’s Novel Writing Month? Hell no!
Here are some tips to help you prepare for what may be the craziest, heart-pounding, gut-wrenching, pride filling month of your writing life:
So, NaNoWriMo, huh? I loved it. Why? Forced me to write everyday and write big chunks at a time. Used methods of writing I hadn’t used before, such as flashbacks, dream sequences, story-within-story and lots of scenery/setting. I started with almost no preparation, which I strongly advise against. It’s much more difficult to write 1500 words a day when you have no idea what your story is about. I used a novel outlining software which really helped along the way.
It was also FRUSTRATING: the highs and lows of writing like a madwoman and not being able to stop and revise along the way. I’m a perfectionist, so this was my cross to bear. SATISFACTION: Being able to say I wrote a novel, though I really just say I participated in NaNo (it doesn’t “feel” like a novel at its feeble state of a rough draft.) But having that satisfaction of completing something so challenging and knowing writers across the globe were doing it too, was amazing. I’ll definitely be at the starting line on Nov. 1 – what about you?
Things to consider: Browse around the NaNo site for chat rooms, discussions, and lots of tips. You can also find a local municipal liaison, who sets up regular meetings and “write-ins” throughout November for extra encouragement.
TELL EVERYONE you are doing this. Why? So they don’t bug you when you’re tapping away at the keyboard at 1am, or gulping down vast amounts of coffee. And, they can be your support system – a sounding board when you announce your growing word count.
PLAN. Plan your plot, plan your characters, most importantly: plan your daily routine: change deadlines if necessary or finish up early; don’t over commit in November; plan dinners (make and freeze or wing it, but don’t plan to cook 3-course meals every night – it’s not gonna happen.)
GO WITH THE FLOW: Go into it knowing you’ll be writing lots of crap, it’s the quantity of words you write that is the spirit of NaNo: sitting down to write a novel from start to finish. They say “December is for Revising!”
So, are you Ready? Share your tips with us! (and request me as your writing buddy once you do sign up!)