We’re more than halfway through NaNoWriMo and it is about time I write about it.
This year, I am a NaNo rebel. I have proven my ability to write 50K novels for several of the past 13 years, and most of the novels I started out with are in need of so much editing that I just can’t even imagine ever finishing one of them.
Those novels have served their purpose, though. I have found my voice over those years. It helped me with the challenge I have set for myself for this month: I am working on the second draft of a 70K or thereabouts SciFi novel.
So, most of my NaNo is about editing, but I am also writing new words, lots of them, as daily posts for my blog 🙂
During the years I have learned a lot of what can make a NaNoWriMo successful for me.
Here are my NaNo top tips 🙂
- Set up rewards This is an essential part of the nano experience for me. I reward myself with simple things when I reach certain milestones 🙂 Rewards can include: some snacks or a book you want to have when you reach 50K
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes You are writing a novel in 30 days, you don’t need your inner critic to muddle things up. He can come later, in the editing phase. (in moderation, obviously).
- Ask yourself: is this more important than writing? There are many things that can take up your time, and a lot of them are non-essential, to begin with (like watching TV 5 hours a day). Every time you set out to do something non-essential, ask yourself, “Is this more important than writing?”
- Pamper yourself silly Your body is going to suffer from sitting still with your butt in your chair. Go out for walks, take baths, long showers, eat good foods. You deserve to be pampered!
- Keep a journal Moan about your characters, or scribble down ideas. For me, It’s essential.
- Pick one album that you play all the time Every time I hear Radiohead’s Kid A, my mind still goes back to writing a novella I wrote a couple of years ago. The album for this book is also a Radiohead album: In Rainbows. A set playlist also works 🙂
- Tell those around you that you are writing a novel(and ignore any negative comments they may shower on you 🙂
- Take lots of notes during writing Don’t waste time researching, or going through your novel to search for the place where you need something essential. Notes can be like this:
- Character so and so needs to go visit character so and so a couple chapters ago to set up for this and that.
- Research London in the 1960’s
- Remember to do something with this little plot point I introduced in chapter 20
- Plan adventures One day, every week, have an adventure that is about anything but writing. Go to the cinema, go out on a date, visit a zoo. Anything but writing. I have no doubt that taking distance from your book will actually inspire something that you can write about.
- Get a writing partner When I first started out, having a writing partner to have regular word wars with improved my word count tremendously 🙂 And we had a lot of fun in the process, being competitive helped a lot 🙂