So it’s that time of the year again -the first of November, which for many writers means a whole month shut inside typing away frantically. Of course I’m talking about the very popular NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
Writing a novel can be a very long and arduous task, full of potential pitfalls and the pressure can lead to the dreaded Writer’s Block. The annual NANoWriMo is a project which helps writers shed their fear and anxieties and gets them to write-50,000 words in one month. It is obviously quite a task for any writer, but can be extremely motivating. The deadline encourages over-thinkers to just write.
Here are a few tips for anyone thinking of taking part in NaNoWriMo this month.
- Have a rough plan of the beginning, middle and end of the novel. As obvious as this sounds it is important as it’ll keep you on track. Write it down and keep it in close proximity when writing. If you feel yourself wavering at any point, have a look at your original plan, it’ll motivate you to keep going.
1. Make sure your idea has mileage. Assign rough word counts to each section, and make sure there’s enough plot for 50,000 words. This can be the tricky bit, so try to avoid temptation to ramble or spend too much time on one aspect of the novel in a bid to plump up the word count. It’s better to have too much to write about than not enough. After all it’s much easier to prune the novel than to go back and add in superfluous sections.
2. Have a rough timetable of when you can write and a guide as to how many words you should write a day. This will help you keep on track. Although be sure to schedule in some breaks – you never know a half hour spent on ShortbreadStories may inspire you!
3. Don’t go it alone. Many NaNoWriMo writers organise weekly meetings with other fellow writers. This is a great way to discuss any potential pitfalls, and of course get some much needed rest from writing your novel. A bit of perspective always helps.
4. The 30th of November needn’t be the end. So you’ve reached your word count, you’ve uploaded it to NaNoWriMo website, and you’re eagerly awaiting your certificate. You’ve done it – you’ve written a novel. But like all great love stories this is only the beginning. Now it’s time to edit it- or even to expand it. Don’t just shove your hard work in a drawer, spend time working out how you can make it better, and get it in shape for publishing.
If you are involved with NaNoWriMo this year we’d love to hear from you regarding your experiences. If you’d like to write an article or blog about NaNoWriMo please email me at Fiona@shortbreadstories.com
Good luck everyone!