06 November, 2012

NaNoWriMo Week 1

NaNoWrimo is in full swing! Nearing the end of week one, we're seeing the word counts of sprinters, walkers, and everything in between rise with each passing day. Some writers are already rebooting their novels while others have zipped right past sanity into something just plain scary.

If you're still unsure if you should keep what you've already got (or even if you've pulled ahead of the pack), this list of NaNoWrimo tips I found lying around the Internet may just give you an extra boost:

You're not writing a great novel. 

You might not even be writing a good novel.  But that's no reason to stop. The first draft isn't meant to amaze. It simply needs to exist. Edit later, write now.

All words are good words. 

Wrangle, cheat, ramble, quote: do whatever you have to do to add to that word count. This is pure output time. If your historical romance takes a weird turn into a time-traveling dystopia, go with it. Consider it an experiment, just to see where it leads. You can always make it a dream sequence if it doesn't pan out.

Do NOT delete anything.  

You heard me. Your delete button is broken. If you push the delete button in November, it will end all life as you know it. Permanently. So don't push it. Or the backspace button. No lawyering this thing.

Italicize stuff you want to delete...  

...or put it in a different font color or whatever floats your boat. If you really, really can't stand that run-on sentence or the spat Sarah had with the magician in the last chapter, using this trick maintains your word count and keeps your Inner Editor at bay. It may even come in handy later on. You have to remember that your brain isn't functioning properly right now. It's on overload and doesn't know what it's doing. For all you know, you could be erasing vital information for this or another novel. So just keep it until you can see clearly again.

Borrow liberally from everything around you.  

If you're stuck, go outside and people watch. Observe your pet's behavior and record it. Flip through your old diaries. Write down your favorite plot points in the movie you're watching. Ask your grandpa to retell that story about his youth. Just change the names and you're good.

Reward yourself. 

This is not the time to berate or punish your muse for not being good enough. That's your Inner Editor's job (and, hopefully, you locked that thing up on October 31st). Your job is to write joyfully, freely, and with much chocolate. Or caffeine. Or pizza every night. Whatever. Enjoy your favorite snack, beverage, book, or long soak in the bathtub for meeting your goals ever day (yes, hourly goals count, as well).

Wherever you are in the noveling process in this first week, remember: you still have time. Oodles of time! Most of the month is still ahead of you, so stay calm and write on.

Did I miss anything, WriMos? Sound off with your favorite tips in the comments and like/share this post with others!

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  1. You are awesome. I needed to read everyone of these tips. If I hadn't deleted a serious kink that I felt was derailing my whole story, I would be MANY more words up in my count.

    Great post, lady!

    1. I'm sorry you lost some words but I'm happy you're giving it another go! Just ignore that delete button as much as you can and keep writing. :)


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