As you all know, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is fast approaching, and shortly, thousands of writers will undertake the task to write 50,000+ words by midnight, November 30.
NaNoWriMo was first started by Chris Baty in San Francisco, 1999, and had only 21 participants. However, the project quickly expanded, attracting over 40,000 people in 2004! Now, NaNo is an international event for the writing community. NaNo have said that they considered changing NaNo to International Novel Writing Month, but InNoWriMo doesn’t sound as good. (However, I disagree, InNoWriMo sounds great in the ‘I’ in In rhymes with Wri.)
Approximately two thirds of participants manage to write the required words to ‘win’. If you want to ‘win’, and I’m sure you do, I have a little bit of last-minute-advice, before you start.
Write everyday: You’ve only got 30 days to write, so it’s definitely a good idea to write daily. If you write everyday, your journey will slightly easier, with only 1,666 word needed each day to pass. Keep in mind however, that the figure is still a lot! If you only don’t write everyday, maybe have every Saturday off, to catch up all those missed days, you’ll have to write 1,923 words instead.
Turn off your Inner Editor: If you let your little Inner Editor out, he/she will quickly ruin your chances at succeeding in NaNo. Turn him/her off, you’ll find yourself writing much faster, as you wont have to stop to fix spelling and grammar errors. If you can’t turn him/her off, turn off the Spell Checker. Remember, NaNo is all about quantity, not quality. You can edit later.
The internet is your enemy: How much time can you waste on the internet? For me, a lot. Checking emails can lead to “I’ll just check Facebook”, then “I wonder if there are comments on my blog?” Then, next thing you know, you’ll have wasted an hour. Instead, don’t allow yourself on the internet. Turn it off. Don’t allow any temptation. If you need to Google something, make a not of it, and Google it later.
Try some ‘writing games’: There’s lots of writing games out there. Timed Writing, where you write as much as you can in a set time period; Writing Binge, where you spend your weekend writing as much as you can for one hour, take a break, then resume writing for an hour, take another break, and keep going… There are heaps of games out there, try them with a friend.
Use an outline: This may be a little late for some of you, but using an outline really does work. Instead of wasting time figuring out a problem, or deciding where the story goes next, you can write.
There is plenty of other tips out there, Google is full of them. But that’s a sample which should help you out. What tips do you have? Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? Did you win?
And to the NaNo participants, remember, HAVE FUN. That’s what NaNo is all about.
Now to you. Are you competing? What will you be working on?
I wish you the best of luck.