In events such as NaNoWriMo and CampNaNo, every word you write adds to your word total. While it would be nice to have all those words adding to the same story, that might not be how your brain works. If you’re a short story writer, 50,000 words might be the working drafts of 10 different stories. Use separate projects if you must. The point behind these programs is not about the story itself, but to develop a habit of writing on a daily basis.
Many who take part in NaNoWriMo tend to get fixated on the word counts. Yes, it is good to have a goal, but NaNoWriMo is also about forming a habit for writing that you can carry with you into December and beyond.
There is something to be said for peer-pressure. If you are surrounded by a group that has their heads down and the fingers pounding the keys of their laptops, guilt will often take over — you should be writing too. Me… I can’t write in the presence of others, I’m too much of a social bunny and want to bounce ideas off of everyone. The solution: virtual write-ins. The organizers of NaNoWriMo and CampNaNo often run virtual write-ins via Twitter and other social media platforms. Check them out. They might provide you with the peer-pressure you need to write, but remove […]
We are approaching the middle of the NaNoWriMo season, and it’s about this time of the month when some writers start to run out of steam. Whatever motivation they had when they embarked on the challenge has begun to wane. It’s time to refuel the muse, so we can keep going.
Here are 9 different methods that could help you get back into the flow of writing.
Like all social media, the NaNoWriMo forums can be a massive time sink. Schedule the time that you allot yourself on the forums, and be sure that you don’t waste away your writing time.
Many writers will do a certain amount of editing as they write, restructuring that awkward sentence, working carefully to describe the scene in their minds perfectly, deleting phases that were written at 2 am that really don’t make any sense. While this is a reasonable practice, during events like NaNoWriMo and CampNaNo, one should resist as much as possible to do major editing. The idea behind these programs is to encouraged you to get the first draft of your manuscript out as quickly as possible. You can’t edit a blank page. Just let the extra the go.
For some, there is this urge to rush toward the finish line, pulling all-nighters early in November. Yes, there are some that actually reach the 50,000 word mark within one day. (Don’t ask me how, but I know of some personally that do it.) However, there is a difference between rushing to the finish line and generating something that you can work with. NaNoWriMo is traditionally about writing first drafts, but pace yourself and avoid writing pure dribble. It’s 1667 words a day for a reason.
You will see a significant about of advice out there about how much backstory and other information should be included in a story. These articles are intended for the editing phases of your writing. During that first draft, possibly even during that second draft, include it all. If it comes to your mind, get it on paper. Who cares if it’s irrelevant, just get it down. As a writer, you need to know everything, so info dump like crazy in those early drafts. You will edit this information out and bring it back to the bare essentials later.
As the clock clicks over into November 1st, writers around the world will embark on the NaNoWriMo challenge.
No doubt, some of you are wondering what NaNoWriMo is. Well, as a writer, you commit yourself to writing 50,000 words in one month — you commit to writing a complete first draft of a novel. For some, it is a daunting goal, but as someone who has taken part in every NaNoWriMo and CampNaNoWriMo event since 2014, I can tell you that it’s worth the challenge and effort.
Every year, without fail, there will be a few who work at insane rates, pumping out 50,000 words within the first few days. Some even achieve this within the first 24 hours. No, I’m not exaggerating. Within my home region, there is always at least one, frequently two or three, with another two or three who hit 50,000 words within the first week. However, I actually feel sad for the ones who rush to pump out those 50,000 words in such a short time, because in my opinion they have totally missed the point behind NaNoWriMo.
The real goal of NaNoWriMo is to spend an entire month writing your novel, aiming to complete it. If you finish early, you go back and flesh out some of the scenes. And if hit 50,000 words early but still haven’t finished the novel, you keep going until you’ve written the words The End. You write every day, forming a habit for writing that will carry you through into December and beyond.