#NaNoWriMo Validation Tricks

We are approaching the end of the month, and the validation window for NaNoWriMo is now open. To be a winner on the NaNoWriMo site, you need to clock in at 50,000 words, at least. However, sometimes, the validation process of those 50,000 words can be a little tricky, especially if you were a NaNoWriMo Rebel.

Perhaps you didn't work on a new project, but continued on the project that you have working on for the last few month. (I did this.) Maybe you were working on multiple projects at the same time, all in different files. (Guilty as charged.) It's conceivable that the allure of editing drew you in, for whatever reason, and you needed to work your writing hours away with your editor's hat on. (Um... Yep. That was me too.) Or maybe you decided to divide your creative energies between writing and something else, like drawing. (Nope, this one wasn't me. I can't draw to save my life.)

Whatever the reason that a pure copy/paste of 50,000 words into the validator on NaNoWriMo is not feasible, there are some tricks that you can play to make your life easier.

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Refueling the Writing Muse

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.

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This #NaNoWriMo, don’t focus just on word counts.

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.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Shift your goal away from word counts

Events such as CampNaNo and NaNoWriMo focus so heavily on word counts, but to some that word count target is daunting and out of reach. These events, while rewarding high word counts, are actually about developing a habit for writing — a little more everyday. As such, shift your goal away from word counts or pages. Aim to finish that chapter today, or that scene. In the end, the word counts don’t matter; the fact that you’re writing does.
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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Can’t see the scene? Make notes and move on.

When writing a first draft, don’t feel obligated to write every single scene out in full. Sometimes our imaginations just don’t see the little details — fight scenes, in particular, can be the most complicated to write because you might not be sure whose POV you should be using. Make notes about what you can see. Write down the details that are vital that you do know. Then move on. The nitty-gritty is something that you can always come back to when you have a few more details.Read More

Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Small steps are needed to make the giant leap.

You hear it often, but how many actually listen: take that big goal and divide it into smaller, more manageable chunks. This a philosophy can be applied to every aspect of our lives. For a writer, this means looking at that draft in sections. If you’re writing a first draft, but aiming for a specific word count (like one would during NaNoWriMo), you don’t try to get your full word count in one night (unless you’re a masochist). Instead, you write one chapter, one paragraph, one sentence at a time. It’s the same with editing. Even a long jumper needs to take those smaller, running steps before they can make the giant leap.Read More

Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: CampNaNoWriMo is about building a community

For those participating in CampNaNoWriMo, keep in mind that these sorts of events are actually about building your writing community. Yes, you are working toward a word-count goal, one you’ve specified, but there is a reason that they encourage participation in cabins. Get to know the others in your cabin and start networking. You’ll need that support as you continue along your writing journey.
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