#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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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Give yourself permission to not write

During events like CampNaNo and NaNoWriMo, there is so much pressure to write every single day. For some, this can be overwhelming and can lead to the dreaded writer’s block. Give yourself permission to not write. Do something else creative instead, whether that be molding clay, drawing a picture, coloring in with pencils or cooking. Yes, I said cooking. Being artistic comes in many different forms, and let’s face it, if it doesn’t look that appetizing, not many people want to actually eat it.
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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Attend write-ins, even virtual ones

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 the temptation to socialize.
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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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NaNoWriMo is just around the corner

It's that time of year again. November is almost here. For some, this means that the holiday silly season is about to begin, but for many writers, November is an extremely important time of the year. November is NaNoWriMo.

For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, although, it really should be international. Basically, writers commit the month of November to their writing, aiming to write a minimum of 50,000 words within one month. It may sound like a lot of words to some, but the first Harry Potter is 76,944 words.

NaNoWriMo is FREE to join, but the benefits of the program go beyond the prizes that winners get at the end of the month. The community of NaNoWriMo is huge — truly international. There are motivational posts from established writers (like Grant Faulkener, Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson, just to name a few). You have access to the community forums, and there are events that are run within local regions.

To join, just go to the NaNoWriMo website and sign up. To get access to everything, you just join, but if you want to be in for the prizes at the end of November, don't forget to specify a project.

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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: Add Zombie Bunnies… It means more than just that.

There is a saying, “If you get stuck, just add zombies.” (But this is CampNaNoWriMo, so we’re going to say, “Time to add zombie bunnies.”) While some writers will take this literally, it means much more than that. If you are starting to feel that your story is dragging, that’s a sign that you need to change it up. Adding in flesh-eating monsters is just a way to create instant tension, but there will be ways to do that which will fit your story better.
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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