Monday, October 25, 2010

Get Ready for NANOWRIMO

Nano (National Novel Writing Month) from November 1st-30th. It’s the writing frenzy where you kick out a large number of words to hopefully finish a novel in record time. Many people start the challenge and end up with a sizeable number of pages by the end. Some are inspired to start writing for the first time. Others are inspired to finish something for the first time. Some, like me, find that writing at breakneck speed produces a lower quality of work that doesn’t reflect what is normally produced when writing within your own timing. Truth is, my natural timing is four months from start to finish. I tried to increase my speed and did it without much trouble. It increased by 3 weeks, and for me, that cooking time for a novel fits just right.

Here is a quick list of what to do to be successful in Nanowrimo:
-Write a character bio
-Allow yourself to write through the rough spots - and edit later
-Schedule your write time (even if you have to wake up an hour early to do it)
-Get a write buddy - someone to just talk you through it
-Get Ready, Set, Go


There are ways to make speed writing more effective. The overall goal, is to produce more in a shorter period of time. If you keep this up, who knows, speed writing may become a habit.

Prepare for it
When you set out to write a novel in a short period of time, outlining is your friend. Take a week to write a detailed outline of the story. It will help to work out most of the kinks before you even sit down to write. Create character profiles of the main characters and review outline before the start of your writing marathon.

Plan it
If you are going to focus on spitting out as many words as possible a day, then plan it. Block out your writing time for the month. Figure out when you are most productive. Is it in the morning, at night or midday? Make a rule – no sleep unless you have kicked out a minimum of a certain amount of words. Make sure you schedule extra time for working out of corners or temporary writer’s blocks. Make your schedule somewhat flexible so that you don’t get burned out and give up.

Write it
With a printout of your outline next to you and a bullet list of your character profile – start the race. Follow your outline. If you want to go rogue, go ahead, write until the roadblock. If you reach a road block – write anything, take some time off to think on it, then re-work your outline and get back to it. Also, if you took out writing time to think, add more blocks of writing time to make up your word count later. Whatever you do – don’t stop writing. Remember, you will always have to edit it.

Don’t look back
Whatever you do, don’t read over what you’ve written until you are finished. That is an easy way to get distracted. Remember, you’ll have to edit the thing many times before your piece of art is perfected. Just write forward, don’t make corrections, don’t read over it, just push forward and write.

FOR NANOWRIMO THIS YEAR ... I'm finishing up my sequel to THE PACK-RETRIBUTION, join me and look for my username lmpreston and be my write buddy. Here's the Nanowrimo website:


Tabitha said...

I'm doing NaNo this year, too, but my goals are completely different from last year.

I finished last year, and actually got a decent, viable draft out of it. But I killed myself in the process because November is just too crazy for me. So I've changed my goals, started early, and lowered my work-count target. I'll still post my word count results from November on, but I won't be reaching 50k words. And I'm okay with that. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo, but wish luck to all those who are!

LM Preston said...

I'll need all the luck I can get. I have some all-night writing sessions planned.

nicóle said...

NaNoWriMo is definitely on our minds. I just posted a vlog on Nano!

Good Luck!


April said...

I'm like you. I write my first draft really fast anyway, so NaNo doesn't scare me. The first draft always has holes and needs a lot of work, but I LOVE revising, so I enjoy going back and filling in all those holes. I've just started my NaNo book (don't worry, I won't count those words :) but I'm pretty sure 50k won't be too hard.

reading. writing. revolution. said...

As always, I just go balls out with no outline or prep work, just an idea in my head. I have slightly more than that this year with "2084". I'll put the idea up on my blog today or tomorrow, and we'll see what happens.

Jewel Allen said...

Great tips! I want to devote some time to outline before Nov. 1st. Good luck to you!

My name means Wisdom said...

Ack! Sounds like I am a week behind. I read about it at three this morning and signed up. Now that I am seeing how much prep folks have been doing for this I am having second thoughts.

Never written anything like this and don't have anything to go on right now. Just figured I would start writing and see what came of it.

BTW, I found you over at book blogs