50,000 words in 30 days
If I can do it , anyone can. My take on the experience. Here are some other things I learned:
I did this last year and completed the first draft of my novel! I wrote like CRAZY during the whole month of November, even bailed on Thanksgiving, but it was soooo worth it! It took me three months of solid editing, that was harder than actually writing it. If it wasn't that I'm in final revisions and have faith in it selling in coming months, I would TOTALLY do NaNoWriMo again this year. I already have my outline for my second book! It's taking all my might not to sign up.
Ok, my personal tips for you who are doing it-
- Accept the fact that in order to do this, you will have to sacrifice some things for the month: friends, laundry, tv shows, bike riding - even crafting! It's only for one month of your life!
- Sign up to get the newsletter, every week you get inspiring notes to help you keep on pushing.
-Read, read and read to get the feel of pacing and story telling. If you don't have time to read, check out some books on tape from the library.
- Don't freak out and over-complicate your brain. You can do this. Think of your story as a movie with three acts - beginning, middle and and end. It doesn't have to be the coolest thing on the planet, it just has to be YOU. No one will be judging or grading you, free yourself of the pressure to impress others.
- Outline, even if it is scribbles on a napkin. It doesn't have to be extended, just sketch out your basic story line, maybe get some character background done. This will help you focus just on writing when the time comes. and when you are writing, you'll often find things will vary from your original plan. I love that part, that means your story is coming alive and your characters are taking over! Let it happen!
- Make a sign to hang up to remind you of things. i made a few that say things like "FIVE SENSES" to remind me to use scents, tastes, visuals, etc. I also made one that says "ACTION CONFLICT TENSION to remind myself to keep things exciting.
- Go easy on the "ly" and "ing" words. Always try to show a scene, rather than just tell the reader what it is.
- Think about POV. As a newbie I found third person easiest to use. First person means you can only tell the story from that person's eyes. Some people find it easy, I found it limiting. Third person for me was much more fun.
- Brush up on your vocabulary now and exercise your descriptive muscle. As you are driving or waiting in line for things, mentally describe the setting or objects around you.
- Don't skip a day of writing, it will quickly turn into two days missed and so forth and you'll fall behind. You WILL want to give up after the third day, or even a week. Don't let yourself. Tell yourself this is your one shot to get it out there, so damn it, just do it!
- Take a few minutes out here and there to read other peoples sample chapters on the NaNoWrimo site. you'll say things like "I'm doing good!" or, "Oh I see what I need to do more of!"
- Don't question your work. That comes on December 1st. All the month of November, its just about getting the words out on a page. After that, you can sculpt and mold however you like.
- Check out some writing podcasts and listen to them before and during the month to get you in the groove.
- Carry a mini journal with you at all time to record observations and such.
- And don't forget - march is national novel editing month, where you have a month to make sense of it all. so don't put that pressure on yourself!
Hope these tips help!!