November is almost here and that means National Novel Writing Month kicks off. If you haven’t heard of it, NaNoWriMo is a month-long writing project in which writers write a 50,000-word draft of a novel in 30 days.
Novels can be any genre or language. Planning and extensive notes are allowed but pre-written material can’t go into the body of the novel for it to count. To complete the project in 30 days, you’ll need to write an average of 1,667 words a day.
A deadline is one of the best incentives to get writing and NaNoWriMo can help writers get into that non-analytical state of mind and write a draft from start to finish, a key step to ultimately finishing a novel.
While most novels are longer than 50,000 words, meeting the goal and “winning,” can mean writing a 50,000-word novel or the first 50,000 words of a novel to be finished later. According to Wikipedia, notable novels of roughly 50,000 words include The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Brave New World, and The Great Gatsby.
Here are a few tips for writing massive numbers of words in 30 days. Read more
Practice, practice practice. That’s what it takes to be a published writer, says author Anjali Banerjee.
“It’s good to go to the end,” she says. “If you don’t write a manuscript from beginning to end, you might get stuck on the first chapter, rewriting the beginning ad nauseum. Or you might ditch the manuscript altogether and start another one for whatever reason — fear of failure, fear of success, or a difficult problem with the storyline.”
Banerjee has made it to the end of nine published books (and two unpublished ones). Enchanting Lily, her most recent novel, is about a young widow who’s content to hide out in her vintage clothing shop on a Pacific Northwest island until a cat runs in and turns her life upside down. For a deleted scene told from the cat’s point of view, read Banerjee’s guest post at Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries, and More.
Banerjee offers insight and tips for writers: Read more
Instead of fearing imperfection in your work, embrace it. Sometimes we have to get it wrong so we can get it right. I prefer to call it experimentation.
The discipline of any creative pursuit — writing, painting, photography — requires constant trial and error. In fact “errors” are precursors to original ideas. They reveal new directions, the unexpected, a twist.
Even athletes know this. Marathon runner Ryan Hall could have been speaking about writing when he was quoted in a New York Times article about his quest for an Olympic gold medal: Read more
I know more than a few people who told me that they wanted to write a novel, but their sentences didn’t match up with the image in their minds. So they quit. This video is for them and for all of us who need to remember that it takes daily practice to realize our “vision.”
If you’re new to One Wild Word, you may have missed some of our earlier posts. Dip into some posts from the past and shake up your writing mind.
Write lyrically by reading poetry
Learn more about how poetry can be your bubble bath for a productive writing session. Read more
Are you someone who wants to be writing but can’t really call yourself a writer because you aren’t really writing anything? It’s easy to let life get in the way. But if writing is important to you, you must pursue it regularly despite what life flings your way. Whether you write three sentences, 100 words or 1,000, it all adds up. The days have a way of slipping by, and you don’t want to wake up someday and regret what you didn’t do.
Be conscious of your time and how you’re spending it. Have you designed your life to fit your desire to write? Are you spending your hours on your most important priorities? Most writers — published and unpublished — have many commitments to juggle, not to mention day jobs. But they still fit writing in. Read more