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
Today is the seventh day of NaNoWriMo and, amazingly, I’m on track with my word count! But I need to plan ahead for the rest of this week because, starting tomorrow, I’ll be attending the Story Masters writing intensive with Literary Agent Don Maass, author and writing mentor James Scott Bell, and Chris Vogler, a Hollywood development guru and author of The Writer’s Journey.
I’m super excited and blessed to be able to attend this event but that also means I’ll have to find snatches of time for writing to make sure I stay on top of my Nano goals. We’ll have writing opportunities in class and an evening gathering of fellow NaNoWriMos so that will help. My plan is to break it up in 500 to 700 word segments until I reach my goal for each day.
I’m also making a Writing Practice list (ala Natalie Goldberg). These are ideas that pop up as I’m writing that I add to an ongoing list and that become writing topics for later. I call it my WP list. Read more
I’ve just signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to help me write my next novel. One of my personal weaknesses as a writer is that I think too much in my first drafts when I should just be writing. So I’m using this NaNoWriMo to help me make a breakthrough.
Even if you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, the seven tips below can help you finish any project:
Tip # 1: Write from the heart. There will be times when you’ll get stuck. Some days, your prose will sound like garbled hamster hash. When this happens, stop and take a few deep breaths. Remind yourself what you love about your project. I have an index card on my desk with my original idea for the story—it’s the tag line that got my juices going in the first place. Then go back to your page and write from that space of passion. Read more
This is the third November I’ve signed up for National Novel Writing Month but the first year I’ve actually tried to reach the goal of writing a new novel (of at least 50,000 words) in a month.
It was a last minute decision based on two things: the right timing (I’m actually ready to start my next manuscript and quit dawdling over my previous one) and the right inspiration. I returned from the Surrey International Writer’s Conference pumped and ready to rock and roll (or is that sit and spin a story?).
So, you have an idea. You may or may not have an outline you’re working from. I have a partial outline—some on the computer and some in my head. I know my main characters pretty well although I haven’t met most of my minor characters yet. I know my overall theme. I know the direction I want to go. The rest? I have no clue. I’m a combination panster (as in flying by the seat of) and plotter.
My eight tips to make your November easier: Read more