NaNoWriMo Writing Tips

NaNoWriMo Writing Tips

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Editing a Novel
Editing may be tedious but cleaning-up usually is.

For the past three years, I have spent the month of November holed up in my apartment sweating out 50,000 words.

November has been designated National Novel Writing Month, abbreviated NaNoWriMo. This challenges writers and hopefuls to write a 50K word original novel within the 30-days of November. That comes out to 1,618 words per day. A few hours of work. Every single day. For one month.

There is nothing like this experience and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading, telling stories, or writing. If you have been on the fence about it in the past, stop thinking about it! Just give it a shot on November first. It’s free to participate and you lose nothing if you quit in the middle (other than your own dignity of course).

It’s not a competition. If you complete a novel of 50K words by November 30th, then you win! Yay! There are discounts on writing software and NaNoWriMo-related goods for winners.

After spending most of this year creating comics and drawings, I have decided to take a break from original creation for a little bit. I need to give my brain a little break. I’ll spend that time reading and learning and absorbing. So in later months I can continue to create new stories.

NaNoWriMo Writing Tips

Nanowrimo - Write the book you want to read
Think about yourself as a reader while you’re writing.

For those of you who are participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, here’s some advice from my experiences.

The only time I failed NaNoWriMo was when I used an outline.

This challenge is about quantity, word flow, creativity, and endless thoughts. Do not limit yourself by creating a fixed outline in the beginning. Just start writing. Let your characters go where they want to go. Let your world build organically. Let the plot conflicts arise themselves. Your story will sound forced if you try to force outlined thoughts onto your characters. You might get stressed out because your story isn’t going the way you planned. Don’t plan. Just write.

November is for writing. December is for editing.

I say this and mean it. Even though I’m editing this year, it’s only because I’ve spent my past Novembers writing. Don’t worry about fixing mistakes, strong grammar, or even punctuation. Just write and get your ideas out.

Always carry your laptop/notebook & use every second of free time.

An hour to kill between work and meeting a friend? Find a coffee shop or public space to write for an hour. Write for half an hour. Write for ten minutes. All of it will add up. Write at the laundromat. Write during breakfast. Write on your lunch break.

It is nice to have a comfortable working space set-up for when you’re ready to sit down and crank out thousands of words. But sometimes you can still get a lot done in just 10 minutes sitting on a bench. Don’t get caught up in the process of writing or “being a writer.” Don’t think. Just write.

Resources

There’s a whole list of resources & software in my NaNoWriMo Survival Guide from last year. First timers should definitely read through this.

I also wrote a little about my first NaNoWriMo experience. Don’t plan on seeing your friends for a month.

For NaNoWriMo’s in NYC, I suggest taking a look at NYC Public Spaces for low-key writing locations. Best part is that since most don’t have wifi, you’ll have limited distractions. People watching isn’t a distraction, it’s inspiration.

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