NaNoWriMo · Writing

The NaNo Diaries 2015 – #1: Last Minute Advice

WORD COUNT: 0/50,000

SANITY LEVEL (1-10): 7 – I’m pretty anxious about midnight kickoff

Coffees Consumed: 2

Project Complaints: My title SUCKS!

…it’s almost here.  Hours away.

Are you ready for NaNoWriMo 2015 to kick off?  Do you have a plan for the first day?  The first week?

This is my second NaNo and I have six pieces of advice to offer as we begin this journey into literary craziness!

…this schedule is merely a suggestion…

1) Start at Midnight – Maybe you aren’t a night owl but if you are attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days, you need to take advantage of all of the hours you can get.  Besides, the added bonus is that Daylight Savings Time kicks in for some of us and gives you an extra hour back!

2) Tell Your Family and Friends – Even if you’ve already told them in passing that…“Hey, I’m gonna be trying to write a book thingee in November. No big deal.” Except that it’s a VERY big deal and your time with them will be sacrificed in some way, shape, or form.  Be very clear with them about the level of commitment NaNo will require if you want to win.  Let them know that even when you’re not writing, you’ll be thinking about writing.  Warn them that this book is about to become your central focus unless one of them dies (and there better be WiFi at the funeral for your Scrivener app).

3) Get Into Your MCs Skin – Depending on the POV you write in, you will need to innately understand the nuances and idiosyncrasies as your main character (MC) develops in the narrative.  Don’t be afraid to go there – if they have a favorite artist, listen to that artist’s music when you write.  Make a vision board (like mine on Pinterest) with descriptors of their personality.  You are going to be writing about this person/figure/creature for an entire month. Better get to know them!

4) Bank Your Words – In order to hit the 50K mark, you have to write a minimum of 1,667 words (or roughly five pages) a day.  A DAY! Since you aren’t a machine, there will be days (like Thanksgiving and the day after) you won’t feel like writing so it’s important to bank your words.  Dedicate a Saturday to nothing but writing way beyond the 1667 daily goal.  If you work a day job, try to take at least two days off in November as purely writing days.  I’ll be off on Monday the 3rd and I am doing nothing – NOTHING – but writing.  No internet, no phone calls, no reading anything except words related to the words I type on the screen.  Bank the words and ease the stress of reaching goal!

5) Make It Pretty Later – Don’t worry about building a cohesive story right out of the gate.  Even out of the scope of NaNo, writing a shitty first draft is a huge part of any writer’s life.  Just get the words on the page and worry about making it pretty after December first. (In fact, I need to keep this rule in mind about my title woes!)

6) Enjoy The Madness – Listen, NaNo is going to drive you bananas, no question.  During Thanksgiving dinner, people will ask you…“How’s that whole book thingee of yours coming along?” and you’ll want to stab them in the eye with a fork.  I’m already a little batty and it hasn’t even started yet!  But know that at the core of the crazy is a rumble – a creative rumble.  You are writing something SOMEONE out there needs and wants to read.  Stay motivated by making friends with fellow NaNoers.  A good resource is the NaNoWriMo site.  It’s an awesome community of writers that are also trying to reach that elusive 50K goal.

All right – make sure your laptops are fully charged, refill your favorite caffeinated beverage, and get these outlines and pregame notes out.  Make shit happen and hit that goal! Good luck…and may the odds be ever in your favor!

(c) Eliza David – FacebookTwitterInstagram



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