It’s that time again! NaNoWriMo begins at midnight, just 16 hours away. Are you ready?
I’m sure you probably are. You’ve more than likely been prepping for it since the summer. Or maybe the whole of this month. But whether you’ve been ankle, knee or elbow deep in preparing for NaNoWriMo. Or decided at the last minute to take part (been there), here are some last minute tips I’d like for you to remember:
Turn off your inner editor. Please, please turn it off. I even suggest, clamping your ears. And singing out loud nananananana, I can’t hear you. If that’s beyond you, then insert notes with whatever suggestions coming from that damn voice. Or highlight or change the text color. So you’ll know which passages will need your attention in the Now What? Months and revision stage after NaNoWriMo.
Write in first person and present tense. Don’t worry about writing in specific point of view. More than likely, you’ll slow yourself down if you notice you’ve written out of point of view. Or you’re head jumping if you’re writing in more than 1 pov. Then separate pov by chapter or use the character’s name before a scene to show a change in pov. If you’ve switched tenses your inner editor will sure to go off like a fire alarm. If you can’t ignore it, use the previous tip above. If you can, kudos to you. Write your draft in first person and present tense. Then, after NaNoWrimo, you can rewrite the draft in the pov and tense you want. Like keeping it in first, or revise/edit to second or third person. Or in limited or omniscient, past or present. That’s what rewrites are for anyways.
Do word sprints. You can take part doing a sprint on Twitter with other NaNosNaNos. Or you can just time yourself and see how many words you can write during a specified time. I usually do 15 minute word sprints where I’d write 200+ words during that period. And for the next word sprint I try to beat the amount of words from previous sprint. Word sprints are a good way to turn off your inner editor. Having trouble shutting out the pesky editor? Try challenging yourself in writing 200+ words in a 10-15 minute sprint.
Beware Thanksgiving. Yes, I said it. Thanksgiving is more than just eating good food and giving thanks. It takes a whole lot of work to prepare for Thanksgiving, especially if you’re from a big family. Or you’re the one who always play the host/hostess. If so, decide in advance if you’ll be hosting this year. And pass the baton to another family member or friend and bring 1-2 dishes or dessert. If you are hosting Thanksgiving, then double your word count the week before. Here are some more tips I shared last year in How to Survive NaNoWriMo During Thanksgiving.
Don’t become too bog down on word count. Don’t worry whether you can write 50k words because the real value in doing NaNoWriMo is to master yourself. It isn’t so much as a race but a challenge. A call of action to yourself to write a rough draft of your novel. To stop saying you like to write the story you have inside your head. And actually put your pen where your mouth is. The goal isn’t so much to write 50k words but to finally bring to life the story living inside you. It’s your chance as a writer to stop thinking of writing a book and actually sit down to write it. It’s your chance to make a commitment to yourself and your story. And if you can do that, that makes you a real winner in my book.
Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? What are you working on? Want to be writing buddies? If so, you can find me here.