Thinking about taking part in this year’s National Novel Writing Month?
It’s not even officially fall yet but it’s never too early to start planning.
In fact, planning and getting all set up before Nov 1st, I feel is the key to writing 50,000 words in 30 days.
Here are some steps to get you started-
Some people go into this challenge knowing they have a lot on their to do list. For those in the US, Thanksgiving also comes at the tail end of NaNoWriMo. If you know your schedule’s already full, I’d say give it a miss and try again next year. There’s nothing worse than starting strong and then realizing you’ve over committed and you not only abandon the challenge, but the book too.
One year, I decided I was going to write a mystery for the challenge. I had all my ideas, plot outlined and I got off to a great start but then things fizzled. Not because I’d planned poorly or lost interest, but I realized I needed to research things like the training of detectives, forensics, even arrest protocols. I did skip ahead and knew I could go back later when I had all the info, but somehow it threw me off track and by the 21st, I’d given up. Moral of the story, do your research now, ask questions, contact experts etc.
Be a Prepper
Not the sort that builds an underground bunker, but start planning out meals and maybe making them ahead of time and storing them in the freezer. If you’re the one in charge of making dinner or if you simply want to eat something besides a sandwich or a can of this or that, every night, then you better have a plan. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a chapter or in the zone as I call it, and realizing you need to fix something to eat. You can tell yourself you’ll get back to writing after dinner, but oftentimes getting into that zone has long gone.
Pretend it’s Nov 1st and sit down and write. How did you do, what were your distractions, what stopped you from writing? Or did you write like there was no tomorrow? What kept you going? Think about successes and failures during the test run and either duplicate or fix them.
You don’t need to have a full plot plan worked out (although it might help), but at least get some sort of outline for your story planned. Think of it as your road map as you sit and write each day.
I’ll be posting more tips and hints about NaNoWriMo each week leading up to and during the challenge.
Have any questions, anything you’d like help with, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org