5 tips for a successful ‘NaNoWriMo’

NaNoWriMo - it's a leap of faith

NaNoWriMo – it’s a leap of faith

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is (where have you been?) and you’re interested in writing a (mini) novel in a month, have a look at the website: www.nanowrimo.org

This year’s marathon writing extravaganza starts in one week’s time!

I survived the experience in 2009, I’m doing it again this year and these are my top tips for fellow NaNoWriMo-ers:

1. Tell everyone you’re doing it! (Put it on your Blog!). If people are constantly asking ‘how’s that novel going?’ you’ll be too embarrassed to say you’ve backed out or stopped after 1,000 words.  (Won’t you…?)

2. But resist the urge to tell them what you’re writing.  There’s a theory that if you relate  the story you’re trying to write, you take some of the magic away. You’ve already, in effect, ‘told’ the story. Plus their reaction might put you off. And let’s face it, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, you probably won’t know exactly what you’re writing. That’s all part of the fun. It could change from chick-lit to horror between 1st November and the end of the month.  So when it comes to the subject-matter, keep STUMM!

3. Have a plan or synopsis, before you start. Even a rough one will do (to allow for that possible change from chick-lit to horror!).

 I did NaNoWriMo without a plan last year and it was a bit like going off-piste when you’ve just learned to put your skis on. The end result (which I’ve only now read all the way through), was a bit ‘hit and miss’ (OK, it was rubbish).

Some authors do ‘just start writing’ and happily follow where the muse takes them but I reckon you can only do that once you’ve got a few novels under your belt.  

4. If you can’t type your novel straight onto a PC, you’re going to be at a disadvantage. If you don’t have one, can you beg, borrow or steal a laptop for the month of November? Can you write in your car at lunchtimes? Get up half an hour earlier each day? NaNoWriMo is about being creative with your TIME just as much as your writing.

5. Don’t leave it to the last minute to upload your finished masterpiece. Your word count might be different to theirs! This happened to a friend of mine last year, who found herself two thousand words short of 50,000 with just a couple of hours until the deadline. She made it but nearly had a heart attack in the process.

Have fun! And if you have any ‘top tips’ of your own, I’d love to read them…

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