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kevbo's avatar

Anyone attempting/attempted National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? Tips?

Asked by kevbo (25621points) October 14th, 2007

November is NaNoWriMo. Any registered participant who submits 50,000 words by midnight Nov 30 is declared a winner.

I may take a stab at this, but have yet to do any planning in terms of plot, etc. Also, I haven’t written a word of fiction in about 15 years. So, if you have advice, lay it on me.

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4 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Just start. You need to do some planning: genre, plot, characters, atmosphere, voice, style. But it ain’t teachable. Altho, BIRD BY BIRD – Annie LaMott – has good ideas about writing. You don’t want to spend your 45 days (that’s 1000 words/day) reading and not writing, however. What novels do you love and why? That’s enough introspection. Sit down now and type.

(How about a young man who falls in love w. an older woman?) :-)

teira's avatar

I’ve tried this the last couple years. Never actually won, but always try. The two things that always get in the way are A) not holding myself to a schedule, which then creates a huge pile of unwritten words that can be hard to make up, and B) not reminding myself that the goal is quantity, not quality. Eventually you have to succumb to your inner Harlequinn novelist and write the ridiculous crap you thought would never come from your hands.

Purplecar's avatar

Hey! No plot? No problem! Just start typing. Pretend there is a person in your head that stepped into an odd little bookstore off a Paris alleyway and picked up a book and started reading to you. That’s it. Plot will come to you after. You will avoid writing if you think you need things – any things – before you start writing. You will kill the spirit like that. Just write, that’s it. Forget the rest. I just wrote for Nano in 2004, and I’ve been working with that 50,000 words since. I hope to shop it around in the next year. Plot came after. Just write.

bob's avatar

Set aside time to write each day.

Like Teira said, the goal is quantity. Try not to worry about quality. That part comes later.

Stick to your schedule, even if you aren’t feeling inspired. (That’s a euphemism for “even if you feel dead inside and soulless.” Keep writing.)

Read some fiction that inspires you (not necessarily writing on writing) before you write.

Set aside time to write each day.

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