12 Tips For National Novel Writing Month Writers

12 Tips For National Novel Writing Month Writers

If you're participating in NaNoWriMo, you're the best kind of crazy.

341
views

Writers collectively look forward to and dread the month of November. It is affectionately known as National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo). The goal of this program is to write a novel in a month that is at least 50,000 words long (1,667 words per day). It's absolutely insane and fun, but the goal is to just get it all out so that you can revise it later and make it prettier. This is my sixth consecutive year participating and will hopefully be my 5th year making my word count at the end of November. (Last year was not the move and I did not hit my word count. In fact, I quit after November 2nd.) It's a daunting, but fun program to be a part of. To join, all you need to do is go to nanowrimo.org and create an account to track your progress as well as a lot of other fun features.

For those of you participating, here are 12 tips from a 6-year writer.

1. Don't look over what you've already written.

Every single year, I've fallen into this trap. I want to go back over what I've already written and I end up making small word choice changes or changes of a town or character's name. With that trap, I end up going over what I already had and not increasing my word count by much, if at all. Don't worry about what you've already written until November is over.

2. Don't name your characters

I always always always stress way too much about naming my characters perfectly. Sometimes certain names just suit a character, but it's easier to see that after the story is done and you've seen the character in their entirety. However, in my experience, naming them right off the bat has altered the character I wanted them to become. To combat that problem this year, I assigned each character a letter instead of a name and have a running list of possible names for each character. Side characters are easier to name, so if you don't want to go to extremes, reserve the "work-in-progress" names for main characters only.

3. Hold yourself accountable

As soon as you start slacking, the extra words you have to add on to each day to get back on track gets overwhelming. If you keep yourself on schedule, the word counts are manageable and your goal is still achievable. As soon as you let yourself get behind is when the trouble begins.

4. Try a notebook

This is something new that I've tried for this year. Instead of typing into one long document, I got a journal for my novel and have been counting pages instead of individual words. This has helped me limit the endless distractions my laptop can provide and gives it a more personal feel. There's also just something about putting pen to paper that's particularly satisfying. If you'd like to try this, I wrote a few pages and then counted the words on each page and averaged them out. I got an average of 250 words per page and so I divided the daily word count of 1,667 by 250 and found that I need about 7 pages per day to keep me on track. So far, this has helped tons.

5. Don't overplan

Give yourself a rough outline of where you want to go, how you want to get there, and who you want to take along the way, but don't plan out every minute of the plot. I've tried that and it ended up frustrating me when things didn't go as planned. It ended up being a frustrating waste of a lot of time and I ended up annoyed with myself in the end.

6. Maybe don't plan at all

Some writers opt to start on the first day with nothing in mind and just let it all come to them as it does. I would be way too stressed out with this method, but for some people it works.

7. Make bold choices

Don't be afraid of making a choice that you think might be too wild. This is your first draft. This is where you test things out to see if you like them. If you end up liking them, great! You just did the thing. If not, that's what revision is for. You tried it, you now know you don't like it. Lesson learned.

8. Get your friends to do it with you

There's nothing better than moral support. NaNoWriMo is challenging and it's nice to have friends to challenge and support you. If you don't have any friends interested in joining you, there are also online communities and communities for your area with people who are already noveling this month.

​9. Worry more about quantity than quality

The idea is to get it all out. This is like a giant vent session for your novel. Let all of the ideas and the weirdness and quirkiness come out on the first try and then let it all be sorted through and improved later on. Make it complete now and good later.

​10. Schedule the same block of time every day to write

If something becomes part of your routine, it's easier to forget to write or to let other things get in the way. I'm the worst with this and write whenever I get time, but I really wish I would get over myself and schedule a writing time every day. It would make my life a million times easier.

​11. Keep yourself healthy

Don't kill yourself trying to make the word count each day. Sleeping, eating, and taking time for yourself are all important. If you don't think you can stay healthy and afloat in work/school, then this might not be the right time to participate in NaNoWriMo.

​12. Enjoy it

If this becomes more of a chore than something you look forward to doing, then don't do it. It should be a fun way to encourage yourself to write. It'll get tough from time to time and you shouldn't give up just because of that. If this evokes more dread than excitement, then maybe it's not for you.

Popular Right Now

10 Ways To Be The Girl Every Guy Wants

A comprehensive do-it-yourself guide to being the girl every guy wants.
aussymac
aussymac
895
views

1. Smile all the time.

Guys want to be with girls who are always happy. Men get severely uncomfortable when all the women around them are not Cheshire cat level elated all the fucking time. Why are you mad? Why do you look so pissed? Are you defective? Autopilot your brain to borderline creepy giddiness before men get the idea that you might actually be capable of a full range of human emotion.

2. Be smart.

Men want women to be smart, but never smarter than them. Don’t know or say anything too much about anything specifically – except sports.

3. Eat like a man, look like a lady.

How many burgers can you fit in your mouth at once? Better, even, how many hotdogs? Have the appetite of a grizzly bear, but eat like a cute tiny rabbit, or Kate Upton faking an orgasm. Oh, and never, ever get above a size 4.

4. Play video games.

No guy can resist a girl who loves to play video games (in her underwear). Fifa, 2K, Smash, Kart – know them all. If you can’t at least beat his worst friend at his favorite game, you’re not a keeper.

5. Love beer.

If you can’t throw ‘em back like one of the guys, you’re not wifey. Yeah, that Norwegian IPA no one's ever fucking heard of? You got it. Bud Light? Sure. Fat Tire? You love that shit. Feel free to let out that beer burp while you’re at it, but the burp you’d imagine a Japanese dwarf squirrel would let out after eating rainbows. Oh, and don’t forget, size 4.

6. Be a freak, but also a nun.

We all know that lyric (thank you, Ludacris, so much). Hit those yoga poses hard because he wants you to bust that shit out like you’ve done it before. But you haven’t … right? Have you?!

7. Keep him on his toes.

No man wants a woman who is predictable and boring. Challenge him. Keep him intrigued. Drop an F bomb every now and then. Learn a foreign language in your spare time so that you might give the illusion of being exotic in bed (Slavic languages sound super sexy). Induce yourself into an epileptic seizure. Whatever it takes to keep it interesting.

8. Have quirks.

Ah, quirks. The things that make people unique. The things that make people, people. You must have at least three of these but no more than five. Think relatable Stepford Wife.

9. Be hot.

This is potentially the most important, and luckily I don’t need to tell you how this works. Look at anything. Anywhere. That ever existed.

10. Never, ever get mad.

The worst thing you can do as a woman is challenge a man’s authority. Don’t talk back. Don’t think. Don’t have expectations. Sit. Roll over. Hold the bark.

---

And finally, in the spirit of strong conclusions and remarkably appropriate GIFs:

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr
aussymac
aussymac

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

1164
views

This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

Giphy

Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

Giphy

Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

1.bp.blogspot.com

You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

upload.wikimedia.org

You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

btckstorage.blob.core.windows.net

The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/385972630558152185/

You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

cdn.pixabay.com

The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

www.youtube.com

The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

live.staticflickr.com

This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

assets.rbl.ms

Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

assets.rbl.ms

You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

c1.staticflickr.com

Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

assets.rbl.ms

Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

media.rbl.ms

Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

Related Content

Facebook Comments