Ok, so this post is kinda weird because I have never won a NaNoWriMo, but I am totally going to win this year, and here are some of the things I’m doing to make sure that happens.
Oh, and if you want to be my buddy, you can add me on the NaNo site, I’m @timetravellersscrunchie
So now, here’s my ten tips to win NaNoWriMo + Nick Miller gifs, because Nick Miller.
10. When you can write more, write more
So far I’m killin’ it on my word count, I’m way ahead, which feels awesome. It also feels awesome to know that if I skip a day, or flounder about at any point (which is probably gonna happen), I have some wiggle room. It also feels generally just way less intense knowing that I’m already ahead.
9. Write whenever, wherever
I was away for the first weekend of NaNo ’18 out in the bush with no internet, but I took my laptop and when I could, I’d write a few words. Even if it was just a few hundred here and there. I wrote 1k words while my nephew was sitting next to me playing Fruit Master.
8. Instead of reading, write
OK, so most authors would be like – “you have to read to be a good writer” and while I totally think that’s true, during NaNo it’s all about you and your own story. So instead of going to bed with a book, go to bed with your laptop and bash out a few words. Whenever you would usually be reading, write instead. Just for this month.
7. Write stuff you know will never be in your book
There are going to be days when you just can’t think of anything to write that you would actually want in your novel. On these days, go ahead and write stuff don’t think is going to make it in. I’ve been re-writing chapters and scenes in different ways, writing huge chunks of backstory and it’s all been useful, even if I know it’s never going to make it into the final edit.
Rewards are everything. I was really struggling to get started today. But I decided that if I wrote my goal number of words I could watch an episode of Chesapeake Shores while eating some vegan choc mint ice-cream. There’s nothing like a little self-bribery to get you into action.
5. Focus on scenes not the whole book
I write in scenes when I’m writing a first draft. I don’t worry too much about how it’s all going to fit in, I can do that later when I’m editing. NaNoWriMo is all about words on the page and for me personally, it’s bloody time consuming to sit there and agonise over the plot and structure of the whole thing, so I write in chunks, in scenes and then in December I start putting it all together like a jigsaw.
4. Don’t worry about the details
My first drafts rarely have any details. There will be basically no metaphors, similes or hair colours mentioned in my NaNo draft this year. Later on when I go back and start editing, that’s when I add that magical layer in. The first draft is for laying the foundation and building some walls, you can decorate the place later.
4. All words count
Don’t forget to count all your words! I spent some time writing out my chapters and plot ideas and getting things organised and I totally counted those words and there were lots of them!
3. Write even when you know it’s bad
If you are writing thinking OMG this is the worst thing ever written, you are not alone. I think even the best writers on the planet still have those moments. Even if you think it’s trash, push through. It’s great practice and it might get better. There might be some hidden gem that you find later in all that poopy so don’t judge yourself, just keep writing.
2. Do it daily
Even if you just sit down and write 100 words, writing something every day is a good way to keep momentum going. I don’t know about you, but if I start skipping days it’s all over. I get “behind” and then I think there’s no point and give up. If I write something every day I’m more likely to keep going.
1. Be nice to yourself
If you screw up, miss days, hate everything you’ve written and are way behind on your word count, don’t be mean to you. Just signing up for this thing is a big deal, and even if you only write 30,000 words like I did in 2016, or 500 words, you’re still closer to writing a novel than you were last month and that’s pretty freaking cool.
With NaNoWriMo blessings!