Sunday, October 31, 2010

Let's Get Ready to Wrimo!

In about twelve hours, NaNoWriMo begins. Yes, twelve hours. In that space of time, I need to get lots of college work done, in between the regular stuff for the day like showering and eating. I plan on doing my tutorial work ASAP, then getting to work on the reading for my essay from the books I have from the library. I have approximately one quarter of my plot planned for my novel. Whether or not this will equate to 12,500 words in the first week, I have no idea. Hopefully it'll be more than that, so I can write more than 50,000 words for this book.

So, very little time left. Anyone reading this who's mad enough to attempt NaNoWriMo, here's my advice for the month ahead:
  • Plan in advance. Maybe not the whole thing, but at least know where you're going to start, where you hope to end, and a couple of things you want to happen in the middle of the novel.
  • Stock up on snacks. This doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune, and it doesn't mean it has to be all unhealthy stuff, but you'll need to have something beside you for when you get hungry; if you can rely on someone else to cook the dinners but you have to wait a few hours, nibble on something while you write. And while you're at it have plenty of tea/coffee/water and allow for toilet breaks when you need to go - you won't be able to write on a full bladder, because you'll be moving around in the chair too much.
  • Plan your time. I, for one, have a busy month ahead of me. I've got about three birthdays to attend to, three essays due in this month, three pieces of tutorial work, and stuff to do for December that I should make a start on. My drama workshops will probably take place in November, too, following the unfortunate postponements a couple of weeks ago. I'll be writing on the bus, doing college work at lunch time and whichever one I have time for and need of will occupy any free evenings.
  • Don't assume you need to write for hours on end. What this means is that you can write in ten minute segments throughout the day if you have to. Once you get your average of 1667 words a day, you'll be fine! If you're in school and have weekends off, try get your homework done quickly, and add a chunk of words to your novel to compensate for missing out during the week - this will happen at some stage.
  • Remember: quantity over quality. NaNoWriMo isn't a test of your ability to write brilliantly; it's a way to get you to write a lot. Write as much as you can, even if it's not all good. You have plenty of time later to edit the novel and make it good. In case you didn't realise, this is more or less what every book you've read has been like - very rarely is the first draft so excellent it's publishable.
  • Have fun. NaNoWriMo isn't about driving you crazy - we're human, so we're perfectly capable of doing that to ourselves anyway. NaNo is about having fun while you write, getting the words done that you might not convince yourself to do otherwise, and doing something that so many people put off for so long. You know those people who say "I could write a book but I don't have the time"? Well, you can turn around to them and say "I made the time and had fun doing it."
It's one month, people. If you can't do something for one month, then how do you think you can do it for the rest of your life? Believe me when I tell you, the NaNoWriMo experience is about finding yourself as a writer; I wrote a lot over the summer because I was used to writing a lot in a short period of time. You can do it, too.

Best of luck, everyone! And hey, add me as a buddy on the NaNoWriMo site and we'll keep track of how each other are doing!

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