3 NaNoWriMo Tips
Well, Wrimoers, it’s our time to shine. In just one short week, the clock will strike midnight, and we’ll be typing away trying to hit the golden 1,667 word goal of the day. If you’re anything like me, you’re shifting in your seat, (vague) outline in hand, just itching to get started. But before we do, I just want to review some NaNo-Reminders.
#1: You will not Write a Completely Novel in November
50,000 words is rarely a novel. Unless you are writing a novella or a short young adult fiction, you are going to need more words. It’s important that you look up your novel’s genre and find out the appropriate word count. It might even be beneficial for you to change your NaNo goal to that word count if you choose to. Don’t push yourself too hard, though. Writing a novel is obviously much more than how many words you’re able to type out. You want to make sure you’re actually writing something decent, even if it takes more than a month.
The second reason you’re not finished is because you have to edit the novel. A lot. There is probably at least 5 drafts between this project and a novel, and honestly saying 5 was just my way of being nice. It’s probably double that.
#2 Staying On Track
Every year I ask Wrimoers what they think the hardest part of NaNo is, and I tend to get the same answer: writing the same story. When we’re moving so fast, we tend to just keep going until we’ve smeared our entire page with word vomit.
Suddenly, your historical fiction novel about a young woman marrying the evil King includes a crime fighting leprechaun and a talking squid who wants to wants to build a rocket ship. Believe me: we’ve all been there. Honestly: it’s okay. This is the time of year to explore every idea that crosses your mind, no matter how ridiculous. However, try to stay on task. If you know you’re going to have to edit this out later, try not to write it. Save yourself the time. If you want to explore new path that you think might work, then go for it!
#3 The Ending
So the whole story builds up to this one dramatic moment and then… what? If endings are a problem for you, you’re not alone. So many writers struggle with creating the perfect ending for their novel, and so many writers find that’s there they get stuck.
For NaNoWriMo, I’d advise to simply solve the problems / conflicts. That is your number one goal. Writing an ending is a huge challenge because you’re so worried about having the “perfect” ending - and rightfully so! But NaNo is a beautiful time of “winging it”. Once you have that first, boring but resolved ending down, you have time to fluff it up and make it great. Don’t stress yourself on that yet.
Well, Wrimoers, I say it every week but especially now: best of luck. Our ask box will be open all November to help with your NaNo needs or problems. We’re cheering for you over at Writing the Words blog.