Recently I’ve had a lot of people asking me questions about National Novel Writing Month. While most of the information about this month can be obtained via the official website, I’m writing this post to give you some tips and pointers based on personal experience.
First of all, participate in word sprints. Most of these can be found on Twitter. Word sprints are timed writing sessions, usually of fifteen minutes or more. You group up with a bunch of people and compete to get the highest word count. While I don’t like to participate in word sprints all the time, they’re great for pushing yourself to finish word count.
Next, when you’re writing, describe everything in as much detail as possible. This is not only a good writing strategy, but it also will help you jack up your word count. And that’s what NaNoWriMo is all about (kidding). You can describe setting, people, clothing, and even the weather. Let loose with the description. You can always cut back during the editing process.
That brings me to my next point: don’t edit as you go. First drafts are supposed to be messy. Dump everything out on the page without thinking about it. Yes, it will suck. Yes, it might embarrass you. But if you try to edit as you write, you’ll get so bogged down with the changes you need to make that you might get discouraged and stop putting fresh words down. There will be plenty of time for editing later.
Hang out on the NaNoWriMo website. There are word count widgets, forums, and pep talks to keep you motivated all month long. Seriously, it’s amazing. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing that word count steadily climb. The forums are great, too because they allow you to get in touch with other wrimos. There are threads for prompts, characters, plot development, music, and more. Check it out here.
Also, if you’re on Pinterest (follow me!), you might want to make a board or two for your novel and its characters. Pinterest can be a great source for inspiration. I always have one board for the novel overall and one for each character as well. On each board, I repin quotes, people, clothing, and other items relating to the novel. It helps more than you think.
So there are just a couple of tips to help you with NaNoWriMo. What tips or advice do you have? What are you writing about this month?