Friday, November 8, 2013

Fighting Evil Tips: NaNoWriMo

Let's discuss NaNoWriMo! If you're a girl who fights evil with words and fiction, you might be interested in National Novel Writing Month, a challenge that is exactly what it sounds like. In the month of November, you write a 50, 000 word novel. Sound hard? It is! But it's also a ton of fun.

I don't have time to do it this year or next year, what with grad school and working, but I've won twice in the past. Here are some tips I've found particularly helpful!

1. Have fun!  
I know, I know. What a cheesy thing to say! But this is essential during NaNo. If you're not enjoying what you write, you're gonna teeter off and stop writing way before you hit the 50k finish line! Write about things that interest you, that excite you. For me, I find it helpful to write a basic outline but nothing too detailed- that way I can have fun with the details! Some people like to write all their exciting scenes first, because that's what they most want to write. I prefer to save the scenes I'm really excited about til I get to them naturally. It gives me something to look forward to and work towards.

Personal tip: One of my favorite things to do is to "cast" my characters with actors. It's fun to imagine!

2. Write every day.
The suggested amount is that you write 2k a day. This is a great goal- it sets you ahead of the game by the time the end of November comes. But some days you're just too tired or too busy to write 2,000 words! I suggest that you just try to write a few words before you call it a night, even if you're exhausted. Five words! Ten words! You'll be thankful for it later, and sometimes just the act of starting to write gets you going.

 Personal tip: Never use contractions during NaNo! Don't is one word, but do not is two!

3. Play!
This is for fun. NaNo is about quantity, not quality. This is not the time to worry about editing. Write what you want. Don't worry about how your imaginary future readers will take a scene. If you finish your novel and want to clean it up later, do that after November. Cut later. This is all about adding!

Personal tip: Write some silly scenes. I'm a huge fan of banter between characters. If there's a conversation you're thinking might be too long or too much, so what! Cut later! Write everything your characters say, especially if they're bickering!

Links to help!
NaNoWriMo website. A basic, but I find the forums so much fun!
Scrivener is the program I use to write all my novels. Love it! I bought it after I got a super coupon for winning NaNo. I can't recommend it enough. Way too pricey on a normal price, but if you get a coupon- it's awesome.
NaNoWriMo Inspiration tumblr. Just a fun little Tumblr filled with inspiration!

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