Now that that’s out of the way, midnight begins the great experiment that is National Novel Writing Month. Are you ready?
My outline is miserable, and I’m currently working on a Capstone paper for my final class (if you don’t know what that is, just believe me when I say it’s 20-30 pages of boring). I have maybe four or five characters in this story that are actually interesting, and I know for a fact that it will not be 50,000 words long. So I’m thinking of working on the outline for the second part of my series while I write part one. Easy. But enough about my stress and misgivings. Here’s some advice to help break through your own demonic walls.
- WRITE. EVERY. DAY.
- Well, that’s an obvious one. But it’s true. Just write. Write everything. Doesn’t have to be chronological (though it helps me most of the time). Just do it. 1667 words a day and you’ll be smooth sailing by Thanksgiving. Just a head’s up, though: 50K is not really long enough for a novel. There’s a good chance that you’ll hit 50K and say “Wait, I’m not done yet!” Good for you! Keep going until it’s finished!
- Don’t Revise
- What?! You read what you wrote yesterday and you don’t like it? TOO BAD. Don’t change it. Otherwise you’ll spend the whole month just nitpicking everything and on the 31st you’ve just rewritten your first day’s words 30 times. It’s tough, I know. The biggest problem with my current idea is that I’ve gone back and changed everything so much that I’m just starting over from scratch tomorrow and disregarding anything I’ve written on it before. So if you want to make a change, make a note and move on. Hell, pretend you made the change but let yourself be reminded to fix anything that needs to be fixed in December (or later).
- This is a First Draft
- What does that mean? Well, you aren’t going to wake up in December and just submit this to a publisher, are you? Or just say “Well I typed 50k and got to the end of my story so i’ll just make it an ebook lol.” Shame on you if you thought this was over. You just wrote a book (a very, very, very short book). Now you get to fix it. NOW you get to make it perfect! Everything that bothered you (and I hope you wrote it down instead of fixing it) can now be fixed. Names can be changed, characters can be unwritten, mistakes can be rectified (or added), and every little grammatical problem you notice gets repaired. Because you never use your first draft as your final draft. Now you get to revise and rewrite and reread it. The goal of NaNo isn’t to make something beautiful. It’s to finish with 50k words. What you do after is up to you.
- Have Fun
- Most importantly, don’t kill yourself doing this. You’re not getting paid to do this, so try to have fun and finally get that story out of your brain. If something big happens in real life, you can stop and handle it. But still try to write every day. It might help relieve any real-life stress. But remember, again, this is all for fun.