This month I’ve been busy with NaNoWriMo, writing 50,000 words in 30 days. First time I’ve participated. So far, so good. It’s mid-point and I’ve hit 30,000 words. What’s more, I have actually grown to love the story I’m creating. I admit, I didn’t expect love on such a deadline, especially since I usually outline and plot far in advance and I didn’t do that this time because I signed up at the last minute. But I think it’s essential that you fall in love with your story when doing NaNoWriMo, otherwise it’s going to be struggle to keep going.
I’m discovering that the best thing about writing a book from beginning to end in a month is that you’re forced to ignore your inner editor and just focus on writing without doubting yourself. Editing is for another month!
Although it’s long, 50,000 words is more novella than novel. Still, I think it’s important to get to the end on 50,000 words (or just slightly over). There’s a satisfaction in that, plus you’re going to fill it out and cut it up once the month is over. That’s when it will really grow and change into a true novel.
So, how do I keep up the pace? Two things have helped me greatly:
- Setting a timer and writing in sprints. I personally use the Pomodoro technique and write in 25 minute sprints. In that time, I generally write between 600 and 800 words. Takes a big bite out of that word count!
- Thinking in scenes instead of chapters, and writing lots of scenes. Scenes can be divided into chapters later.
I’ve made many awesome new friends while doing NaNoWriMo. We’re all plugging along at our novels together and that’s really the best part. So many of us tend to write in isolation and this shared experience brings us together as a community. It reminds us of our connection. We don’t have to go it alone! And when November is over and the words are all written, we can still encourage one another and grow our friendships along with our novels.