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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NaNo Advice

I'm betting that there are a few NaNo veterans among us. I'd like to pick your brains if you don't mind...

What is one piece of advice you'd give to a newbie NaNo participant this year? Anything you wish you'd known the first time you tried it?

14 comments:

Trisha F said...

Well, the first time I tried it, I won, and the way I won then was to write freely, without worrying about whether it was crap or not, and ignoring any temptation I might've felt now and then to delete it and start fresh. :)

I take that sort of approach every year, not caring if what I'm writing is crap, because I know I will be able to fix it later. The trick is to get the words down so I have something to work with.

The times I struggled with NaNo were 1) when I was trying to write a travel memoir - just didn't work for me, and 2) when I overplanned a story to the extent that it didn't really excite me anymore. That one really dragged once I got past 50k.

Elisabeth Kauffman said...

My advice echos @Trisha's...

Just keep writing. Don't worry about editing, grammar, or whether that scene was AWESOME or not. You can edit and rewrite in December. Just keep putting words down, moving along your plot, adding more, even wild ideas that you think would never work. Because they might! And if not, again, you can cut them in December.

Sean McLachlan said...

I'm a NaNo N00B too, so keep those ideas coming!

Charity Bradford said...

Two things:
1. Stay off the internet (unless it's vital research for the novel or maybe hanging out on Nanowrimo.org--even then watch it because you need to write, not talk about it)

2. If there are write-ins in your area--GO! There is something magical about sitting somewhere with other writers. The sound of keyboards clicking away...

In the past I averaged 5000 words per 2.5 hour write in.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Participated and won in 2010!
I'd tell people to block off writing time and let nothing get in the way no matter what. If that's five hours because you are a slow writer (like me), do it.
And don't think it's a waste of time or that something great won't come of your NaNo story. What I wrote in 2010 became my second published book.

Charity Bradford said...

Thanks Alex! Your second book CassaFire is the one I read first. It convinced me I needed to read CassaStar and wait anxiously for CassaStorm

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

@Charity. When I said my novel was at the 33K mark and that I needed to finish it before doing NaNo, you said:

"you can always "rebel" it and say you must finish the novel you're working on in November. Make Nano work for you"

How do I do that exactly? The rules state the novel must be new not one already started?

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

I just want everyone to know that I had NO INTENTION of doing NANO. Ever.

Now I'm signed up and looking for, er, buddies?

Holy crap what have I done...

Donna Hole said...

Just stopping by to wish you a happy halloween. I don't NaNo, but hopefully I will get one or two languishing short stories completed.

.......dhole

Charity Bradford said...

@Huntress, on Nov 1st start keeping track of your word count. You don't count what you wrote before, but keep working on your novel while it's fresh in your mind. If you finish the novel and haven't reached 50K you can start writing little side stories about the antagonist or secondary characters to get to know them better. I know people who have ended up with entire series this way--the next book usually is the same world but one of the 2nds becomes the main character.

Technically it is a cheat, but "winning" doesn't really get you anything. Maybe a discount on Scrivener or something and a nifty button for your blog.

Rebelling it simply means you take this time that's dedicated to writing a novel and join the fun however you need it in your personal life.

You can add me as a buddy--solstice1974

Liz A. said...

Wow, some really great advice from everyone. Thanks.

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

Apparently the NaNo website has crashed. Interesting. And right after I signed up.

It's a conspiracy, a conspiracy I say.

Alicia Willette-Cook said...

All of this sounds like good advice in general.

I wish I could find write-in's in my area! They sound like a really cool thing. Or even just a writing group.

Charity Bradford said...

@Alicia, I wish you could come to my writing group. It's the best! Maybe we can do a google chat room write-in?