I’ve never completed NaNoWriMo before. Every time I’ve wanted to do it something has happened. But this year I’m going to do it. I’ve made a list of things that I think will help for prep, including advice I’ve found around the internet. But rather than me simply telling you, I’m getting some help from my furry online friends.
Plot & Outline!
Normally I am a real pantser. Normally I take a really really long time to write a book. You don’t have time to waste thinking about where things should go in November. Do it now!
Set yourself targets to reach each day and by the end of each week. Your goal can be different for each day. Work it out based on what time you should have on a given day.
This isn’t just about your story outline. This is about how you are going to achieve it. Understand yourself. Where do you write best? Do you need a playlist? Do you work best with writing fuel…like jelly beans?
Make sure you have everything you need to succeed – good working computer access or a really really giant notebook.
Create a title
Titles don’t always come easily. But working titles help me focus on the story and give it more life for me.
Create Character Profiles
Ignore Plot Bunnies
Plot bunnies can be devious little creatures at the best of times, but don’t let them get in the way of achieving your NaNo!
Writer’s block is an ever-looming threat at the best of times for writers, let along when you’re under the pump. A great way to get through writer’s block during NaNo is participating in writing sprints. You’ll find them on Twitter.
Write every day
Even if you can only write for five minutes, write every day so you make it a habit.
Yes, you should outline, plot and plan. But don’t be afraid to go with it if your plot bunny for your NaNo takes you down a different rabbit hole.
Expect this to be a really rough first draft. Just get it out. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be 50K.
Don’t write alone
Get yourself a NaNo partner or a writing group so that you are accountable to someone else and you have support. Writing might appear like a solo gig, but it’s not. *Waves hello to NaNo partner in crime Carissa*
But here’s someone more qualified to give you writing advice than cats: James Patterson.
Sharon is an author and PR professional from sunny Queensland. She breeds pedigree guinea pigs and spends too much time looking up cat memes.