5 Things That Lead to a NaNoWriMo Win

NaNo is coming up and I do several things to make sure I win. Most of my tasks are designed to remove the pressure that goes with winning NaNo.

  1. Schedule My Blog Posts.

     

    Throughout November I only visit my blog to respond to comments and try to reciprocate when possible. I do slip with the commenting in NaNo month, but I do try to make it up the rest of the year. If you know me, then you already know I’m pretty good at dropping by and sharing my thoughts.

     

    When I’m tapped out of ideas I’ll try a meme or two to get me through. Hey we can’t all be as sharp as a proverbial tack every minute of every day. I’m no exception. I also find that once I’ve written a few post, ideas will just come to me.

     

  2. Outline.

     

    I can hear the pantsers now. Please don’t get your pants in a knot. It’s a suggestion and nothing more. I need direction, so I use a very general outline as a guide. I’m not saying that outlining is the only way to go, but a general direction is helpful.

     

    My direction is in the form of plot points, and having a general idea of how the story will end.

     

    I don’t always end up where I planned to go and I’m good with that too.

     

  3. Daily Writing Assignments.

     

    Once I know my plot points and ending, I assign a daily word count to get to 50k (approximately).

     

    So midpoint is about 25k, and my inciting incident better have happened before 12k.

     

    Break this down into scenes. If you’d like more guidance add a scene goal that the characters are working toward/against. Or any other prompt that will get you working toward they daily word count.

     

     

  4. Daily Word Count.

     

    Most people writing during NaNo do the 1.6k per day. I do a little more and strive for 2k a day. So what I try to do is write one 2k scene, focusing on as many details as possible. Sometimes it’s not a pretty sight. I jump around as things occur to me, add as much depth and emotion as possible and keep my vision on this one entry.

     

    Some days I actually write a pretty good scene. Other days, it looks more like a sectioned list of notes I want to include but can’t seem to choke out into anything logical order. On the bad days I just go with it.

     

    I don’t look back and I don’t look ahead. I’ll do that in December.

     

  5. Keep Moving Forward.

     

    Hardest thing to do is keep moving forward. The only way I manage is with a notebook beside my keyboard and jotting down notes that will help me forget what is bothering me and let it go. If I write it down I can fix it later.

     

    Do not stop and start to edit. Doing any editing is like walking on thin ice in spring thaw, you may make it across, but most don’t. Stay safe and promise you’ll go back and fix it AFTER you’ve won instead.

     

There are no guarantees when starting NaNo. Every year I wonder if I’m going to win. So far I’ve done okay. I’m sticking to my rules because they work for me. If anything here helps you, great. If you have a suggestion that helped you get through, please leave your thoughts in the comments. I don’t know about everyone else but I could use as much help as possible. :-)