Last week I bragged about how I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2011. I thought it only fair to post how I do this, because I’ve been winning and I don’t think it’s an accident.
The things I do before November 1st:
- Get my blog posts done and scheduled for November
- Get a majority of my research done
- Have my settings and character descriptions written down for quick reference
- Estimate how many words I’ll be writing in total. I write mysteries which are between 50-80k.
- Create a framework of where your story needs to go and how fast. My plot points land at or around 12.5, 25, and 37.5k.
- Give yourself writing prompts every day. (note: I use scene/chapter descriptions which are very helpful for my synopsis.)
- Assign a word count for each day —minimum 1.7k.
The things to do during NaNo:
- Show up and write.
There is one more thing that I do.
I push forward at all costs. If my scene goes wrong, I don’t stop and rewrite it. I just asterisk, hard return and begin all over again. I know it sounds stupid, but it keeps me on task and that’s my goal. I need to move forward until I’m done.
If I’m short for the day, I’ll add to my scene by digging deeper and adding random/concrete details — smell, hear, taste, touch, space, time of day/season, and the unknown factor that hopefully hangs in the air afterward. All of it will be incorporated later when I revise.
- blinding sunshine;
- storm clouds rolling in with my MC’s mood
- the touch of fingertips
If you are participating in the NaNoWriMo adventure, share what you do? Have a plan?