Author & Speaker

For NaNoWriMo, Keep It Simple

Posted on Oct 29, 2010 | 4 comments

National Novel Writing Month is only a few days away and with such a big project looming, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. How do you even begin to figure out your characters’ motivation, determine your plot structure, create other worlds and research the facts that will make your story tick? The answer is simple: you don’t. Even I, the OCD planner, have been turning away from writing advice because I don’t want all that information swirling around in my head, nagging at me as I try to punch my first draft out in record time. I don’t want to be so worried about preparing that I feel shocked when the clock strikes 12:00 a.m. on November 1st and I actually have to start writing.

Helpful Advice

There are thousands of Wrimos that literally sit down on November 1st and just start writing with no idea what they’re going to write about. It’s not the easiest route to take but nonetheless, it happens. I’m pretty sure the NaNo King, Christ Baty, himself writes this way. And many of these people cross the finish line, no problem. If, like me, you need a little more forethought than that, here are a few blog posts that will help you on your way without being overwhelming. In fact, you could complete everything on this list in one afternoon.

When it comes to preparing for NaNoWriMo, keep it simple. Character arcs, subplots, word choice–those things can all be ironed out on the second draft (if you even want to do a second draft–there’s nothing wrong with writing just for the experience). Prepare as much as you can without feeling overwhelmed and then, when November arrives, give yourself permission to do it all wrong. It’s impossible to put out so much volume and expect it to read like the next New York Times Bestseller. In fact, that’s the whole point of the event–to let loose and just write. Focus on the story and most of all, have fun with it!

Facebook Comments

  • That’s funny, because here I’ve been thinking I ought to try to do a little more plotting/planning than I usually do so I CAN finish a 50,000-word draft in 30 days.

    • You’ll be surprised how it comes to you when you’re writing so fast. You’ll be so immersed in the story, you’re practically living it and you’ll just KNOW what happens next.

  • RainGurl

    YOU MAKE ME WANT TO WRITE! Maybe its the Gemini in me but I SO want to do this NaNo!! Maybe I should just stick with the blogs. *crosses arms* hmph

    • I’m pretty sure there’s a blog-style NaNo somewhere on the internet. 30 blog posts in 30 days. You could always do that!

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