Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nanowrimo 2012: Things to do before and during November

As a one year veteran of Nanowrimo, I feel the need to share my experiences and help people out in the upcoming month-long crazy day of writing but most importantly I want to post this blog post for myself. One of the things I hate most in life is hypocrisy. By posting this blog post I would be motivated to finish this year's Nanowrimo or at the very least try my hardest to finish.
The things I list below are just the things that help me survive Nanowrimo last year. What are my credentials? None, really unless you count that I won my very first Nanowrimo with one day to spare.Did I mention I had absolutely no plot before November last year? You could see my stats here. While you're there, add me as a writing buddy please :)
Then again, I had way more free time last year and my laptop was in perfect working condition while I don't have both this year (damn 5 year old cousin).

Things You Need:
1. Designated writing time- Find time in your schedule that you designate as "writing time". This means no homework, chores and surfing the web.Last year 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. was my designated writing time because most of my homework is done by then and its right after having dinner.At the rate of 1000 words per hour, I managed to write 337 words more than the suggested 1667 words a day.
Then again, I learned this trick after an entire week of November so my "extra words" are just me getting back in track.
2. Outline- jot down and create an outline of all the things you want to do in your novel. It doesn't have to be incredibly detailed, it just needs to have the "major events" written down.More ideas on how your plot get to the major events would come while you write.
Optional: Coffee. Personally, I'm not a coffee drinker and the few times I do it's rarely for all nighters. I know some people who depend on coffee or for some as my lovely high school teacher puts it "cream and sugar with a little bit of coffee".

Things You Need to do. 
1. Learn some features in your writing program. I have Microsoft office word 2007 and the comment feature is a godsend. When I get bored or stuck at writing one scene, I would just highlight one sentence, add a comment, and write a scene I actually do want to write.
2. After your two hours of writing, relax for a while. Go to the procrastination station or youtube.
My personal favorite is watching this:
3. Lower your standards. The writer of Unwind Neal Shusterman told me to "write and rewrite". I have read many books on writing, watched a few videos from John Green and they all say the same thing about the first draft, it's only a draft. Chances are, you're not going to publish the 50,000 word novel that you wrote in one month. Revisions come later, what's important right now is to write all those ideas.
4. Avoid erasures. Wrote a description you don't like? Keep it. It adds to your word count and you might find some use for it later. Character not cooperating? Add a scene to make him/her cooperate. Try to delete as little things as possible. While outlining my novel that is 5 years in the making (I know, it's long overdue hence why I'm not skipping Nanowrimo this year) I went back to all the notes I typed down a few years ago and found some ideas that I really liked and added it to characters and my outline.
5. Don't sweat if you don't reach 1667 words a day. You only wrote 500 words? That's okay, you might have a test, tons of homework or whatever. Just make it up on the weekend. BTW, this is partly why I wrote 2000 words a day last year, just in case something happened I have "extra words" to lighten my load when I do need to catch up. 

There you go. I know it's only a few things but those are the only things that pop up in my mind right now.

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