If you have been following me on Twitter or Google+, you’ll see I’m talking a lot about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I am participating this year, for the second time, and have found it one of the best tools to jump start my writing. And as I believe I previously mentioned, I’m working on the sequel to Zeus, Inc., to be titled The Curse of Hekate.
Someone asked me for my best NaNoWriMo tips a few days ago and I thought I’d post some of what works for me here:
1. Make time to write. I set an appointment every day at 1 p.m. and I stick to it. Life gets too busy not to do this. Otherwise, you’ll never get a word down on the page. If I have to miss my appointment, I reschedule it for another time that day. And explain to those people around you that your writing time is not negotiable.
2. Set daily goals. Since NaNoWriMo is based on word count, I make a goal every day of 2,000 words. I do not stop writing until I have reached or exceeded that.
3. Ignore your inner critic. NaNoWriMo is not about writing the best novel ever to be published. It’s about getting ideas out of your head and into writing. And that’s all you should focus on. Don’t worry about if anything works or not or if it’s any good, just write.
4. Just let it flow. Even if you have an outline to work from, just let the words flow. When I was in high school, one of my teachers taught me about stream of consciousness writing. I have found that extremely helpful during NaNoWriMo.
5. If you get stuck, just keep on writing. What happens next could turn out to be utter crap or it could be the best scene in your novel. Just don’t stop writing. My favorite scene in Zeus, Inc. was a result of this tip.
6. Follow @nanowordsprints on Twitter. I don’t usually sprint with this Twitter account, but the random prompts have been helpful to me when I want to add new details into what I’m working on. In fact, I used some of the prompts during the re-writing of Zeus, Inc. just to give the book a bit more detail.
7. If you have an outline, be prepared for the story to go outside of that. This just happened to me today, but it actually will make for a better story. Just go with the flow of whatever comes out of your pen (or fingers).
I hope these tips help you through this month as you write frantically for that Winner badge. You can do it!