I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year! The point of National Novel Writing Month is basically to take one month to write one new full novel of at least 50,000 words. While I will be taking a novel I’ve already started (I already had 8,000 written of Landwalker, so my goal is 50,000 additional words), I’m hoping to use this time to actually finish a whole first draft. Since I’m pretty sure the quality of my writing when trying to make deadlines like this probably won’t be so great, I’ve decided to set some goals for myself so that even if I don’t end up “winning” I’ve still learned something.
1) Write every single day. — Pre-baby this wasn’t a problem, but these days finding time to write for more than say, 15 minutes at a time is very hard for me. This means I’ll have to start waking up early and probably not watch any TV. Groan. I feel like I’m making New Years resolutions or something, but I’m hoping that if I can figure out how to do this, it will carry over after the month is over.
2) Stay motivated. — The NaNoWriMo website has a lot of great “pep talk” emails you can sign up for and “videos”. Hopefully this will help keep things on track.
3) Have fun. — I love writing, so I want to keep a mindset where I think of this as something fun rather than a chore.
4) Don’t edit too much. — I don’t want my story to be crap, so I probably will be doing a little bit of revising as I go along (which they advise you not to do since it “wastes” time). But I really want to make headway with this project, so I’m going to try to keep revisions to a minimum and get the story down while it’s still fresh in my head.
5) Use the outline. — For the first time in my writing career, I actually made a full outline of my story, from start to finish. This allowed me not only to have a definite idea of where my story is going, but it also allowed me to do something I’ve never really done before–for this project, I actually started writing in the middle. This is definitely something new for me and using Scrivener really helped me with this. My biggest issue while writing start to finish (like I usually do) actually doesn’t have to do with plot consistency like many people say (that’s easily solved with revisions). It has to do with voice. That is to say, my main characters starts off with not much of one but as the book continues, I get to know them more and as a result they become more interesting, more likable, and their voices comes through better. It’s tricky (for me at least) to go back and fix that.
So that’s it! At the end of the month, I’ll let you know how I did. (Woah, I wasted about 500 words there. Yipes! Back to work,)