Alright, so November is just around the corner and you know what that means. Or maybe you don’t know what that means, in which case, let me tell you. November is the National Novel Writing Month, where people from all over the world come together to write a 50 000 word novel starting on November 1st and ending on November 30th.
Visit the official NaNoWriMo website for more information. This is where you have your user profile and there is also a large handy-dandy forum where you can discuss plot ideas, get help, ask fellow writers how to best get rid of a dead body or how the muscle structure of a human with wings would work, critique and get critiqued, or just chat about general nonsense.
If you want to add me as your writing buddy please feel free! Add me on twitter too and join me when I’m doing sprints 🙂
I’ve done NaNo every year since 2009 and won every time. “Won” means I got to 50k and the prize is that you wrote 50k in a month and you feel super accomplished and now have major bragging rights. Yay! However, there are some things winners (and regular participants) do get. Take a look at the sponsor offers. I made use of my 50% off on Scrivener a couple years ago and I haven’t regretted it. You can also download free trials of various things that you can use through November.
Now to my tips and tricks.
Ideally you do this before November begins, but if you decide to join NaNo on November 1st then just power through.
Do you prefer to plan things out before you begin to write or do you just want to sit down on November 1st and see what happens? If you’re a planner, start planning. Start now. Some make notes, some draw maps and/or their characters, some fill out character sheets, some do a full outline, some do all of the above and more. Find out what works for you.
However, do not begin to write anything of the story itself before November 1st. Notes and ideas are fine, but NaNoWriMo means you should write 50k totally new words.
Personally, I’m more of a pantser. I know the general gist of what I’m writing, but I don’t have many details except maybe a few scenes that I just keep in my head until it’s time to write them.
Check out the Adoption Society! Here people post plots, pieces of dialogue, names, titles, etc., that are free for you to “adopt” and use. I’ve found several pieces of clever or funny dialogue that I’ve tweaked or used for inspiration. You should be able to find something that sparks your inspiration.