If you ever asked yourself ‘When’s the best time to write that book?’ then your moment has arrived.
November is National Novel Writing Month. This is the time of year where thousands of writers, both accomplished writers as well as the aspiring, to sit down and spend four weeks doing the deed.
What makes Nanowrimo so popular?
Well for beginners, it’s a race. You have the month of November to start (and complete) an entire novel. The rules are simple. Write, and make it to the finish line, which has been set at 50,000 words. The 50k number was set as it technically fits into the length of a novel (albeit a short one). To hit the 50k mark you would have to write 1667 words a day for 30 days.
How to Win
Winning isn’t as difficult as you may think. First, it helps to think of it as a daily challenge. Writing 1667 words a day is doable. Most writers find that once they begin, 1667 words soon morphs into 2000 or more words.
Some writers find that difficult. As a young writer I sometimes worked on a sentence or two for the better part of an hour, trying to find the ‘mot juste’. You see, I was doing it wrong. Nowadays, I hit the key board writing and I usually make 1500 to 2500 words an hour. This is because I learned years ago that writing is a two stage process. The first stage requires you to cast your editor self aside. For the majority of wannabe writers who never make it, the number one problem is that they meld both their creative selves with their editors. As a result your mind begins to fluctuate between two key sides of your brain. Check out this post on how to get over this problem. Casting aside your editor will work in your favor.
Your writing plan
- Set aside a time period each day to write.
- Choose a place where you can write uninterrupted for the entire writing session.
- Start writing without stopping. If necessary pull off your “back space” and “delete” keys from your keyboard.
- Repeat daily.
- This next step is another key step for Nanowrimo which I have incorporated in recent years. Don’t invite your editor to the party! Decide once and for all that any editing will ONLY begin on December 1st. Otherwise, valuable writing time will be wasted.
The plan accomplishes two things. First, you will end up writing your first draft. Doing it quickly is a proven method for many successful writers. Secondly, by disassociating your editor from your creative self your story will flow more naturally.
The final step doesn’t happen until December 1st, and that is, you will eventually need to edit your manuscript. Sure you may find that your first draft sucks, but that’s okay because at least you have something to edit!!
Good luck in the challenge and see you at the finish line!