Time flies, baby! It’s hard to believe but it’s almost time for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again. This is your call to arms…or pens…or probably PC’s…whatever, you get the idea. Now is the time to do it. Now is the time to put aside procrastination, self-doubt, and realistic expectations. Don’t think about it, just sign up and do it. It’s only fifty thousand words in one month. If that sounds scary it shouldn’t. It doesn’t have to be good or even coherent really. This is the no-more-excuses event so I don’t really want to hear any excuses. And even though I’m not exactly a veteran (I’ve done one ScriptFrenzy and one NaNo) I’m going to presume to give some advice.
1. Do it. This falls under the ‘I don’t want to hear your excuses’ category. I’m a worse procrastinator than most and I’m doin’ it.
2. Don’t over think it. If you have an outline or a plot figured out that’s fine. If you don’t that’s fine too. Personally, I look at this as more of an opportunity for pure storytelling. Speed and word count are the aims, not polish and finesse. Now’s the time to play fast and loose. Let the story go wherever you, or it, wants instead of trying to stay on track with outlines.
3. Don’t get behind. You’re gonna get behind anyway but I thought I’d give the advice. Try your damnedest to make the daily word count. If it’s going well try to get ahead. If you do get ahead resist the temptation to coast, or worse, skip a day. Word count is the boss of you.
4. Don’t worry about finishing. Number 3 being said, don’t rend your garments or anything if it looks like you’re not going to make it. Fifty thousand is the goal but for a finished novel it’s probably a little light anyway. This is almost like a supercharged free writing exercise. You’re getting words on paper, you’re getting an honest draft, you’re getting that story idea out. What you’re probably not getting, even if you finish is a complete novel. The idea is to reach the goal and keep going but if you only hit twenty thousand…hey, it’s twenty thousand you wouldn’t have had if you skipped NaNo.
5. Have fun. Remember the fast and loose of number 2? This is the rush of storytelling. That crazy first draft when you can’t believe you’re actually writing a novel. Many of you know the rush I’m talking about. If you have never written anything for fun trust me, you’re missing out. The whole NaNoWriMo site is geared toward making writing accesible to anyone who wants to do it for the sheer fun of it. The last time I did it was some of the most enjoyable writing I’ve ever done.
Are you in? http://www.nanowrimo.org/