Friday, November 9, 2012

Tips for NaNoWriMo

If you are reading this, then I suggest you first look at this, get an account, and then panic about doing something super crazy (AKA, write a novel all in one month!), and zip right back over to my blog!

I am making this for tips to help you win NaNoWriMo, wether for the YWP (Young Writer's Program) or the Adult one.

First off, before you just begin writing like a mad man, look at these awesome workbooks for the YWP site!

These are amazingly helpful, and I suggest you read through the entire thing and then go back and do it.  You can either save the PDF to your computer, or you can print out the entire thing and write in it with a pencil if you prefer.  I use the PDF since the workbook uses up a lot of paper if I print it out!  Not to mention I can never find it again after I do....

For the workbooks, I think the Character Sheets are awesome.  They have helped me so much!  But I created lots of other Character Sheets to customize them a bit and created just entirely new ones to help me know my characters better.

So, I suggest you go through that.

Then, when you first write your novel, putting it down plain, it will be awful.  It will be embarrassing and you will want to burn it up or delete it, but don't.  You must keep it.  Honestly, that is what NaNo is all about.  Just writing down the story from that little pouf of an idea in your head all in one month.  Honestly, ALL the published authors (I soon hope I shall join their ranks) have never wrote their story the first time and then got it published.  Nope.  They let it sit, read through it, cringed, edited it a bit, and then re-wrote the entire thing.  Again and again and again until it is finally deemed worthy for a trusted friend to read it.

When you write, it will be in a hurry.  Forgot all about those commas and periods and little quotation marks, and just write.  Forget about that word that you spelled wrong and keep on going.  Wrote a super awkward scene and tempted to go back and fix it? Don't!  If you do that, that nasty little voice inside your head (your inner editor) that is helpful for tests and book reports will criticize you, saying that this entire novel is worthless and you are crazy for even trying to do it.

But nope.  You will get rid of that nasty little man during November, and take him out again in December when you edit your novel!

So don't go back and edit.  Just keep steaming forward like the little red caboose.

Another thing that all people experience when they write is word blocks.  No matter how hard they try, they just can't seem to write!  They can't figure out what to do best with the story, and then that evil little inner editor (above) appears, and plants those little seeds of doubt in your mind.
So what do you do when you get a word block?  Well, that is tough!  But here are a few things:

Talk to a pet or a friend

Cry and moan and stomp your foot but NEVER delete your story out of frustration

Go for a walk in nature, think about your novel

Take a lovely little nap since you will be stressed out

Or, if you are just going crazy and have already done those things, do something crazy!  Plop in another interesting character, have your character fall asleep and have a dream, have your antagonist (bad guy) fall in love.  Or, just skip that section in your novel and just write a different scene that has been on your mind.

So, another thing that you can do to boost that wordcount goal is to have Word Wars!  On the forums there will be something called where you word war!  And what is a word war?  It means you and a fellow NaNoer have a certain time frame (ten minutes is great!) where you write a part of your novel like crazy!  And after the ten minutes you say how many words you wrote, and see which one have you wrote the most words!  Whoever wrote the most words is the winner, and the prize is the words that you used.  :)

Besides all these great stuff, don't panic about NaNo.  It is purely for fun, and take it easy.  If you don't reach the wordcount it is not the end of the world.  
Also, don't eat a lot of junk food from Halloween.  It will get you sick, and you will have to stay in bed and not be able to read!  Eat your fruits and veggies.  Carrots, apples, and celery are delicious with peanut butter!
And be sure to get plenty of sleep.  Don't stay up writing until midnight (unless you are a night writer, where NOW's (Night of Write) will be awesome for you, and you write better at night!), get lots of sleep, stay up in school, still play with family and friends, do your chores, and all that great stuff.

And by the end of NaNoWriMo, hopefully you will stick to your guns and write that novel and voila!  You are an author!

I hope I helped you with some tips. 

Until next time, fellow writer and NaNoer


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