Here are some tips and tricks to win your first Nanowrimo. In November 2016, I decided to join my first ever National Novel Writing Month (aka Nanowrimo). I’ve heard of it before in hushed irreverent tones around alleys and alcoves (not really). But I never wanted to join because I was too scared to commit to such a hectic schedule.
Eventually I decided to bite the bullet – mainly because there was an idea in my head that wouldn’t leave me. If you’re going to try your first Nanowrimo, or your own month of writing, read up on how I won my first try.
Plan, plan, plan – Before November even hit, I was already writing up the characters in my book. It’s not just about the first and last names. I also created their personalities, quirks, likes and dislikes, background story and more. They were real people before I started writing the first chapter. Even the small characters were full people too. It helped solidify the characters’ interactions with each other.
Plot, plot, plot – I use Scrivener with my writing so plotting was easy using the corkboard feature. I added all the chapters and wrote what happens each chapter. My writing flowed really well because I was looking at the plot points I already created. Having said that, there were moments when I had to add or change what happened in the story and had to rearrange the plot points. Although you’ve plotted, make room for changes because we all know some characters take a life of their own.
Write, write, write – This is a no-brainer but more than just writing, make sure you create a time for you each day to write. I started first thing in the morning. Before I tackled all my other work, I wrote down my chapter for the day. The 1,600 words per day challenge might look really difficult but trust me, they can just fly through when you’re in the zone.
Write even more – Don’t just stick to the allotted number of words each day. If you are in the zone and have more time, keep writing. Trust me this will do you good for the whole month because there will be days when your word count will barely reach 500 words. Having extra words written down will keep you on your word track for the month.
Don’t sweat it – If you don’t reach that word count though, don’t worry about it too much. Writing is fun so enjoy that moment building your world. Even if you don’t “win” Nanowrimo, you still wrote most of your novel so that’s a win.