Wednesday, November 2, 2016

How to Win NaNoWriMo in 7 Easy Steps

Happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! Wow. Just wow. I started NaNoWriMo yesterday, and I'm pumped. I missed NaNo the last 2 years, but I won in 2012 and 2013. Not only did I win, I did so while taking days off to spend with my family and getting down time. I'll show you.

I've marked the days I had no progress with a red bar over the top.

These were my stats for The Bird in 2012:

As you can see, I took Thanksgiving week off.

These were my stats for I, Zombie in 2013:


Your eyes aren't fooling you. I wrote that book in just 10 days.

HOW DID I DO IT?

Well, I stuck to the following seven rules:
  1. Know where your story is going. Something not a lot of folks realize is you can plan ahead, and even create an outline, before November 1. Even if you haven't sat down and thought about it yet, there's no time like the present. Even rough plot points you want to hit over the course of the novel will help more than I can say.
  2. Don't shoot for the word count NaNo says you need per day. Double it. If you can, triple it.
  3. Set aside time to write each day. UNinterrupted. No social media. No email. No work. You'll be surprised what you can do in fifteen or thirty minutes when you're focused. Schedule around things you have going on in your life. Stick to the schedule like glue.
  4. Have a NaNo survival kit ready. Even if you haven't put anything together, take a day and do it now. It'll save your forehead later on. I no longer use Evernote. I now use MS Word 365 with the sync across devices feature. I have my MS on my phone AND my iPad, and it updates to my computer automagically. Here's a link to my kit: Jo's NaNo Survival Kit
  5. Do NOT panic. If you fall behind, you CAN still catch up. If you need that break, take it, but be disciplined enough to come back when you're done.
  6. Make sure friends and family know what you're doing so they can respect your time. 50k words in 30 days isn't a joke.
  7. Stay on task. Tack these on the wall behind your computer. I know that may sound hokey, but looking up the tiny details will bog you down as you write. Take some time and make them now. I swear it helps. Don't edit. That can come later. To go along with that: Don't read the whole story until December 1. Make notes of changes and put them into action later.
I'm pretty sure I didn't miss anything, but it's early, and I'm eager to write today. *grin*

Several groups have write-ins, so check the forum for your local chapter. You can also scour Facebook to find people doing writing sprints. Those are AWESOME.

This year, I'm not shooting for one novel; I'm working on several novella-length titles for the current F5 project. Using the NaNo dashboard to keep up with my progress. No, I won't validate once I'm done. I'm just in it for the fun of writing.

Here are my current stats:


Abysmal. LOL! But I'll get there.

How are you all doing? If you wanna be my writing buddy, add me here.

Well, that's all for today, folks! WRITE ON!

Jo

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