Coffinmaker's Guide to NaNoWriMo
We were going to write a funny intro, but everything we came up with paled in comparison to Coffinmaker's humor. We give up. —Sparkitors
In cupcakemichi's recent post, she told all of SparkNotes about the amazing, world-hunger-solving, Elton-John-impersonating yearly event called NaNoWriMo. I'm here to back her up, because I'm a one-year graduate of NaNoWriMo, and I've got a certificate signed with Stephenie Meyer's BLOOD (well, Kool-Aid, which is like Stephenie Meyer's blood, but not cold and green) to prove it. I reached the 50,000-word goal, and not only do I now have a healthy heap of self-respect, I also have an ego the size of Wisconsin. Here are the three best tips for usin NaNoWriMo to get a state-sized ego of your own:
1. Plan a bit. Don't just start from scratch with no idea how your story will end. Try to write a one-page outline, and use it a loose guide. Will your story change during the course of writing? Almost definitely—but it never hurts to have a sense of direction at the outset. Just ask Christopher Columbus. (Actually, don't. He's a terrible conversationalist.)
2. Set aside one hour a day to write. Last year, I got up every day at 6:00 AM and wrote for an hour. It served me well, since, as cupcakemichi said, all you really have to write is 1,667 words a day, and you'll end up with ONE HUNDRED EXTRA WORDS AT THE END OF THE MONTH. That's like having one hundred extra dollars, only not nearly as cool!
3. Realize one thing: you will write crap. Often. But don't stress; just focus on getting as much as possible down on paper. This is one of those times when quantity trumps quality; keep writing, even if you're not happy with what's coming out, and you can always go back and edit later.
I leave you with a final inspiring message:
Look at your fingers, now look at mine, now back to yours, now back to mine. Sadly, they aren't mine, but they could write like mine. Look down, now look up—it's November and you're starting your novel. What's in your mind? I have it. It's your finished novel at the end of November. Look again—the novel is now sold and you're rich. Anything is possible with NaNoWriMo. I'm on a horse.
Are you still reading this article? Get off your tush and start planning!
Related post: Do You Remember NaNoWriMo?