Archives for November 2016
Don’t Write Like You Talk
What I learned from agents & authors, publishers & poets
I wrote the raw drafts for five books during five consecutive Novembers. They have all been accepted for publication (the release of said books is another matter). I love writing a raw draft in a month, I get a kick out of writing dangerously, recklessly. But the system does have its drawbacks. Like when you get stuck during your third hour of writing.
Rather than tell you how to manage your plot and your character, because at this stage in a draft, all you need is a fearless hero/heroine and for pages and page you keep putting stuff in their way: drain pipes, data, dragons, it doesn’t matter, this is November, it’s all about the word count.
How do you drag yourself through the slog of word counts?
My first way is to give myself really small, ridiculous goals. I write them all down using colored felt pens, I make big squares on a calendar and post the calendar for all to see. On each square I write, say, 1,600 words.
Then I do a little more. If I do a lot more I re-align the goals so they are either smaller goals or the time shorter. I make big Xs through each accomplished word count goal.
I dance, I do more and get ahead. I cheat against my own system. It’s enormously satisfying and it keeps me focused.
Can you “earn” a day off on Thanksgiving by writing 3,400 works on Wednesday?
Can you start early and bank up your words? Seriously, who will know you didn’t start at Zero on November 1. Start with 10,000 words on November first. You are a rock star! You are amazing! See how great that feels? Only we will know.
Maybe your November is packed. I wrote Future Sky in October – same rules, 50,000 words in a month, but I used October as my month.
NaNoWriMo is not about rules, it’s about community and about stretching yourself, challenging yourself. It’s about writing as fast as you can and jumping over data, dragons and drain pipes.
If you need to start ahead, if you have a special needs novel that needs more time, take it.
It’s all about getting the words down.
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