As soon as the weather gets cool, I find myself gearing up for NanoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It’s the crazy month where everyone is writing their heart out. I love Nano and it really boosted my writing skills. Have you ever thought about doing Nano? Here are my tips for making Nano fun and productive.
Go In With a Plan
Deep breath pantsers! You don’t have to actually do any plotting. At the very least, brainstorm your setting, your main characters, and your antagonist. I find writing a crucial scene of my character’s backstory to be really helpful in my planning. It helps me work out their weaknesses. I also ask the following questions about my characters:
What is this person missing?
What does my character think would fulfill their lives?
What would really fulfill their lives?
Answering these three questions and any others that you feel are appropriate to your character is like developing a road map for your plot. No plotting required.
Did you know there’s a social component to it as well? Okay, I know “social component” scared most of you writers back into your cave, but trust me…it’s fun. We all come out of our writing den, clutching our laptop security blankets, and write. We talk, plot, trade secrets, share frustrations, and swill copious amounts of coffee and tea. I host a write in weekly in my home town. At a write in, you hang out with other writers and talk or WRITE! If you have social anxiety (like me!), try starting a conversation with “So what do you write?” It works wonders.
In case you didn’t know, NanoWriMo.org is a national organization that splits the U.S. into municipalities. Each area has a municipal leader who schedules events and keeps everybody engaged and writing during the month of Nano.
You can also get involved online on message boards. (Does this make you feel more comfortable??) Log in to NanoWrimo.org and find out how it all works. It’s way more than 1,666 words per day.
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