Tips and Tricks 6: Finishing NaNoWriMo
What's up Write Voicers!
It's November again and you know what that means: It's Time for NaNoWriMo!
So what tips and tricks do I have for you this year? I'm glad you asked. This year I want to talk about how to finish NaNoWriMo.
Or, more specifically, how I plan to finish NaNoWriMo this year. So, let's jump into it!
How I Plan to Finish NaNoWriMo This Year
This year for NaNoWriMo, my approach is pretty simplistic.
I've talked to you all before about how you can write a WIP and a few ways to get around writer's block. But, what I haven't told you is how to use those tools to finish NaNoWriMo. So, let's talk about that today.
So, for those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writilng Month. Each day of the month writers across the nation do their best to write 1,667 words everyday of the month in an attempt to reach 50,000 words, or a draft of a novel, by the end of the month.
I know, it sounds bonkers and you want to know why anyone would put themselves through this kind of hell.
Well, becauses it's fun.
And that's my tip for you. I plan to finish NaNoWriMo this year by having fun.
How Do You Just "Have Fun" with NaNo Though?
It's totally possible to have fun with NaNo. The first key is to let go of all the things that usually prevent you from writing. Some of those things might be:
Trying to hit 1667 every SINGLE day
Writing for profit
Trying to complete the ENTIRE book in a month
Competing with other people
Trying to edit what you have as you write
There are other things that might prevent you from writing during NaNo, but these are the ones that I feel are most common when it comes to creatives like us.
So, forget about all these things as you write. I know I will.
Hitting 1667 every SINGLE Day
Trying to hit 1667 everyday is something I NEVER concern myself with. Is it nice when I do? For sure, but sometimes I've only got twenty words in me, and others I have 5000, it just depends on the day. The important thing is to just try to get SOMETHING on the page, even if it's only one word.
Writing for Profit
A lot of us who do NaNo have grandeur dreams of quitting our daydreams and making it big as an author. That CAN happen. We've all seen it (looking at you J. Elle), but that dream takes time. There's no point in trying to get to that point during NaNo. If you have those dreams, the best thing you can do is to create something amazing that you and other people will enjoy reading. So, don't spend NaNo worrying about the money. If you just have fun, the money will follow.
Writing the ENTIRE Book in a Month
I'm definitely guilty of this one.
My first year of writing for NaNo, I really thought I was going to write a 50,000 word novel and it was going to be the BEST THING since sliced bread.
I was wrong.
That novel did have a beginning, middle, and end, but it WAS NOT my best work. As a matter of fact, I'm still trying to edit that novel, and it's been at least three years.
Trying to write an entire book in a month takes the fun out of the process, and you end up with a really crappy draft.
Instead of trying to complete the behemoth goal of finishing a book, try just getting a few really good chapters out of it. Having 50,000 words of good writing will get you much further than 50,000 words of plot that is just nonsensical.*
Competing with Other People
I feel like I don't need to write too much here. We all know that competition can have one of two effects: It either motivates you OR it devastates you.
In my opinion, it's better not to tempt fate, especially if you don't know which category you fall in. Just, don't compete.**
Now, if you want to do a write-in with some friends, that's a good way to reach your NaNo goals.
Editing as You Write
I'm guilty of this one too. Whenever I write something, I have an itch to go back and edit every single line that I've written. I spend a lot of time looking for the errors I made.
Not this year though.
I've found that, outside of looking for inconsistencies, if I try to edit as I go, I quickly tire of my story and I just want to give up on the whole thing.
Now, maybe that's not your experience, and that's great if it's not. But, for those of you who are like me, I suggest skipping the editing phase this time.***
But What about That Pesky Writer's s Block?
Ah, yes, combatting that pesky writer's block is a thing, isn't it?
Well, I've got an answer for that too: When it comes to writer's block, I'm going to take the most unlikely plots and characters that are created using the resources from this article and write some stories.
They may not make it into my final product, but they will help me figure out more about the characters and the world that I've already designed.
Is That All You've Got For Me?
Why, yes, Write Voicer. That is all I have for you.
I'm telling you, the best appraoch to finishing NaNo is to just have fun. It's to get excited about your project.
But, keep in mind that these Tips and Tricks are just what I do. You are not me. So, if you're reading this and you're like "some of these things are fun for me," then that's great. Do those things!
Because, at the end of the day, everyone's NaNo journey is different. And, what works for me might not work for you.
So, yeah, that's all I've got.
Have fun with NaNoWriMo 2022!
How do you plan to win NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know in the comments. If you liked this article, check out my other Tips and Tricks and let me know what you think!
*Having something on the page is definitely better than having nothing. So, if you want to take the route of finishing an entire novel during NaNoWriMo, then I commend you. It's a difficult task, but I'm always proud of those who are able to do it and do it well.
**If you know for a FACT that competition motivates you, then for SURE you can compete with someone else. All I'm saying is make sure you know who you are and how you react. Competition can be fun, but it can also be devastating. So, proceed with caution.
***A good way to skip the editing stage is to prep ahead of time. If you need help with that, check out this article.