My works in progress are coming along as I hoped they would. The outline and character studies are finished for my November novel, so I should have no trouble getting that off the ground on November 1st.
I am doing a major structural rewrite on Heaven’s Altar, a new novel set in Neveyah, and that is going well.
I am looking forward to the great month of November, as I can hardly wait to get started on my project.
The short story mill in my head still seems to produce something every month or so. I like to think of them as “palate cleansers” since they are completely different from the main area of focus and sort of clear the cobwebs from my head.
I have a list of resources for beginners to bookmark that will make writing their NaNoWriMo novels easier. In my mind, any resource that is free is good.
- Fantasy/Real Name Generator (some are unpronounceable, but all are fun)
- Thesaurus.Com (quickly find words that mean the same as “sword” etc., so you don’t have too many “crutch” words.
- Oxford Dictionary (Spell it right and use in the proper context!)
- Wikipedia (research is a time sink to beat all time sinks, but if you’re in a hurry for quick info, you might find it here.)
Three websites a beginner should go to if they want instant answers about grammar in plain English:
Instant gratification is good when you are in the zone and short on time.
The rules I follow to both get my wordcount and enjoy NaNoWriMo:
- Write at least 1,670 words every day (three more than is required) This takes me about 2 hours – I’m not fast at this.
- Write every day, no matter if you have an idea worth writing about or not. If you are stuck, write about how your day went and how you are feeling about things that are happening in your life, or write that grocery list. Just write, and think about where you want to take your real story. Write about what you would like to see happen in that story.
- Check in at www.nanowrimo.org to see what’s happening in your region. Someone there will be able to answer any questions you may have, and the local threads will keep you in contact with other writers.
- Attend a write-in if your region is having any, or join a virtual write-in at NaNoWriMo on Facebook. This will keep you enthused about your project.
- Delete nothing. Passages you want to delete later can be highlighted, and the font turned to red or blue, so you can easily separate them out later.
- Remember, not every story is a novel. If your story comes to an end, draw a line at the bottom of the page and start a new story, in the same manuscript. You can always separate the stories later, and that way you won’t lose your word count.
- Validate your word count at www.nanowrimo.org every day. Your word processing program will sometimes count the words differently than the official validator. Validating daily will let you know if you are officially on track.
Why should you write in November?
Above all, have fun writing.
If you can’t write 1,667 words a day, write as much as you can and don’t feel guilty. The novel is the important thing and if you can’t get 50,000 words in 30 days, all is not lost. There are 320 more days in the year to come, so keep the habit of writing daily.
Stay in love with your characters and have fun writing your story.
In the end, the story is what counts.