Novel Writing · NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo – I Can See the Finish Line

How are you, campers? Exhausted? Delirious? Manic?

Whether broken or motivated by NaNoWriMo, I have good news for you! It’s the final stretch of Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017.

Well done us, we are still going, and whether we are set to win or lose, we are all winners. Imagine what your word count would be without this month?

How far have you come? I bet it’s a long way, and even if it’s not it’s some way, and that’s enough.

Keep on striving for the finish line. You can do this!

NaNoWriMo · Novel Writing

Camp NaNoWriMo – Is it Killing You Too?

Hello, Campers!

I am dying by word counts… Absolutely drowning in words. This NaNoWriMo malarky is excruciating.

I want to watch Netflix. I want to sleep in. I want to sit and do NOTHING. I want to GIVE UP.

But I won’t. I hope you won’t either. Keep on keeping on. Just keep swimming. We can do this.

Feel free to share your misery (or elation) in the comments. We’re in this together

NaNoWriMo · Novel Writing

Camp NaNoWriMo Doesn’t Really Matter – but you can do it anyway

Hello there everyone!

How are you this week? If you, like me, are participating in Camp NaNoWriMo you must be pretty darn tired. Well done. You’ve lasted the first week. That’s a real achievement. If you’ve already given up, don’t worry, you can always try again, or maybe it’s just not for you.

Here is something important to note down. Ready?

Completing NaNoWriMo does not make you an excellent author, and failing it does not make you a terrible one.  

This is simply a test of determination, and of how busy our lives are. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t become disheartened and give up on your dream of writing a book just because NaNoWriMo isn’t for you.

Also, don’t become complacent because NaNoWriMo is easy for you. There is still a heck of a battle to get published.

Let’s get some perspective and enjoy the NaNoWriMo ride. 

NaNoWriMo · Novel Writing

NaNoWriMo – Drink a lot of Coffee – Write a lot of Words

Good Morning Campers!

We are now three days into Camp NaNoWriMo. How are you getting on? I know my plan was to feverishly write nearly 6,000 words in the first two days (this is a scheduled post by the way. Can you guess why?). It’s not even the first of July at the time of writing of this, and I am pretty sure I would have failed my goals already. (FYI – I didn’t! Why are our inner critics so harsh I wonder?)

 

 

Do you know what? That’s okay. There is only one rule for Camp NaNo, and that is to KEEP GOING. A missed word count sucks, but the ability to stick at something is worth so much more. 

Crack on – you can do this!

NaNoWriMo · Novel Writing

How to Win Camp NaNoWriMo

Can you feel it? The prickle of tension on your skin, the butterflies waking up in your stomach? I can, and it only means one thing. Camp NaNoWriMo approaches.

Let the writing begin.

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017 starts in FIVE days! Are you ready?

Here are some of the things I’m doing before it starts to prepare myself.

Catching up on sleep – I know I will have to sacrifice sleep to win this, so before the month begins I’m resting as much as I can.

Practising a daily writing habit – I try to write most days, but life gets in the way, and once or twice a week I can’t manage it. It’s no big deal, and I don’t beat myself up about it. However, in the days leading up to NaNo, I make sure not to miss any writing sessions. I need my writing muscles at full strength.

Planning out all my scenes – I know exactly what I am going to write, which character is going to do what, and where my story is going. Even at five in the morning, my sleepy brain will have a full set of writing instructions. Writer’s block will not stop me.

Organising my word count – I’m on holiday on the second week of July, and I don’t plan on writing on those days unless I really, really want to. Therefore, I need to up my word count the rest of the month. I know I need to hit 2,500 words a day to win, with a little wiggle room built in.

Leaving room for failure – with a word count of 2500 a day, I can fail some days and not miss the mark. I’m planning to shoot for the stars and if I miss them, at least I’ll have reached the moon.

Do you have any helpful NaNoWriMo preparation tips that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. 

Novel Writing

Advice Please: To Plot or Not to Plot?

Are you a panster or an outliner? Do you plan your stories in minute detail or do you let the words take you where they will? Are you a JK Rowling or a Stephen King?

I want to be a pantser, I really do. It’s so romantic. I dream of letting the pen take me where it will and following its call. I tried it. For a while, I would give myself an hour a day and let the word vomit flow.

But it didn’t flow.

I found myself, confused and irritated, sat in front of the blank computer screen with no clue of where to go. Suffering from literary constipation.

When the muses did strike me, I would find I had a string of scenes, so different from each other in style and content that they could have come from separate novels.

I had to face the sad reality that I need an outline. But my disappointment was short lived as I soon found a love for the order and creativity I found in my outline.

 As an administrator with a science degree, it’s not hard to see why I need to organise my writing. I am detail orientated and precise person with a creative flair, so for me, a strong outline is a necessity.

There are a thousand and one posts out there about the for and against’s for outlines which are incredibly varied in advice. My plan is to get a range of opinions from you wonderful writers on the blogosphere and put a collaborative post listing the benefits of pantsing and outlining.

I would love to hear from you in the comments section. I will write a post collating all the comments and linking to your blogs. 

What I’d love to know is –

  • Are you a Pantser or an Outliner?
  • ONE benefit you have found from being a panster/outliner? 

Thank you again for your wonderful advice and wisdom. Last time I did this with sentence starters the information gained was priceless.

 

NaNoWriMo · Novel Writing

July 2017 – Camp NaNoWriMo

It is precisely a month until Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017. The fear and excitement are starting to kick in. Are you ready? Is anyone else gearing themselves up for the rollercoaster ride of late nights, early mornings and word counts?

I failed NaNoWriMo in November 2016 (you can read all about it here) because I grievously underestimated the dedication required. No experience is a wasted experience, however, and I learnt some valuable lessons that stuck with me. Here are a few I thought I’d share with you all.

Schedule Time to Write

Do not imagine that the joy of writing will push you through to reach your word count. You need to set aside dedicated time to write and stick to it. Writing 50,000 words in a month is TOUGH, you need to grit your teeth, make a plan and stick to it.

Use the 10x Rule

In his recent book The 10x Rule, Grant Cardone explains how success comes from putting in 10x the effort you would expect to put in to get average results. Now, I’m not expecting you to write 500,000 words, that would be ridiculous. We can apply a similar principle, however, and aim for a higher word count than we need.

To succeed at NaNoWriMo, you need to average a word count of 1667 a day. In light of the 10x rule, we could aim to hit 2,000 words a day. That way, when we miss our target, which we will, we are still on track to hit the word count.

Plan Ahead

One of the reasons I failed NaNoWriMo is because I didn’t have a robust outline, which I need in order to write a lot each day. Some people are pansters, and oh, how I envy them. Most of us, however, need to spend time thinking and planning about our scenes before we write them. For advice on planning out detailed scenes, this is a helpful article.

Be kind to yourself

Don’t worry if you don’t hit the goal. Although the words “winning” and “losing” are often used when talking about NaNoWriMo, if you think about it, we are all winners. If you “fail” then you’ve still written a large number of words, learnt about your writing process and have moved your WIP forward. Even a failed NaNoWriMo is actually a win!