NaNoWriMo 2021 | the first few, really rather stressful, days

NaNoWriMo 2021 - alles über den Monat für Autoren
We are well and truly into NaNoWriMo now – in fact, 1/6 of the way through!

The first few days have probably been different for everyone. When I scroll through my buddies, I see three types of people: the one who is majorly ahead; the one who is right on track; and the one who is steadily bringing up the rear!

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Preptober 2021 | the NaNoWriMo survival kit!

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, and this weekend, I will be preparing for a month of writing furiously! Having participated in NaNoWriMo pretty consistently since 2012, it is helpful to somewhat plan ahead into the month: and preparing a survival kit can help you reach day 30 with most sanity intact.

But what exactly is a survival kit? The NaNo survival kit doesn’t have to be an actual kit, as though some of the things I’ll suggest below are physical items, it can be entirely digital too.

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Preptober 2021 | To plot or to pants?

There are many articles out there about how to plan, from a skeleton draft to the Snowflake method. But an extra question you have to ask yourself, especially when taking on NaNoWriMo, is how much to plan as we roll towards the end of the month.

There are, broadly, three types of planner: a plotter; a pantser; and a plantser.

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Preptober 2021 | 5 tips to develop your characters

Some writers begin their novel planning with a plot; some begin with a character. Either way, the protagonists, antagonists, side characters, and even the background ones are all crucial to your novel and knowing your characters can make or break a readable, engaging story.

I made a mistake when I began writing my last novel: I didn’t get to know my protagonist like a friend. I knew who she was, her background, and her motives, but I didn’t actually know her. I ended up having to pause in my writing and develop her characterisation, because otherwise she simply felt too flat.

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Preptober 2021 | How to brainstorm an idea for your book!

Hand, Write, Pen, Notebook, Journal, Planner, Writing
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I once read an article that said if you have to spend X amount of hours on a book, you should include the thinking time within that time. Obviously, there comes a point where you really do have to start writing or else there’s no point saying “I want to write a book,” but I think this is a worthwhile consideration. With my previous novel, I spent hours upon hours brainstorming and thinking and daydreaming without writing a single word – and my novel was definitely stronger for it.

Technically, therefore, I feel that NaNoWriMo has already begun. The moment you commit to writing that book, you are taking part in the event itself. From that very first brainstorm, whether its in the notes app of your phone, scribbled on the back of a napkin, or carefully inked into a brand new notebook, you have taken those first steps to be a writer.

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Preptober 2021 | Why You Should Sign up to NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWrimo 2021 - Facebook Banner - Design by Andrea Floren

All the way back in October 2012, I heard about this thing called “NaNoWriMo”. Aside from the fact I wasn’t entirely sure how to pronounce it (I say “rye”), I was intrigued.

NaNoWriMo turned out to stand for “National Novel Writing Month”, and had already been going for over a decade. The aim of the game is to write a novel – or 50,000 words of one – in just one month.

I signed up.

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The Final Push! | NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo is a 30-day caffeine-fuelled event where writers all over the world endeavour to write 50,000 words of a novel. It sounds terrifying, but it’s also fun – and you can join here!

Despite being the final day of NaNoWriMo 2018, it is never too late.

Aside from this particular NaNoWriMo, I have always won on the final day – aka, the 30th. I routinely write around 10k or even more on the final day in a mad rush to get that “winner’s” badge. If you start out early, remember to take regular breaks, and work however works best for you, it’s not impossible.

However, even if you don’t quite get to 50,000 words (it is a lot of words!) do not despair. As long as you have more words in your current work in progress than you did at the start of the month, you have won NaNoWriMo.

Honestly. A lot of people think that NaNoWriMo is just about hitting that big 5-0k, but it really isn’t. For me, NaNoWriMo is more about the community that surrounds it, and trying something new. If you’ve never written before this November, and you have 500 words, that’s still great! If you’ve been struggling with school, work, or life in general, and you haven’t reached your goal, that’s still fantastic. If nothing in particular has happened and crossing to get the “winner” badge is still too far away to be achievable –guess what. That’s okay, too.

Whilst NaNoWriMo began with trying to write an entire novel in a month, since I started my first in 2012, I have watched it evolve into cheerleading fellow Wrimos on and having fun with writing, creating new characters and worlds which didn’t exist before the month began. Whatever you wrote in November, and whether you’re still going or it’s already nearing the 1st for you, I hope that you’re proud that you even pledged to write something.It’s not an endeavour that everyone turns their hand to, so well done you!

For the last time this year: happy NaNoWriMo!

Should You Have a Writing Routine? | NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo is a 30-day caffeine-fuelled event where writers all over the world endeavour to write 50,000 words of a novel. It sounds terrifying, but it’s also fun – and you can join here!

Most successful writers have some sort of writing routine. Stephen King religiously writes six pages a day; Haruki Murakami rises at 4am and works for five or six hours before running 10k in the afternoon; Ernest Hemingway also wrote at first light every morning; and Ray Bradbury challenged all writers to write one short story every single week.

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Why do you write? A reminder to keep going | NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo is a 30-day caffeine-fuelled event where writers all over the world endeavour to write 50,000 words of a novel. It sounds terrifying, but it’s also fun – and you can join here!

why do you write

It’s week three, so if you’re anything like the average NaNo writer, you’re probably starting to lag. The “Week Three Blues” are an actual thing that NaNo veterans understand, so working out how to carry on with your novel is one of the other trying things that NaNoWriMo teaches you.

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” – ‘Why I Write’ by George Orwell

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Help – my plot is off the rails! | NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo is a 30-day caffeine-fuelled event where writers all over the world endeavour to write 50,000 words of a novel. It sounds terrifying, but it’s also fun – and you can join here!

Those dreaded first words (1)

You think the book is going okay, but you just can’t keep the plot in a straight line. It started out as a romance… but you think your love interest might be murdered so does that make it a crime novel? Or perhaps you began as a crime novel and it’s turned into a political story about veganism in the modern day.

Well, I thought my novel was going to be a cute romance about two adorable girls in WWII-era London, but I think it’s a cute romance about two adorable girls… with some ghosts thrown into the mix. It kinda shakes up the tone a little. Continue reading “Help – my plot is off the rails! | NaNoWriMo 2018”