This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Novel November is upon us in the shape of National Novel Writing Month, in which thousands of people all over the world attempt to write a 50,000 word book over the space of 30 days. Aahmazing. I've been doing Nano for three years (this year will be the first year I'm not taking part) and find it such a fulfilling and exciting experience.
Now it's finished, would you do it again?
Definitely! For me it has pushed an idea forward and put some real momentum into it. I have enjoyed it much more than I ever thought I would at the start.
You enjoyed it? Surely not, writing 50,000 words must be tough going?
It was tough and certainly isn't my usual style of writing. It's a more visceral style and there is no time for editing or any such luxuries. The benefit of this is you don't stop writing. Whereas normally I might try and perfect a segment of work there is no room to indulge yourself and you just move on to the next part. It meant the story moved on much quicker than it normally would and I didn't waste any time in making decisions. There were times when I struggled but I was fortunate to have some days off work. I'm not sure I would have managed it without them.
Were you ever in danger of not finishing?
Fortunately no. Although I did have to finish early as I was going on holiday and hadn't really thought about that when I signed up. I got a bit stuck at one point but with some tips from Fiona Kendall I moved on quickly. I think my main difficulty was not having time for research. There were points when I would normally double-check stuff but wasn't able to. I'll have to fill in those blanks later.
So is your novel finished now?
No. Far from it. I still have approx another 50,000 to get the first draft finished. It is a very rough first draft and then the real work of editing/re-writing will start. I plan to finish the first draft by the end of January. This may be quicker as now I've got into a momentum I want to carry on with that.
So what tips would you give anyone wanting to do it in the future?
Well, from my first time experience these would be my best tips:
1) Let everyone know you are taking part.
This way you get support even though you are being anti-social to your friends and family.
2) Scrap all the excuses.
There are always reasons not to write. Okay so there may be some excuses that are acceptable but I think they are in the minority. The excuses that stop us writing tend to be the more mundane ones.
3) Get in contact with others taking part.
Their support will prove vital.
4) Treat yourself at regular intervals.
Set an amount (more than 3 words) and when you get to that point treat yourself. I had two-finger kit-kats stored in the fridge and rewarded myself with tea! Not very exciting but I am at slimming world!
5) Don't give up too soon and don't dismiss your ideas.