This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
by Anna Bell
I don’t quite know how it’s November again. I barely blinked and another year seems to have gone past. With November comes National Novel Writing Month, and I think it’s a must for any author. I’m not saying that every author should start fresh and write a new 50,000 novel in the month. I’m not even saying that I think that’s a good idea. What I am saying is, you should use the excuse of NaNo to do some quick and dirty writing.
If you’ve never written a novel before, then NaNoWriMo is definitely for you. So many people tell me that they want to write a book and they haven’t got the time. Well, November is that time. Hundreds of thousands of people take to their keyboards and tap away furiously hoping to reach the target of 50,000 words. What they get might not be the best product, but I’m sure what they learn along the way about how they plan, how they write and what motivates them to keep going, will set them in great stead for their future writing endeavours.
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Now, I’ve never managed to hit NaNoWriMo at the right time, but I have accomplished a similar feat. I once wrote a novel in ten days. Ten days where I didn’t do much else but sit in front of my laptop and wonder how I didn’t end up with RSI. The novel has never been seen by anyone other than the Romantic Novelist Association’s New Writers' Scheme reader, and they hated it, but it taught me lots of valuable lessons. First, I can write a complete novel in a very short space of time if I put my mind to it. Second, it was a great way to test an idea for a book that I wasn’t sure about. The book in question was a bit experimental and I didn’t know whether it had the legs to actually form a complete novel.Whilst it was a self-imposed target of writing the novel in ten days, I’d shared it with the readers of this column, which was a huge motivator to make sure I finished it. Lovely readers and tweeters cheered me on along the way and I really don’t think I would have completed it without having that pressure and support. Which is why writing like a banshee as part of NaNoWriMo is a great idea, as there are loads of people on Twitter (and probably in your local community) that are going through the same thing as you and will cheer you along. You can register on the NaNo site, where you get to input your word count and there’s a huge sense of satisfaction to see it rising.
And for those writers who frown at NaNoWriMo and argue that you can’t write a whole book in a month, then use the energy and buzz around NaNo to set your own target. Maybe you’ve got the final twenty thousand words of your novel to write, or maybe you’ve got to edit your book for the millionth time. Whatever it is, set yourself a deadline and take comfort that you’re not the only one burning the midnight oil at the keys. Take part in the word races that people have over the month, and set yourself crazy targets – you never know, you might just surprise yourself.
For me this year, I’m going to be starting NaNoWriMo a bit late, but I’m hoping to play with an idea for an erotic novel that I’ve been thinking of for a while. I don’t usually get past my blushes so we’ll see how it goes!
Are you taking part in this years NaNoWriMo? Have you got any tips on how to survive it?