It’s that time of the year again – time for National Novel Writing Month! In the past I’ve loved this time or the year because of the freedom and excuse it gives me to write at the expense of pretty much everything else, though I have to admit, this year I’ve been doing that a lot anyway as I’ve begun to approach my writing from the POV of a serious writer, and not someone who is simply dabbling in the craft. (Like earlier in the year when I wrote the sequel to A Faery Dream alongside another, longer story – managing over 3500 words per day for over a fortnight!)
And so, with less than a week till Nano I thought I would share my number 1 tip for Nano preparation and success: Start writing now!
Now – this is very important – I’m not suggesting you start writing your story now. That is against the point of the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. No – when I say start writing now, I mean sit down with your tool of choice (paper/pen, laptop, typewriter) and set aside some time to write whatever comes to mind. Start with 15 mins, and write without stopping. You’re not thinking story here – though you could plot out the story in your writing – but what you want is a stream-of-consciousness ramble where whatever mundane and ridiculous things that might be floating around in your head. You are not wanting a perfect representation of what’s in your head either – no this writing needs to be just as messy as all those random thoughts are. Do Not Edit. Spelling mistakes? Ignore them! Grammatical errors? Ignore them! Spaces and or random punctuation in the middle of words (or no spaces between words)? Ignore them!!
Do this daily, several times a day if you can. And try and build up your time for random stream-of-consciousness writing.
This task does two things. It gets your fingers warmed up, so that when the time comes to write your story, those digits have already learned to follow your inner-writer and not your inner-editor; and it empties your mind of all the rabble that usually fills it so you can find your story faster and easier, than if you had to sift through the useless bits of info that your mind feels the need to retain.
Ideally you should start this about a month in advance, and ease your way into it, but I was busy editing at the beginning of the month, and November has kinda snuck up on me. Never mind though – every bit of practice helps! So what are you waiting for? Get writing!! 😀
(And if you are feeling happily confident in your Nano prep – feel free share in the comments your own tips for success!)