This year's NaNoWriMo was interesting for me. I went into it much more confident than previous years with a fairly detailed plot wrote up ahead of time. This makes the forth novel I've written since November 2012 and I spent a considerable amount of time NOT writing. I spent 15 actual days writing.... The image above shows my progress over 30 days. (If you are not familiar with NaNoWriMo, The flat steps are days I did not write and the inclines are days I did showing the increased word count.
For me, this is a huge step. At one time, I would of fought just to reach 50k, do I feel I learned more with this novel. Yes! That is why if you struggle to write the best Some thoughts I wished to forward on to you for your next writing jaunt.
Have a Plan
I touched on this before in my 5 tips for NaNo post but it did help. Did I devitate, yes. Did I learn mid-novel I was writing a greek island hopping- esque morbid fantasy sea life saving book, yes to that too.
But my plotting helped guide me. If I got stuck, I had a reference to center my thoughts on and work forward.
Learn your output per 15 minutes.
This one I found out as I hit snags in plot. An hour can be a long time when you are struggling to write a sentence. Think of it as 15 minutes bursts and write your heart out in those 15 minutes.
"But I can't write for 5 minutes right now."
That's fine. The point of learning your output is to help alleviate this. When I figured this out, I didn't feel like I was trying to write 2000 more words, only the 500 that I knew I could do in 15. To figure out your words per 15 minutes it is simple math. Pick a time when you ARE writing at your normal pace. If you write for an hour, great. Take your wordcount and divide by 4. If you struggle to write for a full hour, just watch for 15 minutes and take note of your word count. Obviously, this time can be whatever you need it to be to figure it out but I feel 15 minutes is doable.
Coffee break? Get your 15 minutes in!
This was an interesting one for me. I had never used music before and had always felt it distracting if something was on and I was trying to write. My music of choice? Folk Metal, particularly the band Eluvetie. Most of my writing days this was playing almost the entire time I wrote my novel. The interesting part is the majority of songs I listened to were sung in Gaulish. I have no clue what they were saying but the crazed guitar riffs and drums mixed with violins, harsh vocals, and flutes, sometimes paired perfectly with the plot of my book.
Check them out here, you may find you like them too.
I hope you enjoyed reading of some what I learned and can use it yourself. My attention now is purely on delivering my first novel to the world! The next couple of months should be quite exciting!
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