Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 21: Have a timer.

Use an cheap kitchen timer to control your working or break times. Plan to write for a certain block of time, say 20 or 30 minutes and during that time do not open any other window or check your email or feed the cat. That time will fly by and no one will starve until the dinger goes off.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Days 12-20 Have focus

Days 12-20: Have focus and fight distraction. This middle of the trip is where many people disappear. During these hard times stay away from distractions like the web or specifically blogs which you don't have time to write on anyhow. lol.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 11: Have Snacks

Did you notice that every time you interrupt your writing to go make a meal it’s that much harder to get back lost momentum? If you have a supportive better half he or she will sneak in silently and place easy finger food within reach (but not in the way) of your flying fingers. But if such isn’t happening you may have to take matters into your own hands. Plan ahead and before you settle in for your scheduled writing, make a couple small snacks, sandwiches or chicken nuggets, leftover Halloween candy… something that you can eat without leaving the moving story you’re creating. Also set up your liquids. I tend to have my usual drinks as well as a couple bottles of water as back up. Anything that keeps you typing and undistracted for even a few extra sentences is well worth the effort.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 10: Have Caffeine

Or some other means of staying energized. By now you’re probably feeling the strain of the breakneck pace. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably fallen behind your big dreams of hitting daily goals. Don’t panic. Just adjust your way of attacking the problem. Maybe sketch out your next couple scenes and see if you can write them bare bones style. Nothing but the essentials to be filled in later. There is no right path to get to 50k. Any path that gets you there is a good one.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Day 9: Have An Ending

This isn’t right for everyone but for me I need to know where my story is going before I can focus on the path to get there. Sometimes I even write the last scene or ending before I hit the midpoint. Taking this idea a little bit further you might find it useful to write little bare bones snippets of the big turning points in your story. These aren’t made in stone and can be changed, edited or even cut later, but can help you keep on track and running ful speed when you need it most.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Day 8: Have Conflict

Conflict is the thing that will keep your characters at odds in the story. Try not to think of your conflict as a single problem, think of it more as a ladder. Your conflict should have several rungs the characters have to overcome. Each one higher and further from the last. If they don’t make it then the fall becomes more deadly as the story progresses.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Day 7: Have Motivation

Motivation is tied into goals for each character, similar but not quite the same. For instance the hero’s goal might be to stop the bad guy. But his motivation is the why that gives the goal purpose. So why does your hero need to stop the bad guy? Maybe the bad guy is trying to kill him? Kill the heroine? Steal a precious gem? Take over the world?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Day 6: Have Goals

Not only should you set monthly, weekly and daily goals for yourself, but your fabulous characters need goals too. Not just hero and heroine, but every character in your books needs to want something. They should have a goal, something to reach for and hopefully attain by the end of your book. Don’t forget the villain, sometimes his/her goal is the one that will drive the story.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Day 5: Have Character

Bet you thought I meant don’t lie and be nice to stray animals. Nope, this is about Having strong bigger than life characters for your novel! Yep a lot can be said for strong characters. Sometimes they can carry a soft plot or weak story further than you can even imagine. Best part of all, if you love your characters you’ll actually want to spend time with them. And that means you’ll spend even longer in your chair telling their stories. Which will lead directly to more words and eventually to a complete novel!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Day 4: Have Support

Yes even though writing is a solitary sport it is important to have the support of family and friends. Especially when undertaking something like Nano. Hopefully you warned everyone in your family of your intended insanity and they know better than to interrupt your writing time. If they really get your needs during Nano they will also airlift in meals without uttering a word and celebrate every day’s success with you once you actually come out of your writer cave and speak directly to them.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Day 3: Have A Schedule

Not everyone can write only when the mood moves you. Some like me make our living by writing and that means sometimes writing when totally not in the mood. Not an easy thing to do. Accept that times like this may prove not as productive as the good days when the muse is on your side.

Still even when it’s hard, plan ahead to put your time in and spend your “writing time” actually writing. Some of you may have heard the acronym BICHOK, but if you haven’t it means Butt In Chair-Hands On Keyboard. Simple as that you will increase your output. No, this doesn’t make it easier. And it won’t improve the quality of what you produce but it will put words on the page. And sometimes that is the best we can hope for.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Day 2: Have A Plan

Okay so now you’ve decided to try your hand at nano and are sitting there panicking over how on earth you can manage to write 50,000 words in one month without losing your mind. The good news is it can be done. The bad news is few actually succeed without losing their minds.

But really who needs a mind in December anyway? You won’t, not if you have a new complete novel to hug and to hold.

So to improve your chances make a plan and stick to it. NANOWRIMO has it all broke down into how much you need to write in a day to do the 50000 in 30 days. 1660. You can do this. It is achievable.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

30 days of NANOWRIMO

On the first day of nano…I give you tips for surviving nano.

Day 1: Have A Dream.
Yes, in October I dreamed of finishing a novel in November. I knew it was a crazy dream, but I clung to it anyways. After all a novel, a little novel all my own. I could see the cover with its beautiful images and best of all with my name blazed across it in all my glory. I can do this. I can write a novel in one month.

For those brave souls who have done nano before you may be thinking like me, of course it can be done. I’ve done it in the past. Just last year I won Nano. Of course I can do it again. Or for any newcomers to Nano, look at the list of winners and know that this year you can be among them.

Now, quit reading blogs and go write.