Thursday, July 25, 2013

NaNoWriMo - 1/3 of the Way There

How many of you out there are doing NaNoWriMo this year? Raise your hands.

I'm doing it. But I'm cheating. The rule is that you're supposed to start on a new WIP and write 50,000 words. Well, I don't have time to set aside my current WIP, but I still need to get in 50,000 I'm breaking the rule and using the manuscript I already had in progress.

I'm only counting new words, though. :)

So...if you're participating in NaNo, you should be about 1/3 of the way done with your 50,000 words at this point. Are you? I'm close, but not quite at that mark. Darn the early part of the month being filled with birthdays in my family. It doesn't get any easier in the later part of the month, either--that is Thanksgiving, which means lots of family functions.

Still, I'm finding a way to get my words in.

At this point in the game, though, those who are new to NaNo might be feeling stuck or frustrated, or both. Here are some handy-dandy tips and tricks for getting yourself unstuck.

  • Don't try to sit down and write with the idea of "I have 41,209 words left to write. Augh!" Sit down and say to yourself, "I'm going to write for the next twenty minutes, and I want to write 300 words in that time." Three hundred words is a page. You can write a page in 20 minutes. Break it into easy chunks.
  • If a particular scene is giving you fits, skip it. Move ahead to a scene that you know exactly how it will play out. It might give you what you needed to write the earlier scene, but no matter what, at least you'll be writing. You don't have to write everything in order.
  • Can't figure out the best way to work out the details of a scene, talk it out with someone. Go to a Write-In with your local NaNo Region, call up a critique partner, talk to the guy on the train who stares blindly at you while you're talking to yourself, or if all else fails--talk to a pet or a stuffed animal. Sometimes, just saying it out loud helps you to work through your blocks.
  • Don't like your current NaNo project? Scrap it. That's right, toss it in the drawer and pull something else out. (Be sure to keep counting the words you wrote on the scrapped project, though.) No one says that this project is the one you have to write. Write what you want to write.
  • Try doing a word war with someone else. If you're on Twitter, look for the #1k1hr hashtag and you'll likely find people doing them. It's easier to get a bunch of words out if you know you'll get a break in a certain amount of time. I'm fond of doing 30 minute sprints sometimes, so you might find me using hashtag #500in30.
  • Remember that this is supposed to be fun. If it is stressing you out, maybe NaNo isn't right for you. Or maybe the project you're trying to write isn't the right thing for you. If you're not having fun, reevaluate why you're doing it in the first place.
  • Enable Freedom. Freedom is a cheap software program (for both Mac and PC) that will disable your ability to connect to the internet for a set period of time. You set the time. It's amazing how much work I can get done if I'm not checking my email every ten minutes, looking to see what the authors I stalk on Twitter have tweeted, and playing games on Facebook.
What other suggestions do you have for getting through the slog that is the middle part of NaNoWriMo?

**Originally published at Lady Scribes**

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