NaNo, You’re Driving Me Crazy!

This is love, this is war, this is insanity! (bonus points to anyone who can tell me what song/artist those lyrics are from :)) It’s been 10 days, 13,000 words, and it’s been crazy! I’m having trouble believing that I’m actually going to manage to survive NaNo and have a novel on top of it! Even though this is just my first year of NaNo, I’ve learned a few survival tips that have helped me so far.

1. I focus on the word count.

As long as you write your daily amount of words, you are going to win. I know that’s easier said than done, but that’s one thing that has really helped keep the huge goal of writing a novel in one month in perspective. It’s really not TOO bad, as long as you think that all you have to write is your daily amount of words, rather than an entire book.

2. I probably have more plot than words.

The first night of NaNo, I was in a NaNo induced panic. I was absolutely convinced that I’d run out of plot before I reached my goal. Well, now that I’m 10 days in, I finally realize that I probably have too much plot. In my outline (yes, I am still using it even though I’m not following it – does that make any sense?), I’m currently half way down page 1. I have 3 pages of outline written. So, my first panic was completely unnecessary. I was fine and I will be fine!

3. I can’t hit the backspace.

The first day of NaNo, I reread my beginning at the end of the day and came to the conclusion that it was completely horrible. I was convinced that the next day, I’d have to rewrite the entire beginning. Then it hit me. I can’t rewrite it. At least, not yet. I just have to keep working and keep writing no matter what I think of it at this point. Once I edit, then I can take care of any problems there are in the beginning.

4. I am writing sooner rather than later.

I used to write at night, right before I went to bed. Now, I try my best to write in the afternoon as soon as I’m done school.  This way I don’t have to panic come 11:30pm when I still have an hour’s worth of writing left to complete for the day.

So, that’s four things I’ve learned about surviving this crazy month! What are your tips for surviving NaNo?

~ Kayla

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5 thoughts on “NaNo, You’re Driving Me Crazy!

  1. the don’t delete thing is good. I have about ten pages of my manuscript that is going to be removed, or at least condensed down into only a couple pages, if I edit. I realized after I wrote it that I was heading in a direction I didn’t want to take, and was going to delete it and start again…but ten pages is a lot of words. And all those words ARE important, to me as the author, because they are helping me remember which direction I DO want to go, and they helped improve my character’s voice and bring her to life in my head even more.
    Of course, the fact that my novel is memoir-esque, and thus my MC is, well, me, also helps with the voice thing…XD but I needed those ten pages to figure out how exactly I was going to write me – what the point of view would be, how I wanted to portray thoughts, if I wanted to address my audience ever or just leave it in first person without actually talking directly to the reader. Whatever you write is important for you as the author, even if it;s not important for the novel as it will ultimately be. Don’t delete until you finish your plot and are ready for Round Two: Editing.

    • …*ahem* *refrains from mentioning the fact that I have come within literal seconds of giving up on my horrid novel. Twice. In the first ten days* XD Don’t delete. AND don’t give up. =P

      • Thanks for the advice! I’ve wanted to pitch my novel out the window and start fresh many times. I can’t tell you how many ideas (before NaNo) I’ve actually done that with. Thankfully, the looming NaNo word count has kept me on track .

  2. Word war. That is how I catch up. I can average 340 words in 15 minutes, which would be more than 1200 words in an hour. So if you’re ever behind, find someone to word war with over Skype or email or something.

    • Word war sounds like fun! If I have a hard time focusing/catching up, I race against the clock. I once timed myself and found that I can write my daily NaNo word count (1,167) in about 40 minutes. Knowing that always motivates me when I don’t feel like writing. Of course, once I start, I don’t usually want to stop! 🙂

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