My favorite month for writing!!
NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month. Write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Sound overwhelming? Okay, a bit. BUT it's totally doable! So let's get prepping:
1. Sign up at nanowrim.org This connects you to other writers, offers tips and support, and keeps track of your word count.
2. Do the math. Okay, you have 30 days to write 50,000 words. Are you writing everyday? You can, but as someone who has NaNoWriMo-ed before, I suggest taking at least a day off per week. How many words per day? And don't forget about Thanksgiving. Will you be taking the week off? So here's my math:
3. Brainstorm. Yup, now you've actually got to come up with an idea. If you don't have an idea, start with what you know and see if you can develop that into something interesting. What topics do you feel confident in? Are you a baker? A lawyer? A doctor? Maybe start with a character who works in the same field you work. What are you passionate about? Faith? Politics? Professional Wrestling? Maybe try to develop a plot based on something you're interested in learning more about. Make a list of ten topics and then pick one to develop.
4. To plot or not to plot. You don't need to come up with a complete outline to write a novel, but it's a pretty good idea. When you're on a time crunch, it's helpful to know where you're going with your characters and how you're going to get there. You probably won't stick to it the entire way through, but that's okay. At least you have a plan if you get stuck. Start with Act One, which will be when you introduce us to your characters, get the plot rolling and set your characters on their journey. Move to Act Two, which will be when your characters try and fail, try and fail, try and.....yup, fail. Keep the plot moving toward the climax, which will be right before the "Ah ha" moment. This will be when your character learns the message of your story. Then move into Act Three, which will be when they apply what they've learned to save the day.
5. Don't edit. I repeat. Do. Not. Edit. If you get to chapter 5 and realize you want to add a character, don't go back to the beginning. Just make a note and keep going with your new idea. If you keep fixing as you go, you risk not getting to the finish line. Plus, this is a first draft. First drafts are always a mess. Embrace it :)
Feel free to contact me with any questions! Good luck!