Monday, 3 December 2012

This is the last time I'll mention that I WROTE A NOVEL (it so isn't)

Now that I’ve written a novel in a month I feel qualified to tell other people that they can do it.
I’ve tried to do NaNoWriMo before, but never written more than a thousand or so words. I still can’t believe I actually managed to finish it! I'm still worried to read the terrible garbled mess that I've written! But I did win and I am pretty bloody proud. 

I think there were 2 reasons for my success:

1.       I had a rough plan. It’s much easier if you have some of the dots that you can join together to get you started. I had no idea where my novel would end (the end is still really dreadful) but I knew how it would start.
2.       I wrote the kind of novel that suits fast writing. You can’t expect to write a new classic, these novels take years or even lifetimes to write. I wrote the kind of book that I read quickly – a trashy romance. Read quickly=write quickly. 

Other things to remember:

Well begun is half done (as Mary Poppins would say). Get a good start and get into it early on. Yes, you can catch up in mammoth writing sessions, but it’s best to just start well in the first place. I doubt that anyone has ever written exactly 1667 words a day. The best thing to do is just to write as much as you can every day. Take into account when you will have less time and when you can spend the day writing

You will eat a lot while you do it. I recommend making lemon slices or oat crunchies.

Try to find a very quiet place to work on it. Luckily, my parents have converted our garage into an office and this provided the perfect place to hideaway from everyone. There was no TV so I didn’t get distracted by that. I never go in the office unless I have something to work on – I’ve not really sat in there  since I was working on my dissertation at home two years ago – so I only associate it with work which definitely made me feel more focussed. Plus, the internet signal was really bad out in the office which definitely helped me to keep focussed. Which leads me to...

Download Freedom. Freedom blocks you from using the internet for up to eight hours at a time so it can really help you get a good day’s worth of writing. It costs $10 but I just downloaded the free trial and found that if I turned the computer off before the freedom period was over, it didn’t count as one of my 5 free uses...

Do lots of word sprints. This can really help you get your word count up and you can reward yourself afterwards.

Warn your family and boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband that you will have no life by the end and they may end up a NaNoWriMo widow/er.

Have lots of sleep! The picture of a bruise up there^ is to commemorate the time I got so tired I fainted in the kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome post! Interestingly, I knew how my novel would start AND how I wanted it to end, but didn't really know what would happen in the middle, which was weird! But fun.

    I also recommend writing LOADS over weekends, because in the first weekend I wrote something stupid like 13,000 words and felt REALLY good about being really far ahead of myself. And so I kept going. :)