A Very Quick NaNoWriMo Note

And I mean very quick. I have things to do – lots of things to do.

First of all, it’s Day 2 and I’ve already exceeded my minimum word count per day. Chugging right along! I am thinking there are several reasons why this year’s NaNo seems to be easier in previous years. I’m basically a pantser, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a plan.

If you’re attempting NaNoWriMo and are having difficulties, just keep these things in mind:

1. It helps you you have the characters, at least one or two main characters. You won’t need to know the depth of character yet, but it’s helpful to name them, have a general idea of what they look like, and also have a plan for them. Your plans can always change, but it’s easier to write if you already know their beginning, middle and end.

2. It helps to have a time set aside for writing. And I mean time you use wisely. The last two days, I’ve been out of town and therefore on my East Coast schedule while on the West Coast. I’m up at 3 a.m. as a result, and I’m using my sleeplessness to write.

3. Write as fast as you can. Don’t edit, don’t worry. That comes later, after you finish the challenge. Grammar doesn’t have to be perfect, the plot doesn’t have to thicken, just get down as much as you can as quickly as possible.

4. Always carry a notebook! I lost my hotspot capabilities and my trusty notebook came into play as a back up. You can’t easily count the words, but it’s easy enough to type them in when you’re ready.

5. Most of all, be kind to yourself. If you falter, don’t beat yourself up. Try to do better the next time.

Okay, fellow writers, that’s it for now. I’m going back in.

Happy writing!

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A NaNoWriMo Update

Don’t you wish every month was November?

That’s what I was thinking as I crossed the 20% mark on my current attempt at NaNoWriMo. Ten thousand words by Thursday? Day 4? I was doing the happy dance while breaking out a treat (no margaritas – too cold, but I allowed myself have a chocolate cookie).

After months of tinkering with two manuscripts, held up by personal crises, work schedules and general laziness,  November 1st came in like a lion. The ideas, they flowed from the brain down to my fingertips and onto my computer screen, helped in large part by Write or Die. (I can write 2K words in an hour and a half using that software. A cattle prod, yes. A godsend? Double yes!)

Super-charged with motivation and energy, yesterday was spent writing two articles – all in an hour – then I tackled Major Re-Write #2. This was a bear – prompted by my editor, I decided to change one of the characters from loving sister to loving gay brother. At first I was wallowing in disbelief that such a major shift would be helpful – not to mention, wondering what kind of headache I’d be left with at the end of the exercise – but, YAY! it worked!

I’ve also caught up with my editor…again.

Perhaps my infused energy had to do with NaNo (I’m fully willing to give the activity my full support) or maybe it had to do with my husband being in Austin for two days. I need complete silence to write – no ambient TV noise, no clatter of dishes (and yes they are still in the sink), no piano playing or occasional harumphs coming from his side of the room. I write best when I don’t have to think about preparing dinner, much as I love to cook.

Yesterday was a marathon – six whole hours! I could do this for a living. Yes, I could.

However, I think I’ll keep my day job until this writing thing can sustain me.

On to Week 2.