Monday, 4 December 2017

10 Super Important Things NaNoWriMo Taught Me

NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, is officially over, but the lessons I learned will last.

This is where the introductory paragraph would go, but most people skip it because they just want to read the top 10 here you go.

10 Super Important Things NaNoWriMo Taught Me

1. Don't edit. It slows you down. Save that for AFTER you've finished the book.

2. Writing every day for an hour creates a habit of—you guessed it—writing every day for an hour.

3. Writing in short bursts was more prodective than longer times in front of the computer. Being committed to that one hour meant I only wrote for that hour. It's amazing how much you can get down when you DON'T check social media.

4. Write the chapter ending first, preferably a nice cliffhanger or a shocking reveal.'s a post where I talk about 4 different cliffhanger ideas for that very purpose! This is a trick I learned a few books ago that made a big difference in shortening the time it took me to write a chapter. It's was easier to finish the scene when I knew where my characters were supposed to end up.

5. Don't look at the word count until you've finished your scene. Word count is a helpful measure, but we can sometimes become obsessed with it as well, taking our energy and focus off the words.

6. Write the next few lines of the next chapter so you have a spring board for the next session.

7. Put fresh air and exercise in between your writing time. Yes, get back to your life, recharge. Return to your novel the next day refreshed and ready to go!

8. Before I started my one hour writing sessions, I'd post it on Twitter, then return when I'd finished and comment on my stats. It wasn't always the word count, sometimes it would deal with what music I was writing to or a plot hole I'd uncovered or a character I had to kill. Regardless, it made me more accountable for the time frame, plus it helped me connect with other writers and in turn I was there to help cheer them on too.

9. Writing with others was fun and helped me be more productive. It's not a competition. We're all in this together and only a writer can understand what another writer is going through.

10. If you're stuck in a scene, add food and some weather. Seriously, it was a great way to jump start some of my chapters. 

I hope you found this helpful!

What did you learn from National Write A Novel Month?



Oh, love #8! I participated as well. It definitely helped in the discipline of writing every day and not playing around on social media too much. But the editing is daunting.

CB Clark said...

Great list! Number 10 works for me. I'll give your idea a try. Congrats on achieving your goal.

Ilona Fridl said...

I really envy anyone who is able to do this. Congratulations! I'm way too anal to do this fast and I end up with garbage. I prefer to take my time and think scenes through.

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