Tuesday, November 6, 2012

#Nanowrimo Tips

The question I get asked beyond any other at this time of year is this: How the H E Double Hockey Stick do you write a book so fast?

Well, I've done this for a few years and seem to get faster and faster each year, so I do have a few tips.

1. Write before you do anything else each day. Once your brain gets busy with other things, be it making your kids breakfast or getting dressed or even making coffee. When your brain is still hazy from sleep, it is much closer to The Creative Zone. Use that time to your advantage. And then come back later and write another chunk of words. And maybe one more. Make these junks manageable--something you can do in 20 minutes to half an hour. Then it won't feel like such a burden or obstacle to your day.

2. Make a plan with your family. Once my family understood how important to me it is to write before I do anything else, they started to back off from talking to me or asking me for things. If you involve them as part of your plan for writing your novel, they may be more receptive to helping you.

3. Don't say you can't think of anything to write. Try not to even think those words, but above all else, don't say them. Even if you really CAN'T think of anything to write, make yourself a deal that you'll sit down and start anyway. You'll be amazed after typing a first sentence (even if it's "I don't know what Character is going to do now, but it's sure to be something!") I guarantee, your second sentence will come easier. And the next one, easier than that. The act of writing, whether by pen or computer, gets the brain to hand connection going. It's like opening floodgates. Only a little water gets through at first, but if you keep going, soon it's gushing through.

4. Jot down scene ideas when you're not writing. If you at least have a scene in mind that you want your character to head toward, it will help keep your momentum going and won't leave you staring at a blank page, wondering which direction to go.

5. Do something else creative. Creativity breeds creativity. Whether you paint or draw or dance or sing or write a poem or act out charades for your friends, if you do something else creative, it will help get the juices flowing.

That's just a few tips for today. I admit, I also type very fast, but that wasn't something I was born with. Ten years ago, I pecked with two fingers. I practice.  A lot.

If you have other Nano tips, I'm always excited to hear them. I want to grow better and make this less and less painful each year!

6 comments:

  1. Great tips, Denise! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Martha! Glad you got something out of it.

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  2. Thanks for the tips! I haven't tried starting out first thing in the morning, but maybe I will. I do like the idea of writing in manageable chunks. That seems to help me, too. This is my second year of NaNo--hope I'll be able to create a successful history of it like you have!

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    1. My whole day goes better if I start off first thing. I hope this year goes well for you, Amy!

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  3. These are WONDERFUL tips! I'm not doing NANOWRIMO this year, but these are great tips for writing in general. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. So glad you got something out of this, Britney! Thanks for stopping by.

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