Sunday, November 29, 2015

How to win NaNoWriMo: The unmotivated procrastinator version (tips and tricks)

I just won NaNoWriMo for the seventh year in a row (not even counting the JaNos.., the JuNos..., the camp NaNos... etc, etc... ). I know that totally sounds like I'm showing off but I don't think anyone should read a list of tips from someone who haven't been there and mind you I do have bragging rights. So here you'll find all the tips and tricks you really need for next year or NaNoFiMo if you want a new try as soon as possible. 

If you want the regular set of tips for beginners and people who don't feel ready to totally unleash their crazy side. Go see this post, that's what I used once upon a time when I really wanted to win but wasn't sure I would. If you are more adventurous, keep on reading. 

But first a picture of my stat for this year. Crazy, write. 
1) Don't write every day. 
I know I'm starting strong with the bad advises and that most people are going to want to kill me. Because you know you want to create good writing habits. And writers write and all that stuff. Well, see I didn't write every day and I still made it. I see people all around despairing when they miss a day, overdoing the catch up without a plan and just plain freaking out and give up. I mean why continue with the game when you've missed so many days that every one is telling you that you'll fail, you'll never win and you're not a writer anyway cause writers write. 
Well, here is the opposite side of the story, write when you can and if you can't you'll deal with it later, enjoy what you're doing now and stop thinking about the words.

2) Finish your idea. 
The idea is there, you are writing, the words are flowing, don't care about the word count, write it all, NOW. Write until you're out of juice. Yes, tomorrow it will be harder to start again because all your ideas are already on the page. Well, too bad but you needed those words yesterday too so who cares. When it's here, go and use it. Tomorrow well, that's tomorrow's problem not todays.

3) Edit as you go. 
I'm not telling you to erase anything, Erasing is strictly forbidden! If you are going to erase something just don't come and complained to me, you've been warned. But add stuff in the middle. Add paragraph of description, add feelings and colors and tastes and smell to your characters and places. Add some narrative in between the dialogue part, add add add. It's not so much as to edit the story but more as since you've run out of juice at point 2), you need a new writing starting point. 

4) Write what you can.
Even if it's a 50 words day, get that sentence written. I know I hate it because 1666 words is a bad number enough already. 1666 is not a winner's number. Writing a daily 1666 words is a real pain. I can't write that little on a daily basis. I need a minimum of 2500 and even that has a tendency to be too little to keep me going. But you're procrastinating so hey any words are better than nothing. I had some very small days but they still counted toward the goal. 

5) Learn maths.
If you don't hate me yet, you're going to have to hate me now. The thing is NaNo is all about numbers, don't let the NaNo calculator tell you what you need to right, make your own plan. If it tells you you need 2341 words a day to finish on time, start at 2500 or 3000, round numbers are always better anyway, easier for the mind to grasp. 

6) If you know you're gonna win.
Let's face it. If I had this attitude on my first NaNo, I'll still be in the pack of those wondering how anyone can write 50k a month. The thing is I knew I was going to win again because I don't take anything less than victory. 
Sorry for the people struggling with it but for some of us, it's a walk on the beach.

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1 comment:

  1. That is one crazy graph, Linda. I wrote 5177 yesterday, and that was my highest total--but it looks like you wrote 10K on some days. Unlike you, I have to keep plodding away.

    Off topic -- you won a Juno Award? I didn't even know you were a musician! ;-)