Friday, November 30, 2012

I won NaNoWriMo : Demon World part 6 & more tips

It is already the end of November and once again, I won NaNoWriMo !
My statistic are not as smooth as they were for the first NaNoWriMo, I guess this is due to the fact that I changed life style since and I have other commitment to deal with while still performing the best I can for the writing contest.
In 2009 the challenge was to be able to win before going on holiday to Peru. The challenge for this year was to be able to write only for four days a week while keeping my Friday's evening and week-end for social activities.
All Novels Drafts 
Word count progression for my first NaNoWriMo in 2009.

Word count progression forNaNoWriMo 2012.

Why did I win NaNoWriMo ? 

I already given some tips on how to win NaNoWriMo. But the real question is not really "How did I win NaNoWriMo?" But "Why did I win NaNoWriMo. Some people say arbitrary things such as : "You are talented", "You are so discipline but I can't do it because I'm lazy", "You have a lot of time but I have a job or I'm a student so I don't have all your free time", "I can't write as fast as you do", "I can't type without thinking about all the mistakes I made".

Well let me tell you one thing, I think that's bullshit.

Fact is, I'm not talented. I consider that telling people they are talented is an insult to their intelligence (and yours). 
I'm not discipline or hard working while other people are lazy. I like to procrastinate and to play, go out and give in to my current addiction (Bleach) like everyone else. It is a lot easier in general to blame a personal trait that you can't fix such as being lazy just because that way you don't have to make any effort to change your method to something that would actually take you where you want to be.

I don't have a lot of free time. Being able to do a lot of things doesn't actually require a lot of free time, it requires energy. Most likely you have more than enough time to success in NaNoWriMo twice in a month, meaning if the word count was double it would still be achievable. I have a full time job at the university where I pursue research about atomic and molecular interaction with laser, I manage to follow 2 to 5 classes on coursera while maintaining social activity, exercising and healthy meal cooking.

If you can't type as fast as I do, well that's easily fixable by few tips :
Think about what you are going to type in your next section during your dead moments
This is very easy to implement and it will save you a lot of time. You are waiting for the elevator (or in the elevator), at the queue at the supermarket, waiting for the bus, etc... this gives you few minutes to thing about where your characters are at, what you want them to do next, who should arrive in the room. You don't even need to take notes (except of you have a considerable amount of dead time on your hand like you're trying to get into Honey Hunt in Disney land alone and without fast pass) Most likely all the ideas of the day will add up nicely when you finally arrive in front or your computer to write.
Never stop at the end of a paragraph/chapter/section
Everybody wants to finish, if you finish this part now you'll feel so happy and accomplish, right. Well wrong. This feeling of accomplishment isn't helpful this way. You can feel accomplish for getting up to the word count you want, but definitely not for finishing a part of the story. Finishing a part of the story is poisonous for your inertia (the ability to keep going on and on). Why ? Because they you need to start again on something new that you possibly don't know about. If you don't finish this particular chapter, then in the next section you'll start by finishing it with the idea you already know about and then you'll be able to directly jump to the next chapter because the more you write the easier it becomes to write. Never finish something at the end of a writing section except for the final finish.

If you can't stop thinking about all the mistakes you made so that you absolutely have to come back and correct yourself, prepare a special time to do that. It is way easier to correct yourself and to check consistency between chapters when you have all the chapter than when you have only one. It is way easier to go back to everything and add clues about what is going to happen when you already wrote what is going to happen. But if despite knowing that you still have to go edit, the answer is ADD only perform the edition part which add something to your word count, if you want to delete something write down the page and line number down, enlighten it with a different color, never cut it on while fighting with your word count because it might like nice in your novel but it is counter productive both for NaNoWriMo and for you ever finishing to write that novel. 

Anyway, after so much digression why the hell did I manage to win NaNoWriMo for the fourth consecutive year ? Well because I decided when I signed up that there was no way I was going to lose it. It is in fact that simple. I would have written until my finger bleed if I had to. Most things you achieve in life is just a decision you make. 

Here is the last part of "Demon World" which allowed me to win NaNoWriMo but as usual 50000 words is not enough for me to finish my novel so I'll be up for NaNoFiMo for the beginning of December. I hope you'll enjoy reading.

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