In my latest newsletter, after several weeks of tackling how to defeat writer’s block, I have laid out my 10 steps to accomplishing 50k words in 30 days. If you have decided to tackle the Beast that is #NaNoWriMo, I hope this may be of some help:
- Write. Don’t edit. Write. Don’t read back what you read. Don’t give it to other people to read. Don’t fix misspellings. Don’t tell people about your story. Don’t think people will care. They probably will, but you need to do this for you.
- Continually remind yourself that all bad writing can be fixed. All of it.
- If you get stuck, ask why. (read my earlier newsletters on blocks) If you get really stuck, start another chapter. If you get really, really stuck, go back ten years and write about a character and develop their backstory.
- Write every day.
- Write beyond the daily limit every day. You’ll thank me later.
- Stop world building. Start character building. Unless you are stuck: Only world build if you are stuck. Otherwise, focus, always focus, on conflict, action, and character. (not shot em up conflict, but internal conflict, which drives a character to action, which in turn reveals character…which in turn creates an emotional link with the reader.) This is your goal.
- Tell your family what you are doing. Give them expectations in which to work with you. They will support you; they want to help, but you need to communicate this to them.
- Do NOT reward yourself until you have actually written something. Coffee, tea, music, checking facebook feeds, until you have written 250 words.
- Only when you have passed the 1,666 word count should you post anything on social media. Period. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. You only have so many words in you per day. Don’t wast them in facebook.
- Write that novel. Spill your guts. Bleed. Be afraid. Know that you are not alone, no matter how lonely it really is.
And when it is all over…
…come December you will package it up and send it off to one hundred lit agents and a bidding war will ensure.
Just kidding. Please, do not do this. (You would be surprised how many actually do)