NanoWriMo 2015 Winner

I haven’t done much reading this month — only two books. I have been missing in action thanks to NanoWriMo and my 50,000 word goal. I am pleased to say that I accomplished my target on the 23rd of November – Yippee!

But I’m not finished. The 50,000 words will make up less than half of my fantasy novel and will need a lot of editing.

What I have learned from my first NanoWriMo:

  • My inner editor needs a good slap. I have trouble turning her off and the first week or two she kept whispering in my ear that there were typos, this sentence would read better if written a different way, don’t forget to describe things in more detail etc. Once I had her gagged, I was able to crank out a lot of words quickly.
  • What I’ve written is a first draft, so it doesn’t matter if the words that come out suck. As long as I have something down I can move from one scene to the next then come back and edit them so they’re different later.
  • If I set myself a daily word target that’s reasonable then I can hit it. I actually seem to work better with a goal.
  • Some days the words flow easier than others. I might only write a hundred words one day, but then crank out three to four thousand the next. It all evens out in the end.
  • Scrivener is great for being able to just move on to a new scene, then rearranging.
  • If I’m getting bored of my writing then I need to stop and write a different scene. Action and sex scenes, even if they aren’t included in the final product, help clear away cobwebs.
  • If I have writers block, the best thing I can do is step away from the keyboard; go for a walk or a swim, do some cleaning, or have a coffee — something to give my brain a rest. I’ll come back when I’ve got a clear head and won’t try and pick up where I left off. I’ll write a different scene. Whether it’s from the antagonists point of view, the MCs best friend, or even some backstory, or a scene I think would be cool. It sometimes helps to work out what I need to happen later on in the story and then I’m away again.
  • Pre-planning is useful, but I need to let the story evolve. Okay, who am I kidding, I can plot what I want but end up pantsing a lot anyway. If a story works better written differently from my original plan, that’s okay. I’ll run with it and see where it takes me.
  • NanoWordSprints on twitter are great for inspiration and support.
  • The writing community online is great in general.

Have you completed NanoWriMo, or are you still trying to hit your goal? I’d love to hear how you’re doing, whether that’s here or elsewhere. Good luck to everyone entering the home stretch.