Arts Lifestyle

How to prepare for National Novel Writing Month 2016

logo_of_national_novel_writing_monthIf you’ve been wanting to write a novel, this article is for you. November is just a few days away and it’s time to get serious about writing the novel that’s been stuck in your head forever.

Article by ChinLin Pan

Life is busy. There will always be an excuse NOT to write. So it’s time to buckle down and get to writing. Luckily, you’re not alone. Writers all around the world are doing the same thing as you through National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1,667 words per day! You don’t necessarily have to finish the novel as long as you meet the word requirement. 

Start outlining

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Courtesy of giphy.com

Everyone has his/her own process of writing, but I highly recommend starting an outline–even if it’s tentative–for their NaNoWriMo novel. From my own experiences, our daily lives are so busy, it’s nice to have an outline prepared ahead of time so I know which chapters or sections I need to write. This is especially helpful for days when you may fall behind–but don’t fret if you do!

Prepare your desk (or laptop)

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Courtesy of giphy.com

Some people prefer pen and paper. Some people prefer typing. It doesn’t matter which you prefer, I suggest you start prepping the space you think you will be doing the bulk of your writing. If you are writing on paper, get a legal pad (or ten). If you are typing on your laptop, computer or tablet device, start a NaNoWriMo folder and blank documents. Also, this is for both writers and typers: Sticky notes are a novelist’s best friend. Have those babies on your desk, in the kitchen, by the door, in your purse. When you come up with something and you don’t have your legal pad or laptop on you, write on a sticky note.

Set a certain time each day to write

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Courtesy of giphy.com

I’ve read so much advice from authors throughout the years. It doesn’t matter whether you are participating in NaNoWriMo or not, if you are a writer and you want to get your work published, you should set a certain time of day every day to write. Thirty minutes or one hour is better than not having written anything.

Find writing buddies

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Courtesy of giphy.com

Make sure you sign up officially on NaNoWriMo.org. There you will also find discussion forums and regional leaders in your area who lead write-ins. This is a great way to find writing buddies. Finding a writing buddy for NaNoWriMo is like finding a workout buddy for the gym: if you prefer having someone to do it with you, make sure you find someone before November begins!

Tell your friends and families about NaNoWriMo

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Courtesy of giphy.com

This is a must! Let your friends and families know what is going on. They’ll ask questions anyways, so might as well keep them in the loop. Also, this is helpful for when you find yourself falling behind. Your friends and family will help keep you accountable.

Go out!

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Courtesy of giphy.com

Take a walk. Go to the mall. Stop by a coffee shop. Observe people to get your creative juices flowing. You never know what you’ll come across that’ll make your brain click. This is especially helpful if you come across a stump during NaNoWriMo.

Hope this advice helps, fellow writers! Also remember that you are writing a first draft of your novel. Don’t worry too much; just write. Best of luck on your NaNoWriMo pursuits!

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