Friday, November 07, 2008

Nanowrimo Fun

As I hit 14,000 words today, I breathed a sigh of relief. That's a ton of fucking writing to do in 7 days. It's very rewarding though. That's a great start to a book and it's pretty cool being able to keep such a rigid deadline when free time is at a minimum thanks to other obligations like working and playing with my beautiful baby girl. When she goes to sleep though, it's time to rock out the keyboard and add some to my google document. Hopefully I'll have it done by the time the deadline rolls around.

For the Nanowrimo novices out there, or even veterans looking for a hint or two, I would like to offer a few tips. I know it's presumptuous of me since I've only done it three times, so far out of which I've only finished once. Still, with one success, I can tell you what works for me and other people. In this case, it's how to get to the allotted words a day.

If you divide it down, you're looking at 1600 odd words a day, closer to 1700 really. That's not a ton, but it can be tough at times, especially as the hours of the waking day ebb. Some people like to sprint to this total. How, you ask? They write for several ten minute increments during the day. This cuts down on distraction and allows you to focus soley on the writing for this brief amount of time. It seems to work for a lot of people and if you have the ability and time to do so, it works well. I use this a bit during lunches, since I can crack out two intervals after eating quickly.

Usually, I just sit in front of the monitor and write until it's done. The downside of this is that there's not real rush unless I have a self-imposed time limit like bedtime or the baby waking up. That gives me time to slack, in which I'm usually not productive. However, I've gotten used to putting on Monsters HD and just letting things play in the background and type away and the words get done quickly. I did 4k today by doing that. It went by rather fast, I must say, and I still had time to read comics.

Another thing I do to help is actually write more than the 1700 words. I settled on 2000 as a nice and round number. This may seem like a no brainer, as if you're on a tear, why stop when you have so much in you? If you can write 2000 or more in a day, go for it. I do it because I know there are days when I won't be able to write at all, and instead of doing 10,000 words in a day (Thanksgiving 2007 I'm looking at you), this gives me the ability to take a day off without feeling like I'm slacking. If something arises, it gives you a security blanket. It also means that if you hit 50k early and you're still not done, you can still write more and possibly put an end to your opus in time, since come December, you may be burnt out.

That's all for now. I'm hoping to post the first chapter up here so ya'll can get a read of what I'm working on. I've read that a lot of people blog their chapters every day, but I'm not a fan of that. I'm too insecure, I reckon, and it also leaves you open to plagiarism. Regardless of what copyright you may have by posting it, it's easier to wait until you have it safely in book form or fully copyrighted, since proving that said rip-off artist actually visited your site may be difficult if you don't have proper tracking in place. Still, one chapter usually doesn't hurt and most people read it for free in the bookstore anyway, so what the hell. I'll see if I can post it this weekend.

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