For the past few weeks, people have been giving out advice right and left about how to succeed at at NaNoWriMo. For the new NaNoers or those that have never won, I’m sure that this advice is helpful. Then there are people who beg you to tell them every detail of how you get through NaNo so that they can emulate you. It’s really flattering.
But here’s the deal, folks.
There is no right way to write.
There is no right way to win NaNoWriMo.
Every writer is different. Two writers might find that a technique works for both of them, but that doesn’t mean that every piece of advice will work for every writer.
I see this:
- Listen to music with headphones
- It has to be quiet
- Tweet your wordcount to keep you motivated
- Do not open the internet under any circumstance
- Start with a character and have them dictate your plot
- Start at the end and plot backwards
- Plot everything before you start
- You have to outline to keep yourself on track
- Don’t outline or you’ll get bored
- If you don’t click with your character from line one, pick a different character
- Change plot halfway if it feels too hard
- Do not change anything, just keep going because you can fix it in edits
- Don’t fix typos
- Fix typos but don’t fix whole lines
- Fix whole lines, but do it by crossing out the old one so you can keep the words
- It’s only a NaNo project, so what you write doesn’t matter
- Think about each line, because it matters
- Use Write or Die
- Write or Die will make your novel suck
- Write by hand so you can avoid distractions
- Write on your computer so you don’t have to type it up later for verification
- Write huge amounts on the weekend so you can relax on weekdays
- Write 1667 consistently every day
- Don’t take any breaks
- Take breaks
- Even if you have five minutes somewhere, write a line or two then
- You need to have big chunks of time to really get into the zone
- Have a ritual
- Don’t have a ritual or you won’t be able to write unless you’re in that situation
I gave some advice for the #NaNoPrep blog posts, but I tried to make it general and to keep in mind that what works for some, doesn’t work for all. But I see so many people preaching their methods like gospel.
Here’s what matters during NaNoWriMo:
- You get to 50K before Dec. 1
- You have fun doing it
If you find that a certain writer’s past experiences help you get through your novel in November, that’s awesome! But what works for someone else may not work for you. So don’t stress that someone’s told you that you need to write during your five-minute break at work and you know that that’s not enough time to get into the story enough to write even a sentence.
There is only one right way to write: The way that works for you.
Lots of love,