Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo Redemption! Huzzah!

My Dear Reader,

The results are in: I won NaNoWriMo this year! For yay!

It wasn't easy; I slacked off for the first few weeks, so I did the last half of the challenge (25,000 words) in one week. That's what I call intense! So, I hope you will excuse me if this post is a little on the short side. My fingers are a little drained.

Those of you who have been following Plain Vanilla for a while know that this was my third attempt at the 50,000-word challenge. The first year, I nailed it, and I felt like I could do anything. The second year, I failed miserably, and I wondered if the first time I simply had something like beginner's luck. But after proving to myself that I can repeat my success, I've come up with some ideas as to how to win NaNoWriMo next year:
  • Pick a story that you can care about and characters you can fall in love with. If it's not fun, it gets a lot harder.
  • The more pre-writing you do before November 1st, the better. It's easier if you know what's you're going to write before you write it.
  • If your novel requires research, do the research well ahead of time. If you get stuck on the minor details, you can easily get side tracked from your word count.
  • Don't be afraid to just take an inspiration and run with it. If you get an idea for something that's ahead of where you are in the story chronologically, write it down while it's in your head and worry about piecing it together later.
  • If you're having problems writing from the beginning to the end, do snippets at a time. No one says it has to be a single, coherent story.
  • No matter how much planning you've done, allow yourself to explore as you write. One of the most rewarding parts of NaNoWriMo is when, in a frenzy of writing, you discover moreof your characters and story than you had previously imagined.
Well, that's all I've got for today; any more and my keyboard may charge me with abuse. Please excuse me as I bask in the glory of my accomplishment.

Regards, best wishes, and redemption,

-Cecily Jane

P. S. Excerpts of this year's novel are here, here, and here. There may be more to come on Friday!

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