My first #NaNoWriMo

Writing a novel in just one month is a writer’s equivalent of running a marathon. November is known as ‘National Novel Writing Month’ aka #NaNoWriMo. This year, I decided to try, along with many others, and complete the first draft of a novel. Yes, in about a month.

The only way I was going to do it, though, was by making it fun. There would be no word counts and no stress. I would take one day off every week. As you do for a marathon, I prepared a bit beforehand, by reading a few articles on best practices, wrote a couple of pages in my character’s voice, jotted down several key scenes and then ran with it. All I did was push my protagonist into more trouble. I didn’t actually need to know how she would get out. That was her job.

If I started to look for other things to do (#NaNoWriMo is great for cleaning the flat), then it usually meant that something in the story didn’t work. I went back and pressed the delete key until it was fixed.

One month and five days later, my first draft with its 43,500 words was done. It’s looking good.

Things that helped me during this time were:

  • Endless supply of tea and cookies

  • ‘Thinking out loud’ on paper before starting to write every scene

  • Marking the research questions for later

  • Disconnecting the Internet

  • Cats (especially during breaks).

Her Majesty supervising

Key support during the ‘marathon’

 #NaNoWriMo was fun and I am tempted do it again soon. Especially since my new protagonist seems to have many stories to tell.