“Fellow”, as in I’ve done it before, five times, and I know what you’re feeling.
I won’t be doing it this year. Final edits of book 9 will have me flat out and I need to finish plotting book 10 before I start writing that one, (plus there’s this screenplay I’m trying to sell) but I am with you all in spirit(s).
So, some very last minute tips. (If you’re in Sydney, you may have already started. Huzzah!)
1. HAVE FUCKING FUN. This is not an assignment. You’re not going to get marked. Meet fellow writers, share notes and enjoy yourself. This may seem counter-intuitive for those of you who found it difficult in the past to grind out a 5,000 word essay, but it’s not an essay.
2. SPELLING DOESN’T COUNT. Not yet, anyway. Embrace the red wiggly lines. Fix them in December. Or January. A novel is, typically, longer than 50,000 words (unless you’re in the YA territory, then that’s a bit too long), so you’ll probably be writing into December to finish it, Ignore spelling, grammar and awkward phrases. You’ll sort them out AFTER you finish your first draft. Remember:
3. DON’T SWEAT THE COUNT. The objective of Nanowrimo isn’t really to write 50,000 words. Hell, it would be great if you did. But if you write more words in November than in any other month of writing, you will have won. Seriously. Not a patronising bullshit statement. For real.
4. THAT SAID, DO THE MATH. 1,667 words a day and you’ll meet your count. Didn’t make the count one day? Don’t beat yourself up. Make the numbers up over the next couple of days. Your friendly ML’s will be nudging you along the way, so you should have a pretty good idea of your count situation. Just don’t freak out over it.
5. FINISH IT. You probably won’t finish the full story in November. A few freaks do, but they write 4,000 words a day and aren’t human. S.H.I.E.L.D. is tracking them. Don’t let them throw you off. But, come December, ice your fingers and keep at it until you’ve finished your first draft. FINISH it. Have a conclusion. Be able to produce something you can be proud of. I can’t emphasise this enough. Finish. It. Then discover the joy of editing.
So enjoy yourselves. I’ll probably join you next year.