Tips For Succeeding at NaNoWrMo

Tips for NaNoWrMo

by Kent Ostby

A lot of you out there are trying to write a novel for the first time. I probably should have posted these tips a few days ago, but since I’m working on novels all of the time, I don’t really change for November.


Here are some tips I used to finish two novels and three other novellas.

Rule #1: BIC-HOK

The first rule of writing a novel is to remember BIC-HOK.
BIC-HOK stands for “Butt in Chair; Hands on Keyboard.”


Writing is about time not about talent. Good writing is about talent, but NaNoWrMo is mostly about finishing a novel. So get your butt in the chair, and write.


Rule #2: Pick something you are passionate about

It’s a long time from beginning to end so pick a topic that will make you want to write every day.


Don’t think about getting published. Write the book you love and if it’s good enough after the third or fourth draft then you will be able find an agent. Right now, you want to finish this book so make sure you pick something you love.


Rule #3: Have a method for storing ideas

If you like to jot notes on notecards, keep them with you all the time. If you are an emailer then email yourself.


Possible scenes, character ideas, or any other thought that you have about the novel need to be recorded. You can toss them later, but you’ll hate yourself if you remember a fantastic idea after the book is done.


Rule #4: Don’t avoid the hard chapters. Write through them.

You love your idea for chapter six, but you’d rather pull your fingernails out than write chapter five. When you finish up chapter four, don’t wait around and don’t delay, write the ugly, hard chapter. Push through it.


Rule #5: The answer to writer’s block is to write something

You write something because (as many authors have said): You can fix crap, but you can’t fix nothing.


So write it, even if it’s crap.


Rule #6: Keep your eye on the daily goal

Set a goal for a certain number of words, but keep in mind that you will get faster as you go. If you can’t quite make the required words at the start, don’t panic.


When I first started writing, I could do about 750 words an hour, by the time I finished that first novel, I was up to 2000 an hour.


Rule #7: Have Fun

You already have lots of stress in your life. Writing is a playground so play and have fun.


And good luck.


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