Nov 03

The one and only rule you need for NaNoWriMo…

Keep writing.

No matter what happens, no matter what goes wrong, no matter what noises you hear coming from Mummy and Daddy’s room late at night, do not stop writing. Especially with that last one, this is one time when curiosity is best left to fester.

That’s all you need to know to survive the month…oh, and have fun.

Keep writing and have fun.

That’s it, the only two rules you need.

Oh, and don’t forget to update your word count.

Keep writing, have fun, don’t forget to update your word count.

No point putting in all the hard work if you’re going to finish the month with an empty word count bar! You’ll have bathed in blood, sweat, and tears (eww!) to earn your count, you better bloody well be in a position to make those green pixels turn purple when it matters! That said, this is about making decent progress not just filling up a scorecard. No matter how much of a rush you’re in try and make the words count. Yes, I know NaNo is technically about quantity over quality, the one month of the year when you can scribble with reckless abandon and maniacally giggle as Word struggles to dole out red squiggles at an unprecedented rate…but you do want to have something to work with at the end of the month. I hope.

Yes, you’d have something to work with if you yanked your pants down and twerked on your keyboard until that magical purple length appeared *ahem* so to speak. But it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to edit it into a decent novel when December comes around. Try and find a healthy balance where you add enough words every day to keep up to the challenge but also quality is at a maximum.

1,667 words a day is enough to keep on track.

3,278 words a day is fecking brilliant!

But 1,800 good words are better than the word JAM written 3,278 written over and over and over again.

You are not Jack Torrance, you can’t survive the harsh November chill by typing “All work and no play makes [your name here] a dull [your gender here]”.

I can hear the word count fanatics giggling with glee at the fact ‘your name here’ is three words whereas Jack is only one.

Keep writing, have fun, don’t forget to update your word count, try to make the words count.

The only four rules you need to remember.

And backing up your work of course.

Keep writing, have fun, don’t forget to update your word count, try to make the words count, regularly back up your work.

I can’t think of a bigger setback than losing work halfway through the month. Apart from, of course, not being able to conjure up the words from the ether in the first place. If you need help, or advice, or support, or a drinking buddy, then speak up! Ask for assistance; request research ratification; probe for pint drinking pals; invite inquiries into your drafts. Be a chatty Cathy for thirty days and get involved in the community. Talking to people online can help, talking to people in real life can be a life saver! There have been a couple of NaNo years where I wouldn’t have finished if it wasn’t for the support of certain people. No names mentioned – I don’t want to be responsible for popping anyone’s overinflated ego.

Keep writing, have fun, don’t forget to update your word count, try to make the words count, regularly back up your work, engage the NaNo community…and Bob’s your mother’s brother. The only *counts on fingers and toes* six pieces of NaNoWriMo advice you need to make it to the end alive, intact, and with 50k under your belt.

Keep writing, have fun, don’t forget to update your word count, try to make the words count, regularly back up your work, engage the NaNo community, buy Steven a pint. Seven, that’s it, I swear to Cthulhu this time. Seven. The one and only seven bits of advice/rules you need to note down in your NaNo planno book.

Good luck!

La la la! I'm not listening, you can't tell me what to do!

La la la! I’m not listening, you can’t tell me what to do!

4 comments

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  1. 8. And having tried it you don’t have to do it again – unless you want to.

    I’ve opted out this year.

    1. You make your own rules post! I beat people with bunny slippers if they skip a year 😀

  2. I’ve opted out too – but it’s a great way to get a rough first draft done. Good Luck, Steve!

    1. That’s the plan 🙂

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