Monday, 11 November 2013

What NaNoWriMo teaches me

On Books & Such, Rachel Kent gives advice for plotting a publishable book.

She asks, "What advice do you have for others who are trying NaNoWriMo for the first time?"

Pretty much, "Just Do It.  You will not regret it, even if you don't win."

I've done NaNo twelve times since 1999.  Only once did I not win.  This is my thirteenth go.

Things I’ve learned from NaNoWriMo:

  1. The biggest obstacle to writing a novel is getting the words down. The most brilliant ideas and plot are useless if nothing is written down.
  2. I can write lots. And fast.
  3. The more I write, the better my mastery of the craft. I compare it to practicing scales on the piano. Sheer practice will improve me.
  4. One does not have to start with perfection. Let go of that idea and the words flow. Words can be tweaked later.
  5. The more novels I write, the better I get at writing them.
  6. NaNo is good practice for that time when I will be a multi-book contracted author with a deadline.
  7. Clean draft can happen, but only after lots and lots of practice and intimate mastery of the craft.
  8. Pushing myself will reveal what I am capable of as a writer.
  9. For thirty days, I am not alone as a writer.
  10. If I can do this, perhaps I can do anything.

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