Hello, SEers! It’s a Mae Day on Story Empire. Thank you for joining me.
In a few months, the writing world is going to embrace NaNoWriMo. If you’re new to the term, it’s a commitment that writers undertake each November. The goal is to write a 50K novel in thirty days. Accomplish that word count and you “win.”
Some writers participate every year. Some undertake the challenge once to experience what all the fuss is about, and others try it now and again. The best way to approach NaNo is to turn off your inner editor and write, write, write—then write some more. Forget about having tight prose, rich descriptions, strict POV, impeccable scene flow, and all the other polishing that makes a novel perfect. Fixing your manuscript comes later. In November the goal is to “vomit words” and create a story.
I’ve participated several times, “winning” twice, including last year. Unfortunately, the manuscript that I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2019 is unsalvageable. A total and complete mess. The good news is, I have several characters and a setting that I plan to use in a later project, so I benefitted from that crazy November.
This November, I plan to work on my WIP. Yes—you heard correctly. You don’t have to start a novel from scratch to participate. Traditional NaNo is done that way, but the goal is 50K regardless what you’re working on. That gives you the leeway (and permission) to stop sweating your current WIP and start unloading word count. Remember, you can fix the problem areas later.
Suppose, however, you want to start from scratch. Good for you! But don’t wait until November. In fact, you should be planning your NaNo project and strategy now. If you’re not already a member of the NaNo website, now is the time to join. Just follow this LINK. You’ll find the site chock full of helpful resources, including a whole section dedicated to NaNo Prep.
September is the time to start planning your story. Creating your characters, and constructing your plot and outline. You can find numerous tools and worksheets on the NaNo Prep section to guide you each step of the way.
You can even download the NaNo Prep 101 Handbook. What are you waiting for?
I admit NaNo is a massive undertaking, and yes, it can be stressful, but it’s something I recommend all writers experience at least once. It’s crazy, consuming, and fun! In October, I’ll be sharing tips on how to make the most of November and ensure you succeed at NaNoWriMo.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your experiences with this celebration of writing, and whether or not you plan to participate. Drop a few thoughts in the comments and let’s chat about it.
Ready, set, go!