Five writing tips for NaNoWriMo

1. Push forward, not back. Ie, don’t worry about grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, gaps in logic etc during that frantic first draft. Once it’s down on the page, don’t look back. Revision can come after you’ve written “the end”.

2. Write for at least an hour at a time during NaNoWriMo but do not write to the point of exhaustion on any given day. There is a sweet spot for the imagination and it comes between one and five hours. If you write more than that in a day, you’re likely writing gobbledegook. Find your sweet spot and don’t write beyond it.

3. When you stop writing for the day, stop in the middle of a paragraph. Stop in the middle of a sentence. Better yet, stop in the middle of a word that’s mid paragraph. This way, when you go back to your manuscript the next day, you’ll have no trouble picking up where you left off.

4. When you are drifting off to sleep at night, force yourself to think of the scene where you last left your characters and ask yourself what are the variations of what will happen next. Go through all of the events of your character’s day the way you’d normally be going through your own. By doing this, you can train yourself to dream-problem-solve the next chunk of your novel.

5. If you write yourself into a corner, try switching to another character’s point of view. Or just leave that scene behind and start something new on a totally different day and scenario for your character. Have your character do something mundance like the laundry or picking up a prescription from the drug store. Soon your head will fill back up with ideas and you’ll be clipping along again.

Author: Marsha

I write historical fiction, mostly from the perspective of young people who are thrust in the midst of war.