November is an exciting time for many writers, for it is the month of NaNo!! A month of writing 1,667 words a day – every day – to reach a target of 50,000. Once you know what Nano stands for, your life will never be the same again. Every November, the whisper will rise nano –nano – is coming. Will you answer the call?
Ok, I might be exaggerating a little bit. Nano is National Write a Novel in November, often NaNoWriMo, with participants being wrimos. Entry to this experience can be found at https://nanowrimo.org/ where you can login and explore.
There are lots of people that are passionate about Nano, but a lot hate it as well. The pressure is not for everyone, and fast writing may not suit you or your style. So if it sounds terrible to you, well most likely it will be. But many things in life can be surprising.
The sheer intensity of this experience is something that makes the month worthwhile. Sure, there will be times when the words halt, when too much coffee gives you the jitters, but out of it – in only a month – you have a novel that did not exist in October.
Your family – remember to talk to them, not at them about your novel. Quite early on they are secretly wishing you printed a copy of the novel so they could beat you over the head with it.
Housework – get ahead, freeze meals, etc. Use housework as thinking time, otherwise the house will look like a tornado by Christmas.
Self care – Nano is hard, so have a think about when you can write best. Slot in some exercise to combat all the coffee and snacks that disappear down your cake hole during November.
Book planning – even if you are a pantser, I recommend some basic plan, worked out before Oct 31. Images, snatches of dialogue, and getting a document prepared with chapter headings will make for easier writing.
Log your word count on the nano site, and add in a few buddies for mutual support. There are usually a few stages to get through, starting with blind panic / overconfidence, flowing into this is an awesome novel. This merges into this is terrible, I can’t think of anything. Power through all the stages, making sure you are backing up your work, being nice to your family and taking some time to exercise.
Whatever the result, you will have more words than you did in October – that is an achievement. Write down any further notes, and backup and name all your files properly.
This is a good time to reflect on what you learned. Was it too high pressure or did you love it? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do ninja pirates belong in a romance?
See you on the other side!
Cindy Tomamichel is a multi genre author, with her SMP series Druid’s Portal a time travel action adventure romance set in Roman Britain.
Short stories of fantasy, scifi and romance can be found on her website, where she blogs on aspects of world building.
Contact Cindy on