Monday, November 18, 2013

#NaNoWriMo Steps for Success

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? If you are, to be on track, you should have hit your half-way point (25,000 words) by now. BUT that's only if you are writing steady. Some of us write more sporadically, each day a varying word count. It's okay if you're behind - maybe you plan to pull out all the stops during the second half of the month. You have two more weekends and plenty more time so DO NOT QUIT.

To get your "NaNo Winner" badge, you have to hit 50,000 words BUT to feel proud of your accomplishment and to have a product worth publishing, all you have to do is WRITE - regardless of your word count at the end of the month.

If you're like me though (or any bit competitive) you want to WIN! I first participated in 2012, completed the 52,000 words and went on to publish the book "HOLD MY HAND" in April 2013. My goal is to do the same this year. So, here's what's worked for me in the past and some tips that might help you...

Write Every Day.
Even if you don't write a lot one day, always write something. And if you don't feel like it, do it anyway. Writing leads to writing. Once you get started, sometimes the words begin flowing out of nowhere. Write every day.

Create Milestone Goals.
50,000 is a big number. Create milestones -5,000-10,000-15,000-25,000- made up of smaller goals that you can celebrate along the way. It's also less overwhelming to think of the month in stages. Try having weekly goals.

Have a Writing Buddy.
Writing is a solitary venture which sometimes makes it hard to be accountable. Make friends on NaNoWriMo through Writing Buddies, an on-line networking service as part of NaNo. You can message with them to share your goals and get advice and encouragement. Or there might already be an author you know also doing it - connect once a day to compare progress.

Track Your Progress.
Use the NaNoWriMo website to keep track of your word count. It's motivating to watch the count climb throughout the month. You'll see how even just a little a day adds to your total word count. It's a great affirmation!

I'm hovering at 29,000 words right now. And I promise that I'm speaking from personal experience because I'm using these tips I suggested to you. If you want to look me up, I'm happy to be your buddy!
Here's a snippet from my NaNo Project 2013 "Ivy Intertwined". It's my first venture into New Adult Romance and I'm having fun with it. This is in it's rawest form with no editing, proofing or polishing. Enjoy at your own risk! 
Ivy hesitantly steps off the ferry and gazes around, careful to keep her eyes averted from those around her. She might be looking for someone but she might also be hiding from someone. To her relief, nobody approaches her and she recognizes no one. An older man passes her by. A girl about her age runs to meet the handsome man who shared her view of the ocean on the ferry trip across the water.
To the common observer, Ivy appears untouched by the happy people around her but that’s not true. She’s touched. Inside. It’s there, where she’s nearly hollowed out at the same time growing more full with life. A new life that meant giving up an old life she adored. An exchange-one loss for another loss-that will be made even in the end when Ivy will find herself alone.
She snatches up her bag that the crew tossed off the boat into the pile of suitcases accompanying the passengers to the island and begins a pace inward towards town. She carries just one bag, large enough only for an overnight trip. It’s not nearly enough but it was all she could manage. Ivy just needed to escape.
Passing through town quickly, she doesn’t stop to look in the shops or seem to notice the string of people stopping to rent mopeds. Soon enough the island will be flooded with tourists buzzing along the quiet country roads, creating a stir in the willows. By then, Ivy will be tucked away in a place that feels more like home than any place she knows. Needing none of these things tourists need, she looks out past the small town and sets her eyes on the open land ahead. In the distance, she sees a small gray house and smiles.
As she gets closer, the small gray house opens its door to her.  Her grandmother waves as Ivy walks up the path to the old house.
If you're participating in NaNoWriMo and would like to share a snippet of your project, please do so in the comments. Keep it under 500 words so we can read one another's excerpts without taking too much time away from our own WRITING!

Now, get back to it. Go Write.
Paloma