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NaNoWriMo: Last Minute Advice

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

Hello writers! 

Here it is! The final three days before NaNoWriMo 2020 begins. How are we all feeling? I’ve finally started to get my planning together and am feeling significantly better than I did this time last week. It’s amazing what a little prep can do for your confidence! My planning so far has included writing out the important plot beats for my novel and answering as many “who/what/where/how/why” questions about my story as I can, and I’ve also created a brief character description for my main cast including their names… which I’ve always found to be one of the hardest part of writing fiction.

The KoboWriMo team has been preparing in a variety of ways, including reading books in the genre they’re writing in, creating lists of plot points, and writing their characters into alternate universes to get a better feel of how they behave. I asked the Kobo team if they wanted to share how they’re preparing or if they had any last minute advice; here’s what they had to say:

Plot plot plot! Having a rough idea of the beginning, the middle and the end will save you many hours of looking at your blank page in despair. And also – write, don’t edit. Just write. It looks awful, because it’s supposed to be. It’s a first draft, even Neil Gaiman has terrible drafts
– Vanessa

I am a pretty disorganized person when it comes to planning and organizing my writing, which I think is why I’ve always failed at NaNoWriMo in the past. Last year, Laura and I were attending 50 Books to 20K in Vegas in early November, which threw me off early, and I never picked it up again.
This year I really have no excuse, what with everything in lockdown and no in-person conferences happening, there’s never been a better time to start writing for real.
I decided to start a bullet journal (full disclosure, I decided this after seeing the PRETTIEST bullet journal at Indigo; I almost can’t bring myself to write in it). But I’m planning to start it in November and I’ve made a daily habit tracker that I’m going to use to keep myself accountable with. I’ll share pics later in the month to let you know how it’s going!

– Joni

Patrick Ness, one of my favourite authors says “Write any way” and I think that’s a key part of writing – sometimes the words will flow easily and other times each single syllable will be a struggle to get out, but whether it’s one word or a thousand it all counts. Whatever kind of day I’ve had I try to let that go and focus on my book universe, and write any way, anyway – and I always feel better for it. Also write for yourself no-one else. that’s enough. You don’t have to scry over hooks and trends and chase the “zeitgeist” just write what you need to, because you need to – that’ll help whatever you’re working on to stay true to your vision.
– Nick

Don’t get too hard on yourself if you miss one day of writing, or feel like you’ve failed because you didn’t hit your word count. I’ve abandoned so many nanos in the past because i missed one day and was like welp that’s it! I lost nano! Whereas really if I had just … kept on writing I would have probably had more of a finished product.
– Elizabeth


How have you been preparing for NaNoWriMo2020? Be sure to let us know in the comments, and follow us here, and on socials for more updates from the KoboWriMo team!

Good luck, everyone, and happy writing!

4 Responses to “NaNoWriMo: Last Minute Advice”

  1. Richard Murray

    I want to work on fan fiction for the first time. I will spend part of the month assessing the source material and then making a plot/character outline with world building elements. The structure of the story will be serial format. I will contain all my activities with in the month.

    Reply

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