Notes on NaNoWriMo*

Here are the mantras I have accumulated so far this year.

Start in the middle. Not necessarily the middle, but not the first line. The first line is going to change later when you know what the book is actually about, so for now, just start telling the story. You can spend hours anally choosing the first ten words of the manuscript later.

Concentrate on writing pieces for now. You don’t know the story yet, so don’t get bogged down in the how or the why. Just write the scenes in your head. You can always reorganize later. Again, just tell the story. There is time later for fleshing things out or removing the extraneous.

Messy is OK. Be messy! This is the time to stumble. To let your tongue (or your fingers, as the case may be) trip over words. Sometimes it takes a couple crappy paragraphs to get a groove, and some things that seem true now might not be true later, but for now, get it out and be sloppy about it. You’re at the kids table. Feel free to blow bubbles in your milk and slurp your b’sghettis.

Think in contrasts. Make your characters contradictory and complex – i.e., human.

Some days you just can’t win. Life happens, crappy writing happens, the Pats lose sometimes – it is what it is. Don’t get stuck, because tomorrow is another day, and there’s plenty more crap where that came from.

* NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a novel (50,000 words) in a month.

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