It’s been a week since starting NaNoWriMo. Right now you’re still feeling great, and the words are flowing freely. Idealistically, tonight, you’ll be sitting pretty around 11,669 words. That means you’ll roughly be around the 23% completion mark. Congratulations! You’re almost a fourth of the way there. Some of you might have even plowed ahead, you’re farther along, and that’s awesome! This week we want to provide some pieces of advice to take with you heading into the second week.
First? Just keep writing! If you’ve created a schedule for yourself, you might start feeling like you can cheat on it. That you still have SO MUCH TIME that you can slack a little. Don’t fall for it. Override those procrastination-related thoughts and write, write, write.
Use your senses! You have five of them: taste, touch, hearing, smell, and sight. This is your chance to unapologetically use all of them to describe a scene. Who knows if all those details will remain after editing, but the idea is that you’re taking the time to write it down now; you can evaluate its usefulness later.
You’re hovering around the 25% point in your novel. This is where your main character should be “going through a door” and entering into the main conflict. If you haven’t made that move just yet…you might want to be thinking about it soon for plot purposes. Besides, introducing the main conflict and having your main character go after it will give you a whole slew of things to consider and write about for the rest of the month.
If you’re stuck or experiencing writer’s block: take a step away from the computer. Go for a walk…or take a shower. So many authors have said they’ve solved issues or come up with great ideas in the shower. It’s a magical place. Added bonus? It’s relaxing. Come back to your novel with a fresh, open mind.
Try something you’ve never done before. NaNoWriMo is the time to experiment. If you find you’re struggling, toss in a twist you’ve never written before that shakes everything up.
Make use of the NaNoWriMo forums. This adventure isn’t an easy one to go alone, and you’ll find many people to talk and commiserate (and celebrate!) with online. They also make it easy for you to try and find people in your area that you can meet up with and write together in person.
Hopefully some of these thoughts are helpful. We’ll have some more bits of advice each week this month. So stay tuned for more next week. You can always follow us on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook for more bookish-related articles and images.
– Chelsea Maya