Many writers, myself included, are busy this November trying to complete 50,000 words by the end of the month with National Novel Writing Month. As we’re closing up the first week of NaNoWriMo, I figured this was the best time for me to impart some of my own tips on writing. So without further ado, here goes:
- Don’t stress about a title for your novel. For both of my published novels, I used working titles as I wrote and changed them when the final drafts were finally written. The best title will come to you once you’ve completed your book.
- Don’t stress about names. If you can’t come up with a name you like, use a temporary stand-in: Husband, Brother, BFF, etc. Like with the title, the names will eventually come to you.
- Don’t censor yourself as you write. Even if you feel uncomfortable writing a section and are SURE it won’t make your final draft, write it anyway. The first draft is not the time to cut; it is the time to WRITE.
- Don’t edit as you write. Editing will come later, but this primary phase, this first draft, is just for writing.
- Don’t be afraid to tackle the main scenes early on. We often worry, “If I write that scene now, what will I have to write later?” But don’t let that hesitation stop you. When you get the idea for a scene, write it. It doesn’t matter that your characters have not yet made it to that scene; they will. And writing that scene will probably help you keep up the momentum of the story.
- If you get stuck, give yourself a break. Get up and walk around or do something else non-writing related for an hour or so. Once you get back to it, you’re likely to find that the ideas will flow.
- Try writing using a pen and paper instead of your keyboard. The act of writing by hand helps increase your creativity, so give it a try. So far, I’ve written all 10,000 words of this novel by hand.
- Don’t be discouraged when you know what you’re writing is crap. After all, you can’t find gold without sifting through mud. Just keep at it.
And my number one writing tip is: claim it! If you write, even if you never seek publication, you ARE a writer. Calling yourself a writer, claiming it, makes you take your craft more seriously. Say it: I. Am. A. Writer!
Good luck to all my fellow #NaNoWriMo2017 participants. May your imaginations run wild and your pens and keyboards be quick enough to catch up!
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