NaNoWriMo Day 10: My Top Ten Success Tactics

NaNoWriMo 2011, day 10

Today’s personal word-count goal: 26,664

Today’s actual word-count so far: 27,226

Ahead or behind? Ahead! Keeping up with word counts has actually been EASY this year!

Years I’m Writing About: 1998-2000, on my Facebook Page you can contribute your own words about these years.

I’m a three-time NaNoWriMo winner, and I’m way ahead on my word count. How do I do it? Here are my top ten rules:

1.    Never erase anything. The only reason I ever move my cursor backward is to add a space between words that should have a space between them (see #2 below).
2.    If a word can be more than one word, I make it so. And I never hyphenate anything: bird feeder, grown ups, latch key kids, one hundred fifty eight.
3.    While writing, I try to actually write every single thought that crosses my mind, even thoughts like, “I don’t know what to write,” or, “Ugh, I can’t remember that word.”
4.    If I think of a better way to write something I just wrote, I don’t go back and edit. I write it again, even thrice, until I like it, and then move on. So the draft might read something like this: I skated down the big ramp, no I flew down the slope of the great cement ramp, no I thundered down the wide cement slope, the meanest ramp I’d ever skated, and then smiled for the reporters.
5.    I write long, episodic chapter titles. They help me remember what I’ve written at a glance, and the long title helps my word count. Example: Chapter Twenty Seven: In which the main character Tallulah chases her new beloved girlfriend into the burning village and helps her rescue a house full of orphans and two old blind men and then they have sex in an abandoned barn at twilight.
6.   Everything I need to draft this month starts in my NaNoWriMo manuscript. I draft blog posts like this one, important email, and thoughtful Facebook comments  in my fastest NaNoWriMo writing style  and then copy and paste them elsewhere for editing. Consequently, everything I’m writing this month becomes relevant to my current NaNoWriMo project.
8.    I overwrite. I explain things and describe things several times, especially if it’s a struggle or I really want to get it right. I can always remove the less successful sentences later.
9.    I tell everyone. I answer every “How do you do?” with an announcement or a reminder about this crazy thing I’m doing.
10.   I give myself pep talks and talk to myself, right in the manuscript: I am at 12,000 words! I am doing great.

Get a piece of the action. There are several ways to participate in NaNoWriMo. Support the do-gooders who run this free event online by making a donation to the Office of Letters and Light on my fundraising page. And visit the The Sexy Grammarian Facebook Page to contribute your own words to my daily word count.

    • Chantal
    • November 23rd, 2011

    This is great advice, especially for a first time wrimo feeling subconscious about her writing. Thank you!

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