NaNoWriMo: Lessons Learned
I have to admit, I didn't make 50,000 words in November for NaNoWriMo. It is more like 24,000. But I did reach my goals:
Where most seasoned writers start off strong and hit a wall in the second week, I started off really slow. This may be due to the fact that I didn't know what I was doing. Story telling is also new to me. With an extremely low word count at the end of the second week, I had to pull some tricks out of the hat to get the count up and they worked.
I formatted my Word document to build a Table of Contents of my chapters on the first page. This helped because I could always go to the first page (Ctl + G) and simply click on the chapter I wanted to work on. This allowed me to hope around and not have to scroll and scroll and scroll...
I also used this to build chapters to outline my story. Although I don't think you're suppose to do this during NaNoWriMo, I needed the structure. It also boosted my word count tremendously! I would title the chapter, state the setting and time period, and then simply write notes on what was suppose to happen in that chapter. I had several plot ideas so I allowed me to plug all those into the appropriate chapters. I also used worked out my gimmicks. Every chapter was going to have a television in it so I tried to make notes about how that would come into play. The week I did this, I started having fun. I wasn't stuck with a straight line of telling a story; I could just around all I wanted, anytime I thought of someting.
Meet New People.
The Winston-Salem Writer's were big participants this year. I'd like to thank them for being so welcoming and generous to us non-members and first timers. We meet twice a week at Krankies with some of them and some non-members. I think all of them meet the 50,000 word goal.
Do Something Creative.
I admit, this was one of the hardest things I've ever tried to do. I don't know if I'll do it again next year or not. At least not without practicing a little bit more between now and then. Most writers say they see stories everywhere. I had trouble coming up with one idea. Maybe that's what I'll work on. Just making up stories. A great place to do that is Bruce Bethke's Friday Challenge.
Until next year? We'll see.