Skip to main content

5 Reasons to Try NaNoWriMo

Normally we give tips on writing, but this week I am going to change things up a little.  Last week I provided tips for writing if you participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  Since then I've had a number of people ask me why I take part every year and why it might be helpful for them to try NaNoWriMo. More than one person has indicated an interest, but the thought of writing 50,000 words in four weeks can be a little daunting. But don't despair. It can be done and you might find yourself enjoying it.

I know why I do it. I find that it helps me get a story written and November is a great month to do it. With the cold weather setting in so that I have to spend more time at home and because writing a novel now is a great way to wrap up the year and give me a sense of accomplishment, I really have grown to like the premise of writing a novel in November. So what are some of the benefits you might see if you take part in NaNoWriMo?

1.  Getting something written before the end of the year. As I noted that is a big reason I like to do it. After spending months promising to get some writing done, having a month when writing is my total focus really sharpens the writing edge for the next few months and gets me through the winter.

2. The long hours can help sharpen discipline.  The idea of having to write nearly two thousand words a day means you have to set aside some hours to work. Having to write that much for 30 days can make writing a thousand words a day seem a lot easier. That means setting a schedule and setting aside certain hours to write. All those words won't get written if you think you're going to write only a few minutes a day. Setting a schedule can help later when you think you don't have the time. Go back to the November schedule for a few days, or a full week later and before long you'll find yourself with a normal writing schedule.

3. Write that story you've been planning but haven't been able to start. Sometimes getting a story started is as simple as deciding to sit down and get going. By saying you're taking part in NaNoWriMo you can focus on starting on November 1 and just get going. That date provides a finite starting point and the idea of finishing by the end of the month gives you a definite date for finishing.

4. It can free you from your inner editor. Sometimes we get too focused on whether the words we're writing are good enough or all the mechanics of the writing process. Doing NaNoWriMo where the word count is all important can free you from going back and laboring over one sentence. Write it and move on. You don't have time to agonize.

5.  Finally, there is the final (even if it needs work) product. At the end of the month you will have a novel written. It may not be your best work. It will undoubtedly need editing, but it will definitely be enough to work on to get the novel in shape to be published.

For the next month I will be focusing on other NaNo ideas.  If you have something you'd like to share with me about your NaNo adventures, please email me at .  
And if you'd like to sign up to try it, here's the link --


Popular posts from this blog

5 Tips for Writing Romantic Suspense

My writing career started off as a romance writer but I soon got the urge to write suspense as well. As I explain to friends and readers, those bodies just started falling and they kept turning up in strange places to ruin my romances until I couldn't very well ignore them. I had to include them in my romance stories and have my hero and heroine not only fall in love but solve the crime too.

Why write romance and romantic suspense? The combination can be fun. Just when things get slow in the romance, I can always have the suspense ratchet up because someone is either in danger or gets killed.  The same is true in suspense. When the heroine thinks all she has to do is solve the crime, suddenly some guy enters the picture and she has to deal with all these strange romantic feelings.  The treachery by an author never relents!  We love to torture our heroes and heroines and test them every way we can.  Shove a problem in their way and then let them get out!  So what do you need t know…

5 Tips to Creating Characters

Let's focus on Characters!  I absolutely love to create new characters. Creating them from scratch can seem like a daunting prospect, but you don't need to do all the work. Look around! Use what you know and who you know. This is your chance as a writer to make that boyfriend with the small irritations into a perfect man ready for love. Or you can make that awful boss over into the total idiot you think she is and next she is the one who gets killed or fired. All you have to do is exaggerate some of those terrible faults or correct the bad ones. 

Okay, that sounds like such a delightful exercise, but there are other things to consider as you go about making up new characters.  You want them to be lifelike, but what could be easier than looking around you.  Here are five tips for creating characters.

1. Use what or who you know. This is where that boyfriend or boss comes in.  Look at the people around you and by taking their worst or best attributes you can begin to frame a rea…

5 Tips to Writing Dialogue

Recently I was talking to someone who wanted to try her hand at writing fiction, but she feared having to write dialogue. She said she could write passages of character description and location easily and she could even come up with ideas for scenes. But she feared having to make the characters speak.  As we continued to talk I began to show her how she could approach the problem.
“Think about what we’re doing,” I told her. “We’re sitting here.We’re drinking a glass of wine, and we’re talking.”
“But how would I do dialogue?” she asked. “How can I put words in other character’ mouths?”
I am repeating this conversation because that was my first lesson to her as I began to consider how to show her how to write dialogue.
11. Learn the proper punctuation and how dialogue is written in a passage. That is a good part of what was bothering her. She wasn’t certain of the formatting, and as I showed how it was done, that took away some of her misgivings.
2    2. Listen to other people’s conversation…