10 Tips for Writing a Novel in a Month!
It’s that time of year again. National Novel Writing Month! For those of you participating in the 30 day endurance test that is NaNoWriMo, I have a few surefire tips that will help you survive all the way to the end of November with an intact manuscript.
- Make a Plan. Even if you’re like George RR Martin and like to let your story develop organically, making an outline helps keep you on track. Unsure of where your story should go next? Consult the outline! You can always make adjustments to the plan as you go but if you ever find yourself lost in an angry mob of words, you’ll be glad you made an outline.
- Stick to Your Goal. To write 50,000 words in 30 days, you need to be completing at least 1,667 words a day. Don’t let anything stop you from hitting your word count. Get off the internet. Put your phone on silent. Ignore those sirens. To do that, you’ll need to . . .
- Set Aside Time. Get up early and write before work or stay up late after the kids go to bed. However you do it, you have to make the time to write. Hopefully in a quiet, isolated place where you won’t be interrupted by intrusive friends or the intermittent sound of distant gunfire.
- Gather Supplies. Basic survival supplies will be crucial for those 30 days. You don’t want to have to make a run to the grocery store in the middle of your designated writing time. The shelves will be picked clean by the time you get there. Always have the basic necessities on hand. Stock up!
- Buy a Gun. When your supplies run out, you may have to depend on the land for your very survival. There will be a lot of desperate people out there. A gun could mean the difference between finishing and not finishing your novel.
- Conserve Resources. There will be no way to tell how long the global ash cloud will block out the Sun. Could be months — even years. Ration all medicine, food, and water supplies. Uncontaminated drinking water will be in short supply. Always save two bullets: one for you and one for your unfinished novel.
- Live on Your Own. Civilization will be mostly depopulated. The cities will be war zones. Any institutional safety nets will have been long since dismantled. Head for the mountains. Stay off the roads. Avoid other survivors. It’s just you and your novel now.
- Construct a New Language. One that only you and your unfinished novel can understand. Tell your novel pleasing lies. Use it to hide your greatest fears. May the perplexing symbols of your new language endure long after you and your incomplete manuscript are nothing but dust. Carve it into the rocks.
- Stay Positive! This may be the hardest part to writing a novel in a month. But a positive mindset can keep you going long after the rest of humanity has abandoned their novels and succumbed to famine or disease. Think good thoughts. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel! But most of all . . .
- Have Fun!