This was the first time of attempting National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) in November. I had written and rewritten the first scenes a couple of times, and after a bit of prodding and support from Global Wordsmiths plotted the book, scene by scene.
I’m so glad I did.
By having something concrete to complete each day, meant I just checked what needed to be done the night before, ready for the onslaught. I had the Global Wordsmiths intermediate (online) writing course half way through November, so had to work around that and they provided a writing lounge on zoom in the evenings to hold us all to account, and to support each other. With the result that I completed 88,000 words in 38 days. And finished the first draft of the novel, with the working title of Gammy’s story, but that will change!
So, the things that made the difference for me were:
- Support of others, being held to account and chat/ work in the evenings. Hopefully next year we can all meet up in person. Perhaps with a glass of wine and cookies?
- Planning as much as possible beforehand.
- Not being distracted by researching down too many rabbit holes. Did they really use the word ‘clit’ around 1941 in the UK, if they knew what it was of course?
- Not doing the scenes in order, but what I felt in the mood to write. Feeling angry? Write a scene with lots of conflict.
- Writing something everyday, even if it meant getting up at 5:30am.
- Using my best time to write for the more creative aspect. For me that’s first thing in the morning, so I’d do the stream of consciousness thing using notes on my phone. Then attempted to decipher the predictive text later in the day and write it in some semblance of order.
Anything else that helped you?
If you’ve done Nano this year, well done, and if you tried but didn’t reach the 50,000 words, you still got more words down than you started.