NaNoWriMo Week 3

2013-Participant-Square-Button~ By Melina Kantor

Hello Wrimos! Welcome to Week 3. Congratulations on being halfway to the finish line! In two weeks, life can go back to normal. Er, relatively normal.

Here’s your weekly dose of tips and inspiration. If you need more, click here for past NaNo posts.

It’s a shame we can’t send you coffee and chocolate. We would if we could!

First, here are some words of wisdom from Ira Glass, host of This American Life:

Second, here are some tips from NaNo veteran Elle Filz:

1) Have an idea of what you want to do going in, but don’t get too bogged down in it if your characters suddenly start taking you down a completely different path. It’s their story, let them tell you how they want it told.

2) The purpose of Nano is quantity over quality. Sure, Sarah Gruen did get “Water for Elephants” out of a draft she puked during Nano, but the journey of getting to those 50,000 words is the important part. Contractions are not your friend in November. Seriously, do not use them.

3) Along with that, there will probably come a point where you have an awesome plot point that is better than anything you’ve written to that point, but it necessitates going back and fixing the lead up. Resist the urge!! Again, forward movement!! If you must, just throw a comment or a note that says, “Going forward, Bob is the Prime Minister of Canada,” (or whatever it is that you’re going for). Write the rest under that assumption, and go back in December to fix the lead up.

4) Never cut words. If you feel a section doesn’t belong in the story and can’t keep yourself from cutting it, don’t hit delete. Instead, move it to an area of text marked ‘Things I cut.’ Not only might you use something later on, but those words might be the difference between winning and losing. Mark them, count them, cut them on December 1.

5) I love the social aspect of Nano more than anything. If you can, make it to at least one write-in. There really is something about a room full of clacking keys and collective insanity. There was one that I went to multiple times last year at a wine bar. That leads to….

6)…Rewards. Reward yourself. I figured out long ago that I write best for wine. Others write for chocolate. I usually pour a glass of wine and take a sip every 100 words. Small sips = around 16 of them = the 1667 to stay on track in the day. If I’m on a roll, I get another glass. Whatever it takes to remind yourself that it’s really all about a lot of fun and accomplishment, that’s the key.

If you have any advice to add, leave a comment.

See you next week. Meanwhile, for a bit more fun and procrastination, check out:



Write on! 🙂

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