fountain pen on spiral book
A blank page lies before me… Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

NaNoWriMo Day 1

So it’s the first of November and this year’s NaNoWriMo has started – just 30 days to write a 50,000 word novel. How there’ll be time to write a weekly blog on this is anyone’s guess, but this is attempt No. 1.

The kick-off

At midnight on Hallowe’en, as the spooks fled for All Soul’s Day, writers around Australia were starting on their masterpieces. The idea is to do as many extra words as you can in the first few days, to create a “buffer” so if you’re sick/lazy/busy/uninspired later in the month, you can take a day off.

Some writers like to plot their entire novels out in detail first, then just “fill in” the various chapters. My preferred approach is to have a rough idea of the plot and characters: for example A will be murdered, B and C will fall in love, D will solve the crime, and so forth. Then it’s time to simply see where it all leads as the wordcount progresses.

Research tip

One tip that can be particularly helpful is having a subject to research for your book, for example the French Riviera, bell ringing, secret societies in medieval Austria, and so forth. I do a little bit of this research before November, to get the creative cogs turning, then leave the rest for November. It provides an excuse to take a break and google, while still remaining productive and coming back “refreshed” to your draft.

Write Night

Another suggestion is to try a write-in, where fellow writers meet up with their quills and keyboards and motivate one another to get some serious work done. Here’s one at Mosman library next Tuesday (8th November).

Anyway, it’s back to the grindstone for now. It looks like Sydney is just ahead of Melbourne at the time of writing, so let’s hope that continues and we move into a comfortable lead. Even if we can’t all end up with a bestseller, at least we can outdo our Victorian cousins for sheer word count!