Hey everyone! Today's my first vlog post for my NaNo Need-to-Knows series (click here for the list of posts as the series progresses). Right now, the vlog part is dealing more with survival strategies than technique (whereas my blog posts are more technical) so I thought I'd start at the very beginning.
The script I used for this vlog post is under the video.
October is here, and that means it’s time to start ramping up for NaNoWriMo. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month is a writing marathon where writers try to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November.
It’s something I believe writers should try at least once, but NaNo is hard. I’m not going to lie. This will be my eighth NaNo, and I still have days in November when I wonder why I do it to myself.
But I always end November with a sense of accomplishment because I always get more done than I do in other months, even if I don’t get to 50,000 words.
It can be a bit of an overwhelming experience, especially for newbies, so I decided to start a blog and vlog series about things you need to know about and for NaNo. Hopefully it will make the process just a bit easier for you. I will provide the links to my blogs below.
Right now, my blog posts are dealing more with some story tips, while the vlogs are dealing with survival tips. And since this is Week 1 of the series, I thought I’d start with advice on deciding what you want to work on.
So you’ve decided you’re going to do NaNo, but you don’t know what you want to work on. What do you do?
My first tip is: Write what you wish you could read more of.
If you have been waiting for a book to come out about a pirate mermaid in space and it’s just not coming out, that could be your sign to write it yourself.
Bonus points because of the fact that you’re already passionate about your idea.
Which brings me to my next tip:
Pick the story idea you’re most passionate about.
If you have more than one idea that you want to get to, make sure you pick the one that makes your heart beat faster when you think about.
Writing is already a challenge. Racing time to write about 1,700 words a day makes it even harder. Accomplishing this mammoth task with a story that feels like a punishment to work on because you’re just not that into it is going to make NaNo almost impossible.
So don’t do it to yourself. Pick the idea you love.
But what to do if you’re equally passionate about both?
Pick the most complete story idea.
Once NaNo starts, you don’t want to stop to rework a story idea because it turned out not to be strong enough to carry a 50,000-word story.
So pick the idea with the biggest goals, the strongest inherent conflicts and the highest stakes. If your ideas lack those, it’s a good idea to figure them out for all of your possible options, and then compare.
I’ll providing tips on my blogs to help you with this.
But then, what if both stories are strong?
What if you’re equally passionate about two stories, and both of them come with everything you’d need to ever make them both awesome?
Just Pick One.
Yep, you heard me. If you’re wavering between two ideas, you’re really wasting time you could be spending on preparation or worse, on NaNo itself.
So if you trust your ideas, pick which one you’re going to write and promise to get to the other once this one is done. Be decisive and commit to one of your awesome ideas.
Or Pick Both.
Now we’re venturing into Rebel territory, but if you feel like you can handle it and you don’t want to leave one of your stories by the wayside, write both concurrently. I have a whole new series worth of advice for people who want to do this, but there’s just no time right now.
It’s not for everyone, though, so tread lightly. But just keep it in mind as an option, because if you have your heart set on NaNo’ing and you just can’t decide, it’s better to add 50,000 words across two books than it is to not write because you’re still wavering.
Before you go, do let me know if you’re going to do NaNo and leave your NaNo name so we can buddy up. Is this your first time or are you a veteran? Do you have any questions? What's your best advice for picking a story idea.