Sunday, October 7, 2012


It's about that time of year again.

The NaNoWriMo website rebooted not too long ago, the forums are already up and jumping and I've already got a cover!

For those of you poor few who don't know what NaNoWriMo is, well, follow the link.

The awesome cover to the left is brought to you by Measa. I don't think she has a blog, otherwise I'd link you there.

Let's see, what can I say about NaNoWriMo?

Well, for those of you who don't know, it was started by  

Scratch that, you can read all that info on the website. Here, I think (since I have never crossed the 50K mark during NaNoWriMo) I will give you tips on what NOT to do during it.

Do's and Don'ts Of NaNoWriMo

Or any other WriMo, for that matter. 

Really, I only consider myself an expert on the don'ts. You know, cuz I've never crossed the finish line. ANYWAY! Disregarding that fact, I do have some tips that might help. 


  • Add buddies. But don't just add buddies. TALK TO THEM. Send them some NaNoMail, ask them how they're progressing. Offer to bounce some ideas around. I know a lot of people need that. Like me. 
  • Check out the forums. Seriously. I didn't last year and they would have been SO HELPFUL. They can be kind of confusing because of how fast they explode in size. But if you need help, don't hesitate to post. If you're not sure where, ask an admin. Or post where you think appropriate and if it's not, an admin will move it for you. 
  • Check out the Adoptables. Even if you think you have everything figured out. Check the Adoption Society threads. Much will be useless to you I am sure, but you can find a name, place, dialogue, description, any number of things that may spark ideas. Even if you don't use them in NaNoWriMo. 


  • Try to go at it alone. If you have no one holding you accountable for your word count, you're more likely to stop midway because something comes up, or put off writing for days on end and get so far behind you're unlikely to catch up. 
  • Smother flights of fancy. Really, right now is the PERFECT time to indulge. Want to follow the stream-of-conscious of a gnat? Go for it. A side character wants to steal the spotlight? Power to 'em. Don't railroad your characters. 
  • Expect it to be perfect. Just don't. You're writing an entire 50,000 words in a month. A lot of it is probably going to be crap. 
  • Reread. This is my biggest killer. If you go back and reread what you wrote the day before, you'll REALIZE it's crap and be disheartened. 

Other Tips

Uhm... I swore I had some. Oh yeah!

Stay comfortable. If you're cold, or sore, you're not going to be in a very writerly mood. Have a comfortable place (but not TOO comfortable or you'll fall asleep!), where you can plug in your laptop (or sit at your desk), put on headphones (even if you don't turn them on), and just write. 

Writing Totem. It's good to have one. I think the first time I came across the term was in Chris Baty's No Plot? No Problem! (He's the guy who created NaNoWriMo and that book is a How-To guide for making it through the month.) It's basically an outward sign that you're in "Writer Mode." I don't have one, unless you count my glare. 

ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS. Sorry to yell at you, but it's that important. If you're distracted, you won't write. Believe me, you may start off strong but midway into the month you'll have the "what am I doing?" thoughts. Those will lead you to procrastinate. Don't do it. Unplug the TV, turn off the internet, and throw away the phone. (Just kidding, but seriously put it somewhere you can't hear or get to it.)

Anyway! That's all I have. 

Follow me as I tweet about NaNoWriMo @ThatNerdyWriter
Or Add me as a Buddy on the NaNoWriMo website C.R. Trumbo

Good Luck Next Month! I'll be battling right along side you!

Food for Thought

Do you have any other NaNoWriMo Tips? Leave them in the comments!

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