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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Write Hard and Fast

I'm cross-posting this at my own LJ and on 2005Nanowrimo.
I've heard a lot of people asking about how much they need to write each day, how to handle writing time with other life angst, and what a good writing strategy would be. And there are about as many good answers as there are people who respond. The truth is that anyone who makes the 50k goal had a strategy that worked, even if it was don't start until Thanksgiving and don't sleep till you're done!
Here are a couple strategies for different cases. First, my 12-year-old daughter. Her goals are an hour a day, minimum product of 250 words and a Nano goal of 10,000 words. I know she's capable of pumping out around 800 words an hour when she is motivated, so I'm pretty confident in her ability to meet the goals. But mine are a lot different. I didn't set the goal, but drafted the story outline and it looks like a 75,000 words story to me. It has 15 chapters (as far as I can tell). Chapter lengths will average around 5000 words. So my strategy going in is to write the first third of the book in the first week. Coincidentally that matches up with one half the 50,000 word official goal. I figure it is going to get harder and harder as the month progresses to keep up my writing pace and the commitments. I'm also a lot better prepared for the first third of the novel than I am for the rest of it. Better character sketches, more detailed outlines, etc. The further I go the more I enter unkenown territory as the characters take over the story. Sometimes the characters take a lot longer to decide what to say than I would like. So I try to give them a little more time toward the end of the month.
Now that's a lot different strategy than targeting 1667 words per day come hell or high water. I know some people also are motivated by having a specific amount of time they can devote to writing, i.e. one hour as soon as the kids are off to school and one hour after they're in bed. When you've got that kind of restriction, you just sit down and pound them out as fast as you can during the time you've got and hope you can make to total. Anyway you cut it, the strategy that is right is the one that gets you to 50,000 words by November 30.
Good Luck.

Comments

(Anonymous)

But isn't the idea to finish a 50k word novel in one month? And I mean... finish? Not just get 50k words down on paper/screen?
Logging in would help. :D

I could be wrong, but the way I read this the goal is 50,000 words of fiction (defined in the form of a novel being a single long work of fiction, not poetry or biography, etc.) and doesn't imply that the story has to be finished any more than than you can't write 75,000 words. Maybe a Nanofficial will weigh in.


"Write like crazy for thirty days. If you write 50,000 words of fiction by midnight, local time, November 30th, you will be added to our hallowed Winner’s Page, and receive a handsome winner’s certificate and web icon." How NaNoWriMo Works (in Ten Easy Steps)