“Deadlines mint miracles every time.”
If you’re reading this then my assumption is that you’ve signed up for NANOWRIMO and are gearing up for Nanoprep. If not then allow me to redirect you here. I don’t want anybody to be left behind okay? Great.
Now if it’s your first time doing Nanowrimo, the basic word count to win for everyone is 50,000 words which if you think about it mathematically is not actually a big deal.
With 500 words a page it’s literally just 100 pages, with not more than 556 words per session three times a day. For a first draft that may or may not need some tweaking, it’s a really great start for anyone. It however doesn’t mean that you are restricted to only do 50,000 words. Not at all.
You can do more of course. I don’t want to say you can do less because even though it does happen, (you start writing and somewhere along the way you just can’t seem to go on; trust me I know, it happened to me) you can still push through. You should push through.
They say that a first draft is all about you telling the story to yourself. So yeah, it won’t be perfect. Chances are that it might even seem rather horrible. Even if it is, it doesn’t matter. Keep at it. This is not the time to criticize, edit or rearrange your story. This the time to write and never look back, EVER, I MEAN IT, not until you’re completely done.
Now Nanowrimo has a system of calculating for you just how many words you need to do each day to hit your target of 50k. They’ve rounded it down to 1,667 words a day for the 30 days. Again, you can do more, but the point is to motivate you to not do less.
You don’t have to put out all 1,667 words at a go. No. You can take breaks, do what works for you as long as you hit the target of at least 1,667 words at the end of the day.
At this point remember, we just have the word count. Let’s assume that you have no story idea whatsoever or plan going forward. If you do, even better but no pressure at this point. Deciding on word count is more of you committing to doing this till the end.
1,667 words is very doable by the way. Like I said in my previous post, it was my very first time doing Nanowrimo but I still managed to win and when I started I was doing over 1,667 words, such that even on days when I couldn’t, I could make up for it and so can you.
So this is what I want you to do. November is a while away and there’s still time before you start to officially prep in October. But I want you to get a note book. It’ll be your Nanowrimo prep notebook.
Scribble down at the very beginning your word count. It can be 50k, it can be more, but don’t let it be less. Then attempt a mock writing spree. Write anything, it can relate to the Nanowrimo story or not, that’s for you to decide, but write until you don’t have anything more to write.
Then compare your word count to the 1,667 words of Nanowrimo and see how you faired. This will give you a clear foresight of what changes you need to do to your writing in terms of speed, where you write, distractions, breaks etc and allow you to plan based on all that e.g if you need to find a quiet place to write, set timers, reward systems for each 500 words or so, whatever works for you. Plus if you show yourself that you can hit it now it’s a really good boost for later, trust me.
I also know that you are busy and there’s stuff to do everyday so even as you evaluate your mock writing, check it alongside everything else that happened during the writing time and then come up with your own daily target to accomplish the 1,667 daily word count in lieu of your daily routine.
And there you have it, a very practical way to ease yourself into the daunting 50k word count. It’s doable, you can do this, so let’s start prepping, okay?
Your biggest fan,