NaNoWriMo advice from Justine Larbalestier & Scott Westerfeld …

November 4, 2009

Justine Larbalestier and fellow writer and hubby Scott Westerfeld are offering daily tips to participants in National Novel Writing Month. Justine is offering them on her blog on even days of the month, and Scott on the odd days.

Justine has some good advice today about worrying about word count: don’t.   She states the obvious, but the obvious is sometimes lost in the frenzy and angst of NaNoWriMo.  Some people write fast, some don’t.  If you’re thinking about your novel, you’re writing too.

A second bit of advice from Justine: enjoy yourself.

NaNoWriMo is mostly about getting words on paper.  I failed miserably the past two years, but I did get something out of it anyway.  You learn by failure, not by success.  As Clint Eastwood said in one of his movies, a man’s got to know his limitations.  I’ve always known I am a slow writer – I’m more of a revisionist, writing, editing, rewriting, editing.  The story changes as I tinker with it, and I tinker a very long time, years even.

This year I debated whether to participate in National Novel Writing Month, but made the decision to not worry about word count and a 50,000 word novel, and work on a smaller project instead.  Instant relief!  I’ve had this project in my head for a while, more of a novella, maybe 25,000- 30,000 word or so.  The subject, I knew, could not sustain the longer length.

What I’m discovering is that, while still keeping track of words, I’m also relieved of the angst of doing so.  I’m able to accomplish more – not in the amount of words, but in content and quality.    And the project is getting a bit more involved, so it might actually result in more words than I originally thought — but not this November!

Of course, it’s only 4 days into NaNoWriMo.  So we’ll just have to see how it goes.  Personally I think November is kind of a crappy time to schedule, and would prefer a more dark month like January or February, without holidays.  Ah well.

In the meantime, check out Justine’s and Scott’s tips by hitting the links above.


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