I went to the NaNoWriMo meeting where Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, was the guest speaker. It was an awesome event! I was so surprised that there was not an empty seat in the room, and I had to sit on the book shelf 'cause there were just TOO many people there. *lol* He was an awesome speaker-- Humorous, alive, and witty. He shared several points in completing NaNo, in which I think I should share here too (pardon me if I sound insane, 'cause adrenaline of the day is wearing thin and my brain is shutting down >V<)
1. Keep a steady pace. You lose one day, you lose A LOT. Keep that fear of falling behind in your mind, and just keep on writing no matter what. You can write just ten minutes a day, or five, six hours, as long you write everyday.
2. Don't even WORRY about how suck your story is. The first draft is ALWAYS bad. Just worry about word count. If you're horrible and a bitch (ok, that wasn't his exact word, but... >V<), do something like this! Write a speech, then had the person listening to it be having hard time hearing it, and repeat it again!! It sounds corny, but it gets your word count up!
3. Focus on getting to your daily word count, and don't even start THINKING of a plot. If there are some characters that jump out and scream at you for attention, go ahead and write them. Chances are, at the end, you'll be able to tie everything together, and surprise yourself immensely. You might not like how the story had side-tracked, or how bad the passage was or even how ridiculous the character was, and he/she didn't even fit into the plot! But hey, you never know when you go down the road!
4. Take this challenge VERY seriously. Not only just for novel writing, but for anything in life. If something you have been trying to do for a long time, and you never did quite get around to it after your umptieth time of New Year Resolution. Sit down, and plan somewhere in your year, and take 30 days of your time and just focus on it. You'll be amazed on how the ride is. Don't think about the end, just focus on what's shortly ahead. It's like driving on the freeway, by yourself, without GPS or anything else, in the middle of the night. You can only see what your head light show you in front, and nothing else. So focus on short-term goals, not long-term. You'll be amazed at the result.
5. Write together. Have a challenge with someone. Get those brain sizzle up and working. Your brain, under impossible pressure, would actually jump into life and start working. Grab a couple of local friends, raid a coffee shop with plugs, and sit together. Whoever wins the word count by the end of the 40 minute session get a free coffee of their choice. It gets you under pressure, and it energize your brain. You'll find yourself write so much quicker and freely when you get home.
And finally.... Remember, it's OK to suck. Keep on working on it. Focus ONLY on the word count. You'll have a long time edit it later. And all of the books that you loved so much suffer through that horrible, insanely bad, first draft. Don't worry about your grammar, lock your inner critics, and forget about coherence or sanity. Your only goal is to let your brain go WILD, and as wild as it can be. Close your eyes, watch the TV, sing an opera... Whatever you do, let your fingers roam on your keyboard and don't even read what you wrote until you're ready to call it a day. You may have passages that you just want to vomit on, but you might find a diamond in the midst of the junk. That's the whole purpose of this event.
Chris Baty also wrote a book called "No Plot? No Problem!" about NaNoWriMo. I'm sure you can buy it anywhere. I got mine signed by him. >w< *heart* I'm kinda summarizing what Chris said in the meeting, and adding in some of my own. Here's something I found utterly exciting and thrilling about:
Remember the English teacher back in high school, junior high, or elementary school that you just want to STRANGLE them? Well, guess what? They have lower word count than you do.
And I am NOT kidding you. *LOL* Good luck everyone! *heart*