The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Finish National Novel Writing Month with a full novel


It’s that time of the year again. The month where suicidal amounts of caffeine and reckless self-endangerment become the norm. That’s right: It’s National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo.

For those WriMos out there who don’t consume massive amounts of caffeine and aren’t fans of reckless self-endangerment in the process of reaching the 50K mark in 30 days, here are 10 tips:

1.     If you do imbibe caffeine, remember to drink juice and water. Nothing kills a novel faster than dehydration.

2.     Take breaks. The only thing you’ll do after staring at your manuscript blankly is delete everything in frustration.

3.     Talk to friends. You never know when they’ll say something you can put into your novel, or just give you the will to hit that next daily word goal.

4.     Edit nothing. You can do that in December after the Thank-Goodness-It’s-Over (TGIO) party. It’s easier to reach 50K if you don’t proof read anything.

5.     Contractions are evil. You can add them in December or not at all, but splitting contractions up is a good word bonus in a pinch.

6.     Drop by the local meet-ups from time to time. Nothing will beat the energy of half a dozen or more writers in the same room, all trying to egg each other on.

7.     Organize a meet-up. If there’s not one that you can get to, organize one closer to home. You can connect with people and take a breather so your writing batteries can recharge.

8.     Plan for the TGIO party. Setting a tangible reward for yourself makes the 50K easier to reach, even if it’s just one big reward.

9.     Eat a cookie. You reached your word count for the day and you deserve one. If you didn’t reach your goal but you wrote some, then you still deserve one. You spent all day massaging cramps out of your hands, and you deserve one.

10.  Pace yourself. Even if you only write the bare minimum a day, you’ll still have the 50K in one month, and you won’t find yourself burning out or abandoning your book because you started to hate your characters.

One last piece of advice: If you start to hate your characters, kill them off and have the new ones solve the crime.


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