No 'Lessons from Anime' today because its taking me much longer to write that anime nihilists post than I thought. And I've been writing other stuff lately. Namely 19,000 words of the fourth book in the HOUR OF MISCHIEF series in the last three days. And since NaNoWriMo is coming up, I figured this would be relevant.
I basically write via sprints. I'm not a slow and careful drafter. I attack the draft with all of my terrible first sentences and messy plot mistakes and useless dialogue and I just let it fly. Better to get everything down and edit it later than risk losing interest in the story. But writing sprints can be hard for some people, especially writers with perfectionist tendencies who like to edit as they go. If that method works for you, that's fine, but if you find yourself never finishing anything because you keep getting bogged down in the details, maybe its time to switch it up.
Writing sprints involve writing and absolutely no editing. They can help you finish a draft, even if its in an extremely rough form. But drafts are never final and it doesn't matter how many times you have to edit it. You can edit the book when its complete. You can't edit words that aren't there.
So here are some tips for NaNoWriMo and writing sprints and general!
1. Don't read. At all.
I know you might want to go back and read your work. Don't. Unless you forget if you mentioned an important plot detail earlier or not, don't. If you go back and read, you'll feel the urge to edit and you'll break your pace. If the last section you wrote is crap, you can edit it later.
2. Don't get bogged down in difficult sections
Having trouble with a scene? Let yourself breeze past it in a paragraph and keep going to more interesting stuff. You can even skip over the scene and go back to write it later. One of the hardest thing in writing sprints are transitions between scenes. Don't stress over them. Just go.
Not everyone is an outliner, but I always sprint best when I know where the plot is going. That way I can set goals and I've already envisioned scenes in my mind before I write them. When I finally sit down to type it out, it flows much easier.
4. Bribe yourself
If you're settling down for a big writing sprint, bribe yourself with rewards. I once bought a bag of starburst jelly beans and ate one for every 100 words I wrote. This makes the process of writing fun and tasty. And if you're good at writing sprints, kind of bad for you.
5. Don't Give up
If you get behind during NaNoWriMo, don't be disheartened. There's plenty of time to catch up. You might have a day you just can't write, but maybe you'll write 3,000 words easily the next day. Its a whole month. Don't beat yourself up about it, even if you ultimately fail. Writing sprints are a difficult thing to learn, and ultimately, as long as you get to the end of the draft, its still a win.
And that's just five tips to make NaNoWriMo easier for you! Get out there and write :)