Stuff I Have Learned From NaNoWriMo In Convenient List Form

Coming to you from the shockingly tidy desk of Miss Cole, an actual blog post!

I thought I'd take a moment to share with you some of the lessons I have learned during my NaNo experiences from this year and 2011.
  1. Resist the urge to go back and add in extra scenes. That's what editing is for.
  2. Keeps notes.  Lots of notes.
  3. A little bit of a plan for future events isn't such a bad thing really.
  4. No, seriously, don't go back, not even to add in that really important scene that will totally add depth to that character.  Wait until December.
  5. And that plan for future events we just talked about? Try and stick to it.  I mean, you only wrote it yesterday!
  6. Don't worry if your characters don't stop talking.  You can silence them with action sequences when editing.  Hooray!
  7. Enjoy the dodgy quality of your work.  Revel in your cliches and your repetitiveness.
  8. Treat yourself for every target you hit.  Mmm, Fortnum's Royal Blend Tea ^_____^
  9. Don't worry if you miss a day.  You can catch up.  Turns out 30 days is quite a lot of time if your story really wants to be told.
  10. Write during every free moment you can find, but take breaks too.
  11. And enjoy those breaks.
  12. Sleep.
  13. Eat.
  14. Sleep some more.
  15. Don't be late for work.
How goes your NaNoing? ^_^


  1. Great list! I'm have those same temptations to go back and add in more scenes, especially in Darren's POV now that he's had a promotion. ^^

    I'm also revelling in the repetitiveness of what I'm writing too. It's actually amusing that I could turn this WiP into a drinking game.

    1. Last year I kept going back and adding stuff but it was such a mistake because I had changed so many things in random places it made editing a nightmare. This year, I'm just making notes :)

      Yeah, I'm pretty sure you could make a few drinking games out of my MS too.

  2. Great list! I need to be taking better notes as I go. I have a lot of them in my head--things I need to fix, add in. I just need to write them down.

    1. Thanks!

      I have to keep notes for the editing phase because this book is going to grow in certain places and I need to make sure I don't forget the important stuff ^_^

  3. Truth be told, I enjoy writing dialogue, and I think that's showing in my NaNo project at the moment! BUT... that dialogue is accomplishing two goals for me: 1) developing the characters, and 2) testing my plot to make sure the way the characters react to situations accomplishes the plot goals... or find out whether I have to change my plot, or change the characters.

    There aren't a lot of things I'm taking notes on as I go. I think when this draft is finished, and I have a better idea of whether the plot works, and what the characters are actually like, I'll write down ideas of what needs to change, what works, what doesn't, etc. After taking a break. :)

    Congratulations on your NaNo progress, Cole. Very impressive. :)

    1. Dialogue is such a great way of getting into a character and a scene. I'll take a lot of it out again in edits, but like you say, it's a great way to find out what will need changing.

      I'll be taking a break after NaNo too, then using a Transatlantic flight to begin the editing process ^_^

      Thanks! :D


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