NaNoWriMo … otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month has been going since 2005. It is a motivation to get your novel written in just one month.

I took part for the first time last year and completed my first draft of The Compassion Fire in just over the month. I didn’t generally write on weekends and mostly got my words down during the day when the house was quiet. I surprised myself! I wasn’t convinced that it would be enjoyable or realistic to get a book written in just one month, but it worked. That book was due to be released a lot sooner, but will be available during the month … I hope.

I am certain that planning played a massive role. The Compassion Fire is the final installment in a trilogy so I knew the characters, setting and had an ending mapped out. I had planned half the chapters and had a bit of a stumble mid month as I realised that I hadn’t finalised how I was going to get to my ending. Having a concentrated time each day, focusing on the book, helped me to create action and flow of the story.

It went so well last year, that this year I am going to tackle another book.

Things I learned from NaNoWriMo 2017 that I am taking into 2018 …

*Know your story – don’t ramble!
*Plan your chapters – you can use all sorts of programs for this … but I just plot my chapters in a table with the story line, characters and other important info that must be included.
*Become a hermit – well, at least be precious with your time.
*Don’t procrastinate – turn off the internet, move away from your phone … put aside the distractions.
*Go for a walk – I found that walking the dog was a good way to wake my brain ready for writing.
*Try not to watch the word count … but also watch the word count – celebrate the words you have managed to write but don’t be rushed in order to get to your target each day.
*When things get tough, keep going – you might want to give up, especially if you are having a bad day, but instead of giving up, take a break, change your scenery and then press on when you are refreshed.
*Let your story breathe – sometimes, while I write, I have a new idea or twist that appears, don’t be worried about including it in your writing.
*Don’t edit as you go … but edit as you go – you are creating a first draft, not a polished manuscript. I find that I need to do some editing as I write but there are some things that don’t need to be perfect at this stage.
*Enjoy your story – if you don’t enjoy writing your novel, it’s likely that a reader won’t enjoy reading it.
*Have fun – what you are doing is a massive feat! Celebrate the fact and enjoy the hours of being creative.