I’ve done several book-in-a-week and fast draft online get-togethers before, but this will be my first time doing NaNoWriMo, the mother of all get ‘er done drafting events. With less than 24 hours before my 7 AM November 1st start time, I’ve chosen a project and set up its Scrivener files. The remaining tasks today will be to finish steps 1 through 4 of a Snowflake Method outline and upload the synopsis (Snowflake step 2) to the NaNo site.
The goal for National Novel Writing Month, for those who haven’t heard of it, is to complete a 50,000-word novel in one month. It started in 1999 and has attracted a huge following in the years since then.
I’ll be using a mix of fast draft methologies, drawn from the following sources:
- Rachel Aaron’s 2K to 10K
- Chris Fox’s 5000 Words Per Hour
- Monica Leonelle’s Write Better, Faster: I have her Writing Productivity Bundle on Audible and in eBook, and there’s a ton of information on writing practices as well as using dictation. This is the book that started me on the path to using dictation to get more words out and cut down on my edit-as-you-go habit.
The key factors for me have been:
- Measurement and tracking. It’s tough to improve what you don’t measure.
- Voice dictation. Yeah, it can be messy until you get the hang of it — and is never perfect — but this is the fastest way I know to get the words out. On my PC, I use the desktop version of Dragon, and on my phone, I use Dragon Anywhere.
- The Pomodoro Technique. I’ve found that 25-minute sprints of writing, brainstorming, or editing bookended with 15-minute breaks (exercise, snacks, social media, whatever) are my particular optimum. 20 minutes isn’t quite long enough for me, and 30 is too long.
- Pre-writing. Practices like free writing and the Snowflake Method help me go into each sprint more focused. I get off to a better start if I have an idea which scene or other task I’m tackling right now.
Using the above methods, I range from 1,500 to 2,000 words in one sprint, and I try to do four sprints a day, which works out to between 6,000 and 8,000 words a day. During NaNo, I’m going to push for six to eight sprints a day, five days a week.
I’ll add a NaNo tracker widget to one of the sidebars before tomorrow. We’ll see how I do. 🙂
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