Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

Notes From the Field: NaNoWriMo Week One


So, tell me how you’re doing? Are your characters behaving? Are you happy with your word count? Do you still feel that low rumble of excitement that drove you to pledge to do this crazy thing?

Chris Baty said in his NaNo guidebook, No Plot, No Problem, that the thing you must do above all else in the first week is to lock away your inner editor. If you do not do this, you will find that little perfectionist tweaking every sentence. That busybody will have you running for a thesaurus every other word. You will never get to the finish line if you are trying to make your novel perfect during this 30 day sprint.

In week one it is important to ride the momentum. This will be your easiest week of writing while the adrenaline from the start of NaNo is still pulsing through you and your plot still seems like the best thing you have ever heard. Take advantage of this and try to get ahead on your word count.

It’s best to keep your story to yourself at this point. It is still in its infancy and your listener may not be as enthusiastic as you would like. They won’t understand the nuances of your characters’ relationships. You do not want their lack of excitement over your barely developed first draft to derail you.

Above all, do not delete. If you hate something, you can take it out later. If you hate everything, just start over where you are but keep the initial ugliness to use toward your word count. You can delete it in December.

You have to take the challenge seriously while not taking the writing seriously. 1667 words per day, that’s it. Not 1667 perfect words in a perfect order that will perfectly propel your stunning plot to its conclusion. Please keep this in mind. 🙂


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