How are you guys doing with your NaNoWriMo targets? I’ve been working as hard as I can but I’ve fallen behind a little. By the end of today I should have reached the 40,000 mark, but I’m currently only on 34,000, which is quite a shortfall. I think I can make it up – I hope I can make it up – but I’m not too worried if I don’t. The whole point of this for me was to kick-start my MA novel, and to that end it’s already been amazingly helpful. I’ve just had a tutorial with my brilliant supervisor, Nicholas Royal, and I’m really in love with my new novel, even though there is still a lot of work to do, of course!

So, as we head into the final week of NaNo – the final stretch – here are some words of advice (mainly for myself!) on how to up your word count:

  • Try not to be perfect. Editing is a job that will still be there waiting for you at the end – there is nothing you can do to avoid it. So don’t worry so much about making these words perfect right now. Just get them down.
  • Have an idea where you are going. Try not to finish one chapter and then start the next thinking: Okay, what now? Carry your notebook with you, and when you get chance jot a few notes for the next chapter, the next scene, or just where your story is headed.
  • Sit your bum down and just do it! Don’t watch TV in the day, don’t write blog posts (oops), don’t allow yourself to get distracted. Don’t answer the phone, or look at texts. Or read emails. Just write.
  • Conversely, have the odd break from writing. Go for a walk. Look, it’s sunny, why not go for a walk right now?

Okay, I’m off (for a walk) 🙂 Let me know how you are doing in the comments below, and I’ll be back next Monday to report on my NaNo achievements – whatever they are.