Friday, November 4, 2016

Secrets for Procrastinators & Pansters to Win NaNoWri

By Maureen L. Bonatch

Hey Peeps, it’s November. You know what that means. There’s one thing I’m always eager to talk about. No, not turkey day. No, not Christmas shopping (bite your tongue!) Okay, okay, I’ll tell you, it’s NaNoWri—National Novel Writing Month for those of you new to my ramblings.

I may have mentioned it before, and maybe one other time, and perhaps I couldn’t even stop myself from continuing to rant about it the month after it ended. But I have NaNoWri to thank for multiple finished draft manuscripts. Granted, before I incorporated a few of my following secrets to winning NaNoWri I had several years of failing.

Find Your Peeps

It’s easy to lie to yourself about how many words you completed that day, but not if you have someone to answer to. The year I joined up with other authors in Savvy Authors on a team was the first year I “won” NaNoWri. Since then I’m sure to join up every year. This is in addition to the NaNoWri site where you can find all kinds of writing buddies to cheer you on, but just be sure to give yourself someone to be accountable for a specific goal each day.

Be a Role Model

My girls both like to write and they’ve both participated in either NaNoWri Young Writers Program or NaNoWri for the past few years. The first year we did it together, I failed to meet my goal. That story, The Secrets We Keep, is still waiting to be finished. Every now and then one of my girls will ask me about that story and if I’ve finished it yet. Since then, I’ve put my nose to the grindstone and proudly let them share my journey to the finish line.

Toss Your Dictionary

For that month be sure to totally forget your dictionary. Just get the words on the page. Don’t worry if some sentences don’t make sense, or if you have to skip to another scene, another chapter (I write in highlighted captions such as “Add More Here” or “Move This Scene”)

Keeping your story flowing is all that’s important. That’s why I emphasized that at the end of NaNoWri I have a completed “draft” because believe me, it needs a lot of editing. But, as I’ve heard time and time again—you can’t edit a blank page.


Time is Irrelevant

You don’t have to set aside hours to work on your story each day. If you have the time, that’s awesome, and get some extra words that day in case you have another day that the words aren’t flowing as well. Although try to fit even a few minutes of writing time in each day to keep the story alive in your mind. If you only have ten minutes to write, take them! Write on your lunch break, or get up a little earlier. Maybe you’re writing an hour a day, but you’ve broken it up into four fifteen-minute segments, and that’s fine.

One Word—Sprints

You can find times sprints at almost any time, or you can start your own, on Twitter. If you’ve teamed up with other writers it’s a perfect opportunity to suggest planned and impromptu sprints. A sprint consists of a determined time frame of when you’re going to just write. No editing, no stopping, no surfing the internet. You just let the words flow and write as much as you can as fast as you can.

Prepare Your Family

This will be my Ninth Year participating in NaNoWri, and I plan for it to be my Fifth Year Winning. There are tons of articles about preparing your family by making meals ahead of time, assigning your chores to the kids or the hubby or eliminating activities you usually do. I don’t do any of that. I should, but I don’t.

I only have one requirement from my family and that is to let me “get my words” for the day. I strive for 1,667 words per day (or more!) to make it to 50,000 by the end of the month. My constant muttering must’ve worked because the hubs is now programmed to ask no questions when I lug the laptop with me announcing I must “get my words.” Then this year, for the first year, before November even arrived hubs said, “Is that NaNo thing going to start again?”

So to all of you who might have a book (or another book) in you, here’s your time to get it out!


Grandma Must Die is one of my Previous NaNoWri Winners!

Get Your Copy Here: 

Carman has worn out more towns and last names than impractical shoes protecting the secret of her magic blood. But when a friend goes missing, and another is infected with a deadly spell, Carman must choose. Expose her magic blood by curing the spell—or stop the infection from spreading by killing the source…the grandmother.



Besides Thanksgiving, NaNoWri is my favorite thing about November. What’s your favorite thing about November?


About Maureen
Maureen writes stories in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania that boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world. She writes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.




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12 comments:

Diane Burton said...

Good luck, Maureen. I admire anyone who does NaNo. My fav thing about November is my wedding anniversary. 44 years and still together. :)

Maureen said...

Thanks Diane. Happy Anniversary!

Francesca Quarto said...

Loved reading your adventures in the "Scribbler's art! I too plop my posterior in front of the computer whenever I can snag a spare minute and that seems ok with my oft lazy Muse! Thanks for sharing!

Francesca Quarto

Maureen said...

Thanks for visiting Francesca!

Judy Ann Davis said...

I wish I could do NaNoWri, but November is always a busy month in our household. And, the one thing I did learn was that if I hurry or force myself to write, I get a lot of garbage and I end up throwing it out. :-( Good luck with your project. Keep us updated!

Maureen said...

Thanks for stopping by Judy! I've sometimes thought NaNo might be easier in Jan or Feb ;)

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

My first year! Sage advice! I am in Savvy, too, and I'm writing every day, though not "posting to NaNo" every day. I know, I have to get it on there. You go, warrior writer!

Maureen said...

Thanks Elizabeth. Good luck with NaNo! I find the Savvy groups very helpful.

Nancy Gideon said...

I wrote my first four books on that typewriter!! Here's to anything that gets butt in chair, hands on keys and words on screen!! Congrats on the win, Maureen and the inspiration!

Maureen said...

Thanks Nancy! I love the old typewriters but I don't miss using them, lol!

CJ Burright said...

Great tips, Maureen! :)

Maureen said...

Thanks CJ! I appreciate you stopping by!