Within spitting distance of 20,000 words in my NaNoWriMo manuscript and I have given up on correcting my grammar because it takes too much time. 😱

Nearing 12,000 words and my shoulders are aching from typing so much each day. I might have to dictate some of my NaNoWriMo words this year!

My NaNoWriMo word count: 7,072. After the first 1,700 words, this story took a sharp left turn and I have no idea where it is going.

NaNoWriMo begins! For the past month and a half, I’ve been training for this by writing at least 750 words every day. I am feeling optimistic about finishing this year.

Tools and Tips for NaNoWriMo

We are mere days away from the start of National Novel Writing Month, so here are some helpful tools and tips for embarking on this bizarre journey:

  • Pacemaker allows you to set a word count goal for your manuscript and then a strategy like “Mountain Hike” in which your greatest effort is in the middle of the month. (That’s my preference, anyway.)
  • Workflowy is a supremely flexible and easy-to-use outlining tool. (Read my interview for more about how I use Workflowy to outline.)
  • These two Mythcreants posts by Chris Winkle have solid advice: “Outline a Short Story in Seven Steps” and “How to Turn Your Concept into a Story”. I also think that Christine Frazier’s day-by-day outline for NaNoWriMo could be useful if you’re starting from absolute scratch.
  • Scrivener is my software of choice. I used Ulysses for a while, but I missed features like the corkboard and the ability to snapshot a draft before revising. (NaNoWriMo participants get a 20% discount on the software, too.)
  • Don’t re-read what you’ve just written. That will engage your editor-brain, and there is no time for editing in November, only writing!

Share your favorite tools and tips in the comments. And good luck!