So you're writing during NaNo because NaNo is awesome and you're awesome for doing it. However, unlike this other bang bus full of epicphail losers, your novel is not only going to get picked up, but it's going to rocket to the top of the charts. Not because you worked any harder, but because you know the secrets to unlocking your the full talent of your creative genius.
They say genius and talent can't be taught. But they only say that because they don't want you learning the secrets--which I know and will share with you. Your NaNo book is going to get published because you have the inside track to absolute unadulterated awesome.
First of all, I assume that you have everything you need to get started and that you're not working with sub-standard materials. If you do that, it really won't matter how hard you work or how many words you write per day; it's just going to turn out crap. Shitty equipment produces shitty writing. Next, I hope you've taken some of my ongoing advice on how to be famous. If you're not doing these things, you could have a time machine and a copy of the complete Harry Potter series, but you're not going to be publishing a novel this November. However if you have knocked these "pre-flight" requirements out, you're ready to write a bestseller.
And what better time to write a bestseller than NaNoWriMo?
So here's the best advice for how to actualize and maximize your potential and turn your NaNoWriMo into pure gold. You may not have your book on the shelf for a couple of months, but follow my advice, and you will be able to spend your massive advance on Christmas shopping.
Seriously, I hope your friends like Rolexes.
1- Don't worry about your health. It's not like thirty days is REALLY the long haul. You can risk caffeine psychosis and heart problems between now and then. Hallucinations are good for your creativity! If it were legal, I might even recommend crystal meth or cocaine. You know....IF IT WERE LEGAL--catch my drift? (~wink wink~) Nothing rocks your creative casbah like a little nose candy. Just ask Stephen King! You want to be like Stephen King, don't you? Besides...who gets hooked on drugs after only thirty days of steady use, right? You'll be fine.
I mean....IF it were legal, of COURSE. ~artless whistle~
2- Make NaNo work for you as you work for NaNo. If you are not the kind of writer who can hammer out writing at a fevered pace, like 1667 words a day, stop not being that kind of writer and be AWESOME instead. Buck up. This isn't National Whining About Your Novel Month. But don't worry.... If you pull this off like I'm telling you, it will be the only real work you have to do.
Until you're ready to write your NEXT bestseller, of course.
3- Don't set aside time. The worst thing you could do is plan and schedule and turn this into some banal chore. That will just sap all the joy and enjoyment right out of the whole thing and leave you creatively bankrupt when you need it most. For fuck's sake, you're an artist. If it doesn't feel like cloud surfing on a rainbow, then your writing is just going to be crap.
The best thing you can do is to spend a lot of time thinking about your novel, outlining your novel, researching minutiae details for your novel, character sketches, and all kinds of things that aren't writing but put you in the mood to write. Then surf the wave when the mood seizes you.
4- Do not stray from the path. NaNo has a lot of rules that you might be tempted to break. Don't. Art isn't about individual expression; it's about following the rules to the letter. Follow the NaNo regimen strictly, and you will erupt into a world of endless possibilities.
I mean if you want some freeform bullshit soup, why would you do NaNo at all? Just go play with the letter magnets on your fucking refrigerator and let the adults make some serious art, okay?
5- Be vocal about what you're doing, especially to professional writers. You of all people know the power of words. Don't water down what you're accomplishing here. Tell everyone (whether they ask or not) that you're writing a novel. Put stress on the word novel and say it multiple times. Work the word novel into conversations.
If someone tells you that they're a writer, become even more enthusiastic about how you are writing a novel. There is a very good chance that they will become so blown away by your sheer universe-altering will about your novel, that they will probably introduce you to their agent. If you say it, you give it life. So talk about your novel as much as you can. Novel.
6- It's okay to stop after two weeks. If writing is starting to feel like work instead of creative fairies flitting about on your nips, you're doing it wrong. This isn't about discipline or effort. This is about creative genius. If you keep trying to write after it starts to turn into a chore, you're just going to write a bunch of uninspired crap.
By two weeks, you've got the main chunk of the beginning done, and any publisher is going to be able to see that it's absolutely genius. Don't worry about writing the entire thing out completely. That's for later. Once you have the advance, you can get to work on the rest of it--or better yet, the publisher will probably assign you a ghost writer who you can just describe what's going to happen and they will do the tough writing part.
1- First of all, you should not revise. Revision is for people who didn't write a good story in the first place. You already know your story is awesome. A lot of people talk about revising their story, but you can tell that deep down they know they've struck mental gold. That's what the team of editors that your publisher will assign you is going to do.
2- Don't even worry about that polish. "Polish" is just code for "I don't have confidence in my abilities." Polish is code for "I didn't write an awesome story." Are those things true? If they are, stop wasting your time reading this article, and go play with your coloring books.
3- Submit your novel right away. The rush of NaNoWriMo manuscripts is about to hit publishers everywhere. You don't want to get caught in this rush of losers. Even though your awesomeness will stand out, anyone can get a bad break if they're manuscript is in a stack of a hundred. So how do you avoid getting lumped in with a bunch of plebs' sub-par manuscripts?
Submit yours first.
Not revising and not polishing isn't just about having confidence in how awesome you are. It's about beating all those losers to the punch. If they spend two or three days editing their draft, that's two or three days earlier that you will get in before them. Is some publisher going to pass on your bitchen idea because you forgot a comma? I don't think so.
4- If you must, hire a revision service. Okay if for some reason you think it might just be a little too messy--you want to give it a quick once over before you fire that bad boy off, spend a bunch of money on one of those "novel prep" services instead of doing it yourself. By now you should be used to the idea that serious writing comes with serious monetary investment, and scrimping won't get you anywhere. Spending money means it will be better.
Edit it yourself?? Don't be silly.
5- Announce yourself. Be sure to tell the publisher you send your novel to that you just wrote it for NaNoWriMo, and that it is so good you sent it immediately without even a revision. They will respect and admire your candor.
As will I, my impassioned pen wielding warrior. As. Will. I.
6- Most importantly...take a break. You've had a tough month. Time to put your feet up and let those creative batteries recharge. Take a month or two at least...probably longer. You want to be ready when the next lightning strike of inspiration hits. True genius comes in fits and starts.
Follow these simple steps, and your dreams of having publishers shit themselves and fall over each other to publish you will come true.
This advice is AWESOME!ReplyDelete
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Love this! I did Nano in 2017. I was under no illusions because I'd read your other comments, but it came at a time when I had a new inspiration, so I ran with it. Generated 80k words, but that was only a rough sketch, an outline on which I might build. Can't see myself ever repeating the exercise. NaNoNeAg: NaNo Never Again.ReplyDelete