Fast Novel 101 (part two)

This month, if you’ll recall, we’re talking about how to bang a 50,000 word novel out in a month, NaNoWriMo style—for those of us who are far too busy to actually take part during November or April. Click Here to check out where the whole thing started, and how you should prep to start this crazy adventure.

Today, let’s talk about the biggest thing of them all:

Write 1,600 words a day.

For some of us, that looks like an unattainable goal. That’s a lot of words to have to write in a day. I’ll admit it, these days, that’s a lot more than I usually write on any given day (unless you count writing blog posts and typing emails… but let’s not count those. That’s cheating).

But remember, the month before our novel writing month, we started practicing. We started teaching ourselves how to write more words in a day, how to write even more words than 1,600. So really, it’s not that bad. We’ve practiced. We’ve put in the time.

So here’s what you really need to do:

Write what you can, when you can.

Yes, you should be making time every day (or nearly every day) for your writing, but you don’t necessarily have to write 1,600 words every day. If you wrote 4,000 words one day and 1,000 the next, you’re still ahead of where you should’ve been.

Don’t play it like a numbers game.

Remember, writing is supposed to be a joy, a fun thing that we get to have the pleasure of doing. It’s not supposed to be an annoyance that we have to do, even though we don’t really feel like it and feel like we don’t have any ideas.

But, there will be days when you feel like you don’t have any ideas. There will be days when you don’t feel like it. And the important thing is that you write anyway.

A novel writing month isn’t about writing a cohesive and wonderful and publishable novel in a month, it’s about writing a book in a month. Next month, you can think about making it into something different. This month, all we want to do is write the thing.

So sit down and write. Write more on your days off and less when you have to work. Keep to a schedule, if that helps you. If that makes you more stressed out, then just sit down and binge write instead of binge-watching TV. Move things around, make time for your writing. We practiced this last month; now’s the time to put it into action.

Get those words on the page. We’ll think about whether they’re good or not another time.


Rani Divine
Associate Editor, etc.