Many thanks to everyone who turned out to my 2016 NaNoWriMo workshop at Milkwood yesterday. Below are the slides I used for my Cube of NaNo (behold, it will lead you through the November darkness), along with few notes.
This is the rule every NaNo noveller should know already, right? Don’t worry about the plan. Don’t worry about the character profile. Don’t worry that you’re making it up as you go along. You’d be surprised how many books get written exactly that way.
You think your novel might need editing? Well of course it will. You do that in the editing phase. That’s why it’s called ‘the editing phase.’
Here’s another thing not to worry about: what your friends and family will think about what you’ve written. Free yourself from having to waste precious brain energy on thinking about all that. Write that scene the way you want it.
And here’s another thing not to worry about: whether your future readers will believe for one moment in any of what you’re writing. Think it’s complete bunkum? You’re probably right. A lot of fiction is bunkum; hence the term, ‘suspend disbelief.’ No reader is going to be prepared to suspend disbelief for your novel, however, if you can’t manage it. Believe in your novel. Don’t explain things apologetically. Don’t speak to your readers like they’re children.
But don’t expect them to listen to you. Talk to people about your novel not because you want their ideas or their feedback or their admiration (which, by the way, you will never get; just saying) or any form of support, physical, emotional or otherwise: talk to them because the act of squeezing your plot into spoken aloud words will force you to look at it from a new angle and thus, as if by magic, new ideas will form.
But only do it occasionally. Any more frequent than that just isn’t fair on your friends.
Find a group of people who are also doing NaNo and spend some time with them. It will help with the pain a little. It will lengthen the amount of time you’re able to maintain the belief that what you’re doing isn’t utterly ridiculous. But don’t spend too much time with them: you do, after all, have a novel to write.
That’s huckleberryhax.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/nanowrimo-novel-progress-tool, just in case you missed that.