First Draft and NaNoWriMo

I’ve started my first draft. Everything’s all planned out- what could go wrong? Har- har. Actually, nothing yet. I’ve just finished my first chapter, and I feel like I’ll have the hard part out of the way once the second is completed (I suspect this is naïve wishful thinking, though!). The first 300 words were the most difficult to write (at least so far!) but once I had that initial bit out of the way everything seemed to flow much better.

Seeing as NaNoWriMo starts in two days, and everyone partaking in it will be experiencing sort-of the same things as me, the first-drafter, I thought I would share what I’ve discovered in my first thousand-or-so words:

  • For all you’ve planned everything, new ideas pop up at the most unexpected times, so it’s useful to have a notebook handy to keep track of them. I actually use the notepad apps on my phone and laptop too.
  • Have a writing space cleared. Somewhere you’re comfortable writing, and where you won’t get disturbed. Like the “revision space” your teachers bleated about in school. I actually went one better and made two writing spaces (just had to get one up on y’all :P). One’s my desk, for when I use my laptop, and the other’s my comfy chair with like a zillion fluffy cushions on it for when I hand write.
  • What my writing spaces have in common: a desk lamp! Important for when you’re writing at the dead of night/ ridiculous o’clock in the morning, ’cause I know often inspiration hits in the middle of the night but, seriously, I’m looking out for your eyes, folks. If reading in bad light hasn’t ruined them yet, writing in bad light might just do the job (laughs nervously and pushes specs further up nose).
  • Get some killer tunes sorted. At the moment, that’s Taylor Swift’s Out of the Woods on a loop for me (ARE WE OUTTA THE WOODS, ARE WE OUTTA THE WOODS, ARE WE OUTTA THE WOODS). Maybe you like silence when you’re writing. But if you’re a background noise kinda writer, make sure you’ve got your jam sorted, be it heavy rock or whale music (though I’m not entirely sure if that’s not just for giving birth, hmm).
  • When you’re actually writing, bear in mind it doesn’t have to be perfect. Which is difficult if you’re a bit of a perfectionist, like me, but suck it. Embrace the fact that you’re vomiting words onto a page/ computer screen and not fretting that it doesn’t read well. Save your fretting for when you’re editing. If you don’t have a red pen in hand, don’t fret. Chill. You don’t even have to write in order. Write backwards. Write forwards. Write sideways. Write upside down. Common theme: write, whichever way you want.

Finally, good luck to my NaNoWriMo friends, hope you have fun! Let me know how it goes!


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