You remember Mork and Mindy, right? Starring Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, and Robin Williams? He gets two credits, because he was all over the place.
I’m not doing NaNo this year (at least, I don’t plan to, but you never know), but I’m always ready to jump on the unsolicited advice bandwagon.
Reedsy.com has a post, for example, called 41 Insider Tips for Winning NaNoWriMo. I didn’t find it entirely helpful or, indeed, appropriate (calm down, I don’t mean “inappropriate” in the fun sense). Your mileage may vary.
Here are five tips that helped me, the years I did (and “won”) NaNo. They are, I believe, rather Morkian.
Be somewhere different.
I sat in a different place, in a different room. I even used a laptop, when I usually worked on my desktop. Since I usually use my laptop now, I guess I would have to NaNo at my desktop now.
Wear something special
I would get up and go straight to my NaNo station, in pajamas and fluffy robe. I usually dress as soon as I get up, but not during NaNo. If I NaNo’d at a coffee house, I’d get dressed, more than likely, but I’d have a special hat or scarf or necklace or set of shirts especially for the month.
Remember that NaNoWriMo is a magic word
If you tell people, “I’m writing,” they’ll be all, “Well, just do this and then you can get back to it.” If you tell people, “I’m doing NaNoWriMo,” they’re all, “Oh! I’m sorry. Okay. Let me know when you have your words done. This can wait.” I’m serious; it’s crazy. Take full advantage.
Don’t be afraid to free associate.
You can have one of your characters go off on a rant. You can take the rant out of the final draft, after NaNo is over, but the rant could serve two purposes: it’s words toward your word count, and it might tell you something useful about your character and about the characters subjected to or witnessing the rant. NaNo can be about exploring as well as constructing.
Don’t let it buffalo you.
Do you say that, where you live? Some people use it to mean confused or stumped, but around here, it also means stopped by intimidation or awe. Like this line from The Wizard of Oz: Listen Kid, are you going to let that Old Gulch heifer try and buffalo you?
Nah, NaNo, you ain’t no thang. It’s only fewer than 2000 words a day. Not NaNo’s words, not somebody else’s words, just your words. You have more than 2000 words a day in you. Way more. If you get stuck, use your words to write about what’s sticking you, what you want to happen in the story, why the characters aren’t cooperating. Maybe the characters (i.e. your subconscious) will stick their two cents’ worth in and get you back on track.
If you’re doing NaNo, I wish you the best of British luck. (Why British luck should be luckier than any other nationality’s luck, I don’t know, but it seems to be so, idiomatically, at least.) If you aren’t doing NaNo, bear with all the folks who are doing it. Be encouraging but don’t nag.
Don’t be a nimnul. Shazbat.
A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: A character is on a deadline.