NaNo: Rules for Engagement

by Sabina I. Rascol
Published on: November 9, 2012
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At the end of Day 8 of NaNoWriMo, I’m just past 9,000 words. It’s not as far along as I planned and hoped, but a respectable start nonetheless. It averages to 1,300 words a day, as I take one day a week off. 

As I began, I realized that I had the following rules for myself for this challenge. 

-Write ON. Don’t write slop, but don’t get mired in revising and polishing. 

-Write the book. Don’t write about it–WRITE IT! (This has to do with a document I usually have open in which I write thoughts for later. Sometimes I write pages there and nothing in the manuscript itself. For now, I’m keeping notes about the book to a minimum so that I advance with the book proper.) 

-Light revision, if any, is allowed only to the previous day’s work. Ideally, I’ll look only at the tail-end of the previous day’s work to pick up the thread of the story. 

-Write every day (except for Sunday, my current day of rest).

-500 NEW words a day, minimum. So if I add words while lightly editing, those words don’t count for the day’s minimum (though of course they count toward the month’s 50,000 word ultimate goal).

-Write during the first available stretch of time each day. Use all time bits. Don’t despise them. 

-Live in the world of the story when I’m away from the writing. That way, my mind makes connections, has details and bits of story in place, for when I return to write.

-Know that if I stick with it, flow happens. When it does, ride it! : )

So what are your Rules of Engagement for your current writing project? 

-Sabina I. Rascol

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