Advice from Sara Gruen:
- I think the hardest part is getting a draft finished. It’s important to stop thinking about writing and just write. It’s something I grapple with every day—stop thinking, start writing.
- However far behind you are, take comfort in knowing that there is somebody else out there in the same boat, and look for that next fun scene. And then the next. And if that doesn’t work, set someone on fire. In your book, of course.
Advice from Marissa Meyer:
- Never fear. Anyone who has ever written “The End” on a manuscript knows that, sometimes, inspiration eludes us. No one looks forward to those lulls in the writing process, but they are natural, and they can be overcome. These are the times when we must proceed on willpower and caffeine and the unflappable confidence that each word we write is one word closer to a finished novel. I can promise that, tough as those times may be, they often lead to some of our most proud and beautiful writing moments.
- Maybe you’re being called toward eye patch-sporting pirates and buried treasure. Maybe you’re dying to write about a hitchhiker with aspirations of being the world’s greatest baseball player. Maybe your dystopic, plague-ridden society is bringing you down and you’d love to send your characters on a romp through a whimsical wonderland.Make your list, choose what’s calling to you most, and drop it into the next chapter just as if you’d been planning it all along. Watch as your plot and characters scramble to make it work, and the words once more begin to pile up.
- For more advice from her check out her pep talk on NaNoWriMo's Site.
Advice from Erin Morgenstern:
- Never delete anything. If you can’t stand to look at it, change the font to white and keep going.
- If possible, get a running start. It gives you flexibility for later in the month when you desperately need to do something, anything that doesn’t involve writing once in a while.
- Do something, anything that doesn’t involve writing once in a while. Take a walk, go to a museum, do yoga, paint your toenails, spin around in circles. Shake your brain up so the ideas can move around.
- Backup. Frequently. Flash drives are your friends. Also, I hear you can store things on clouds now but I’m not sure how that works. It sounds very whimsical, though, and I am a fan of whimsy.
- Take risks. (Microsoft Word wanted to autocorrect that to “Take care.” Clearly, Word does not understand NaNoWriMo. Also, this is why I normally write in Scrivener. Scrivener would never suggest such a thing.)
- When in doubt, just add ninjas. (Ninjas do not need to be actual ninjas.) (But they can be.)
- Let yourself be surprised.
I hope these winners and their advice help you write your novel! Tomorrow I will post more advice from successful National Novel Writing Month winners.