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7 NaNoWriMo Tips

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Dear fellow writers,

For those of you who don't know, this month is National Novel Writing Month. For those of you who do know, you're probably panicking like I am. With family members running around because of turkey day, everything seems hectic in your life. Mine as well. (I can't tell you how many times I've been to the grocery store this week.)

Here's some advice I have for you on these final two days:

1. Eat. Of course, you were probably already anticipating that one (I've been waiting for Thanksgiving for months now). But I advise you to relax. Take it easy for a few hours. Let your creative juices enjoy some food. Bonus -- if you're listening to family members bicker back and forth, you can take that time to plan out what you want in your novel. It's a win-win situation.

2. Know your novel. Sometimes we forget what we've typed over the past 27 days. (Yesterday, I forgot what my protagonist's middle name was.) Go over what you have written, and make sure everything makes sense to you. Know your novel inside and out, backwards and forward. Additionally, this will help you when you summarize what your novel is about.

3. Converse with people around you. While it is SO much fun to talk about grades, or where you want to go to college, tell the people around you about what you are writing. Get their personal thoughts on the topic. It may be a lot more helpful than you think.

4. Take notes. Along with knowing your novel, it will beneficial to you to take notes. If you can't write right away (that's a mouthful, I know), take notes. Plan out what you want to do for each chapter in your novel.

5. Create a playlist to match your novel. I have found this extremely helpful for my writing experience. Having songs to match with what you are writing is effective on so many levels. (Plus it gives you access to tune out football and screaming relatives while you are writing.)

6. Know your characters. I have heard that authors fill out job applications for their characters. With the time crunch, I would make a simple outline for your characters. Find two to five words than sum up your character, and what they are all about. You could even find a movie quote or song lyric that summarizes some of your characters!

7. Don't keep updating your word count! I'll admit it; I'm guilty of doing this. But updating your word count every five minutes is not healthy! For the next few days, completely ignore your word count. Focus on your writing. Only at night is when you should update your word count. Until then, JUST KEEP WRITING.

It may seem like these next two days will be torture. It's supposed to be (I think). But you (yes you, reading this) will find a way to get to your goal, whatever that number may be!

Best of luck, and Godspeed writers,

Amy Yoelin