Today’s a good day to take a day off and play hard, especially if you’ve been keeping up with your word count.
In one of my previous Nano years, I planned Day 11 as a Day off, but I got nervous about getting behind (even though I was ahead), so I started a chapter the previous night, and did 1533 words, which counted to today’s word count. I hate stopping in the midst of a chapter, but I did. My two characters were tired and cranky and annoying each other and that’s where I left them. After all, I didn’t expect them to have this particular argument in this particular spot, but they did!
I love it when my characters surprise me. I love the joy of discovery inherent in writing. If I already knew every detail before I started, I couldn’t write the book. It would no longer interest me.
Don’t forget to back up your piece, or, if you’re writing in longhand, to start typing up chapters regularly. If I do the first draft longhand, I usually try to type up each chapter, or, at the most, every three chapters. That does become a bit of a “next draft” – make sure you don’t let it derail you.
I keep each chapter in a separate file, and each version of each chapter in a separate file, because in revisions, I rearrange sections. It’s much easier to do so when I can manipulate the chapters. I back up obsessively, and print out each day’s work as I write.
Come Write In! at Marstons Mills Public Library, 2160 Main St. Marstons Mills
Tuesdays 11-1 and Thursdays 2-4 during Nano.