How Do You NaNo

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Badge with stamp fringe frame. The picture looks like a Hawaiian vacation postcard with setting sun and palm tree...and a typewriter. It says: Greetings From NaNoWriMo. Participant 2011

Sadly, not me this year. But isn't this a pretty badge?

We’re six days into NaNo. How are your pieces coming along? Have you hit the big 10,000 milestone yet?

I’m not participating this year. Instead, I’m focusing on Julia, trying to get her in shape to show the world. But, I have NaNo envy. All those blogs with the cool NaNo badge…all those people feeling the rush of first-week excitement. *Sigh* I miss it.

Julia came out of the first NaNo that I completed (and then buried in a drawer). I think last year’s NaNo has potential, too (once Julia starts knocking on agents’ doors that is).

As much as I love NaNo and recommend it to any writer, there are things about it that I don’t like. Rather, there are things about the way I did it that I don’t like. In order to make word count, I padded sentences in the worst way possible. No, I didn’t go adverb crazy. I just had my characters start a lot of things. Julia started walking down the hall. Julia started running. Julia started crying. Three whole extra words. That made me feel better when my end-of-day word count just made it. However, when I went back to edit, those little words were a giant pain. I’m on draft four and I still see sentences in which Julia is starting to do something.

My advice to NaNo-ers: use active sentences. Make them tight. If you need to bulk up on words, do it in the descriptions. That will make NaNoEdMo that much easier.

What are your tips?

If you’re writing, let us know how you’re doing in the comments!

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