I've been writing now for quite some time, but I'm starting to realize that learning about your writing process never ceases, so here are some of the things I learned this Nanowrimo:
- Plan Ahead - Some people can just close their eyes and let the inspiration flow. I'm not one of those people. It's difficult enough to find the perfect wording, give your characters depth and snappy dialogue, I can't be thinking about what should happen. By planning ahead and knowing what I'm going to write about before I sit down at the computer prevents me from staring at the blank page for hours trying to channel inspiration.
- Don't Give Everything You Got - Although I plan ahead for a few chapters, I seldom know what exactly is going to happen in the entire book. By not writing everything I know, by leaving a scene or two for tomorrow, I can, again, eliminate the thinking and the plotting during my writing time. Which brings me to my next point,
- Know Your Cycles - I sometimes forget that I get less productive as the day goes on and that if I don't write in the morning, I probably won't get much writing done at all. It's much more effective to wake up really early than it is to stay up late. Plotting I can do anytime. It's a different skill set. The actual act of writing requires motivation and inspiration, something that fades with me as the day goes on.
- The Scenes You Don't Want To Write Are the Scenes You Don't Want To Read - I hate writing scenes with lulls. I hate writing police procedural scenes or interview scenes, or any scene that is for the purpose of conveying information. How do I solve this problem? I don't write them. Any scene without tension or a powerful driving force does not make it's way into the manuscript. When I read, it's always the information gathering scenes I skip over. I find them boring. So that has become my screening process. If I'm having a hard time writing it, people are going to have a hard time reading it, so cut to something else.
I'm sure there will be more as the month moves on. Feel free to add any other tricks of the trade or new things you've learned about your process during this hectic National Novel Writing Month.