NaNoWriMo Advice – Keep Track as You Go

This post is going to be short and to the point, because I’d like to spend less time blogging tonight and more time actually planning.

I did think of some more advice for those of you doing NaNoWriMo for the first time. It is this. Keep some kind of record of what you write, be it an outline, a bulleted list, or whatever. Just keep track of what you’ve written. It will help with revisions later.

It sounds silly, for sure, to forget what you’ve written. But if you are working without an outline and writing around 2,000 words a day, you can lose track of some of the details.

This year, I’m really going to try to do keep track of at least what I’ve written in each chapter. To be honest, it’s almost painful for me to read stuff I have written. I’m getting better at this, but it is still a laborious process for me. If I keep track as I go, that will help me finish up my book after November, without having to read through everything.

Anyhow, just thought I’d share this idea. What do you all think?

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12 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Advice – Keep Track as You Go

  1. Wow, how do you edit without reading every single word? I read every single word and still miss a lot of stuff. Then again, I haven’t been writing that long. Maybe I just need more practice.

    I like the idea of keeping a summary after the day is done. I think I will not only incorporate this idea for the NaNoWriMo, but for all of my writing. My outlines become unreliable when I change something mid stream. This trick should correct that problem.

    • Well, I don’t like to edit before the whole thing is done. So, this would help with that. Also, I can edit a chapter at a time and not really know what happens in later chapters. A record of what has been written would help.

  2. This is great advice. I think I will get a lot of milage from it. Who the heck will have time to edit. I don’t know what I was thinking.

    I’ll have to remind myself daily not to try to revise or edit. A thirty-one day stream of conciouse endevor ought to be interesting.

    I think beating the inner critic is going to be the hardest part. This is my first year so I don’t really know what to expect. ,

    • Hey, thanks for the comments!

      I kinda wing it on these posts, so I totally understand if they are confusing ๐Ÿ™‚

      Good luck this year on NaNoWriMo. My other advice is to figure out which days you won’t be able to write (Thanksgiving?) and adjust your word count/day goals. I’m aiming for 2,000 words a day because I know there will be days I write zero words.

  3. I think it’s a great idea. I find myself forgetting things even writing at a slower pace. Writing at record speed, I’m sure I’ll forget much more. You’ve given me some great tips for NaNo. Now, can you come finish my revisions on my current WIP and clean my house so that I can actually participate in NaNo? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I think that’s going to be the most difficult part for me — not going back to edit as I write. I know so much time can be lost going backward so I’m going to have to work on that.

    I might color code my outline to what I’ve written as a way to stay on track and to know where I am at a glance.

    You know I never even considered losing track of what I’ve written but I know I’ve never written a continuous story that’s 50K words.

    As usual, good advice.

  5. At the risk of being totally annoying, what do you mean when you say you are planning? This will be my first NaNoWriMo and I know what I am going to write, but that’s about it. Do I need to be planning?

  6. My advice is to utilize the software you are writing with (presuming most of us use a computer to write these days): Section headers. If you give relevant section headers in the text and–this is the important part–format them as headers–you can make a table of contents and the outline is made for you.

    And it’s also easier to jump about the document.

    And if you have never heard about setting up a split screen in the same document, I suggest you look it up and see if your word processing program can do it. Very useful when, for example, referring to older sections.

    • Thanks for the heads up writtenwyrdd. I have an old manuscript where I inserted headings, but never converted them to a table of contents. I’m experimenting with it now to get the right format.

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