What’s Your NaNoWriMo Plan?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) began yesterday. NaNoWriMo is the annual month-long challenge to write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel. I've only taken part during two years so far, and I've managed to reach my goal both times. I'm hoping to make this year my third.

I'm approaching this NaNoWriMo a bit differently than previous years. My goal is to actually hit 50,000 words in far fewer than 30 days.

Things are off to a good start so far. I wrote a little over 4500 words yesterday to kick things off. But what I'm really excited about is my plan for the rest of this week.

This Year's NaNoWriMo Plan: More Dictation

I've been a fan of dictation for years, whether that's using Dragon, Naturally Speaking on my laptop or using Android speech-to-text apps. It's proven helpful when writing blog posts and working on e-books. But it hasn't really "stuck" with my fiction work.

A big part of the problem is that it can feel unnatural to dictate things like punctuation. It can ruin the flow for me. And that's a bigger issue when writing fiction because of the more complex, and frequent, punctuation involved when writing dialogue.

That one little issue keeps driving me back to my keyboard. And I'm hoping this NaNoWriMo will help me change that. You see, it's perfectly OK for a NaNo novel to be a bit messy when you reach your 50,000 words. So this year I figured I'd allow my punctuation to get a bit "messy" too.

I'm going to focus on using my phone for dictation, through Google Docs. Then I'll transfer things over to Scrivener at the end of each session. The benefit of doing this is the built-in dictation doesn't seem to accept quotation commands anyway. So I won't have to worry about it interfering with the flow of dialogue (I write very dialogue-heavy first drafts and work more detail in during revisions).

That's my plan -- more dictation, less stress over first draft formatting, and pushing for high word count goals early on to reach 50,000 words well before the end of the month (preferably before Thanksgiving).

What's your NaNoWriMo plan? Are you trying something new? How are you spreading out your word count (evenly, starting stronger, etc.)? If you have any tips or tools you think other NaNo authors would benefit from, tell us about them in the comments.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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