10 Ways To Stay Sane For National Novel Writing Month

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Underpants Gnomes’ business plan, image via Comedy Central

Don’t Be Afraid to Throw Your Outline Out The Window

We all love to do prep work. We all love to feel prepared. I mean, we’re trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days. We need to have a guide map.

Back when I had a lot more time on my hands, I used to start my NaNoWriMo outline in July. That’s three months before you can even write a single word!

The outline you have on hand may be a great map to keep your plot on track, but they don’t always work out so well.

If you feel stuck at any point, sometimes throwing your outline out the window is the way to go.

Case in point: 2014’s National Novel Writing Month. I started with a great idea of just me in a sort of psychiatrist role talking to my characters one-on-one to get a better handle on them all. I thought it would be easy, just let my characters go off on tangents, do their own thing.

Two days into November, I completely scrapped that idea and started on a brand new story that I had no details on whatsoever. And I still made it to 50,000 words, even with only 28 days to write.

Sometimes you just need that creative curveball to get you going again.