- Thou shalt write EVERY DAY. Even if it’s only a few words and you know that you’ll have to scramble to make up the lost words tomorrow, get words written TODAY. Is your computer broken? Use a pencil and paper! Don’t have pencil and paper? Download Dragon on your phone and speak your novel!
- Thou shall not erase ANYTHING. No erasing, no rewriting! Endeavor only to add words to your novel, not subtract. You can edit when November is over!
- Thou shalt set a reasonable word count goal. If you want that coupon code from FastPencil, make sure that you set your word count goal for something achievable! Sit down for an hour, see how many words you can write, and then multiply that number by 30. That’s your word count goal. Easy! Most young writers set their word count goals between 10,000 and 30,000 words for the month. What’s right for you?
- Thou shalt not peek over the shoulders of other writers. Don’t try to read someone else’s novel without their permission! It’s distracting and rude!
- Thou shalt take breaks at least once an hour. Sitting for too long, even when you’re on a tear, is not good for you! Get up for five minutes, grab a drink of water, jog in place, or step outside. You might even see something that inspires a chapter in your novel!
- Thou shalt update your word count. Watch your word count grow and grow! Constant progress will inspire you to new heights of writing greatness!
- Thou shalt not criticize your own writing. That’s your inner editor talking, trying to get you to doubt your obvious writing skills. Don’t listen!
- Thou shalt not criticize others’ writing. Be supportive of your fellow writers! Cheer them on, ask them questions, give lots of compliments! Then, when they ask you to edit their novel in December, go crazy with the red ink (respectfully, of course)!
- Thou shalt not shirk your responsibilities. Make sure your priorities are straight: homework, friends, novel. Or friends, homework, novel. But novel comes last.
It’s day 6 of National Novel Writing Month! How are you doing so far? Do you still like your characters? Do you know what’s going to happen next? If you need help (or emotional support), come visit the library! We have writerly books to inspire your writing, a writer’s emergency pack, and other sympathetic writers! Or visit the Young Writers Program for author pep talks, the Dare Machine for helping you get over writer’s block, and other great resources for writers. Happy noveling!