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Five tips for (finally) writing your novel with Docs & NaNoWriMo
October 20, 2015
Many a person has said, “I’m going to write a novel someday.” Someday… as in, when your work slows down, or when you can go on a fancy writing retreat, or when your kids are grown up. Someday is usually a day that doesn’t ever arrive, which is why
National Novel Writing Month
(or NaNoWriMo, founded in 1999 by Chris Baty and friends) exists: to help you realize your creative dreams today.
The idea is straightforward. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. You don’t have to take a novel-writing class or read how-to books; you learn to write a novel by doing it. In the words of NaNoWriMo: “Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.”
If you are considering giving it a shot this November, here are five ways Docs can help you get cracking:
- Get the app for
, and add new paragraphs or make edits anytime an idea strikes—on the bus, while you’re walking the dog, or even those times you’re caught without Wi-Fi, like on a plane. Of course, you can also tinker with your burgeoning masterpiece from any desktop computer by signing in at docs.google.com, so you never have to worry about having the right machine or device with you.
Know your word count
- You’ve got one month to make it to 50,000 words, so it’s critical to track your progress as you go. To grab your word count, use the shortcut command + shift + C (mac) / Ctrl + shift +C (pc), finding it in the Tools menu, or by clicking the three grey dots in the Android app. Once you’ve got your tally, update your progress by pasting your wordcount into the NANOWRIMO header menu.
Get & manage feedback
- Wrimos, as they're known, like to get feedback from each other as they write, and Docs makes that easy. When you’re ready for input, hit the big blue Share button, set permissions to “Can comment,” and the people you've shared with will be able to add comments or make suggestions that you can choose to accept or reject.
See previous versions
- Docs comes with revision history built-in, so you never lose previous version of your novel. Click on “See revision history” in the file menu, and you’ll see all your edits, grouped by date, so you can easily go back in time—or even revert to a previous version that you prefer. If you do invite others to give feedback on your work, click the “See new changes” button at the top for an instant look at any edits they made.
Share your novel
- Once you’re finished (congrats, BTW!), you can choose to publicly share your novel for the world to read. Also in the File menu, hit “Publish to the web” and you’ll be able to share the URL of your novel far and wide—on your favorite social networks, in email, or however you’d like.
Good luck, and godspeed!
Posted by Michael Bolognino, Product Marketing Manager
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