NaNoWriMo prep

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? It starts in just 5 short days!  Have you plotted everything out yet?  Have you figured out a schedule so that you can get in your word count every day? Are you stocked up on your caffeinated beverage of choice? 

You haven’t?  What is wrong with you?  Panic!

Well, not really.  I haven’t yet prepared for NaNo yet either! Ok, so I started a little.  I have an idea in mind and have fleshed out the characters a bit, but that was because it was the story I was going to do last year. (I switched stories at the last minute)  It might be a good time to sit down and at least get an idea for your story.  Maybe think a little about your characters and a little about the plot so you have someplace to go when you sit at your keyboard on November 1st.  You don’t want to sit down and freeze– drool is not very attractive!

One suggestion I have is write a little bit in your character’s voice so you are not just meeting them for the first time when you sit down to write.  This does not count towards your word goal, but it sure will make it easier to get into your character’s head when you are writing about them come November.

Another suggestion is to come up with a plot and some major plot points.  Having an idea for a world or some characters in difficult situations is all well and good, but that is not the same as having a plot.  I discovered this 2 years ago when doing NaNo.  I had a vague idea of some characters and the word they lived in, but so what?  I didn’t know what these characters were going to do with themselves or what the point of my story was.  If I were a discovery writer that would be all well and good, but alas, I am not.  Not knowing where I am going makes me freeze up.  Doing a writing exercise without a main plot in mind to start with is all well in good, but for me 50,000 words without a plan is a daunting task!

Here is a quick rundown of a few of the places that I go to for writing information (with a few duplications from my earlier NaNo post)

Writing excuses podcasts: http://www.writingexcuses.com/

These are just 15 minutes long and include various topics (you can hear all of the archived podcasts) by published authors.

 *You can listen to these, get great advice, and get all excited to write!!

 

Jim Butcher’s Livejournal: http://jimbutcher.livejournal.com/

It has been a while since he has posted, but the advice that he gives on plotting is great. I also think that Jim Butcher is my favorite author, so if I could write anything close to as well as him I would be so happy!

 

Michael Stackpole’s 21 days to a novel (ebook): http://www.amazon.com/Novel-Secrets-Writing-Guides-ebook/dp/B0029O0ANM

This ebook leads you through character development and plotting before you start your novel.  It may be a little late for this now, but this is what I am using to get ready.  You could do this in fast forward if you have time, or maybe take the main points.

 

Terribleminds by Chuck Wendig: http://terribleminds.com/

Author Chuck Wendig blogs about writing and writers.  Warning, he is also very good at swearing, often in creative, but entertaining, ways.

 

David Farland writing tips: http://www.davidfarland.net/writing_tips/

Author David Farland (Dave Wolverton) gives writing tips that can be delivered to your inbox daily.

Get yourself into a writing state of mind.  Work on your writing every day of the week until Nano starts and then write every day for a month!  I need to take my own advice, so this evening I will sit down in my local cafe and work more on my story and characters.

I intend to make this more than just a mental exercise.  I want to make NaNoWriMo productive!  The wonderful thing about it is you can make it whatever you want it to be!  Write fanfic! Write a memoir!  Retell fairy tales! Write that novel you have been jonesing to put down on paper!

Just write!

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