NaNoWriMo Prep 1

I know it kind of slipped up on me too. But November is just around the corner, like 29 days away. That’s right. It’s time to get your little monsters in a row.

I sat down this morning with my calendar and came up with a weekly goal to help me prepare for NaNo. I know from experience, the more prepared I am the better chance I have of winning. Meaning completing a 50,000 word novel.  Along with the regular prep work, I have a novella I am halfway through editing. I need to finish that. It’s hard to concentrate on NaNo with other projects looming. I still hear the aching call of last years unfinished NaNo novel. Poor thing.

Week 1 Tasks:

  1. Find that spark– The idea that is big enough to spark your creative juices to write a full length novel. I have mine. One that has been itching on the edge of my brain for months. But an idea is not a story. Nor is it a plot. It’s just an idea.
  2. Decide on main characters– I have two characters already. I’ve started fleshing them out, learning about their back story. I hope from this I will know where to go with the story. I’m not too concerned with the minor characters at the moment. Those can come later. Is it novel worth or just a short story idea, the characters will tell me.
  3. Location– This is the hard part. I know where the story takes place but I think it will be in two time periods. Possibly now and the 40s.
  4. Rules– It’s a ghost story. So I need to cement the “rules” for ghosts. What they can and can’t do. Who becomes a ghost? Things like that. I’ve got it started and once I get to work on the plot I’ll make addictions or changes.

Those are the 4 things I need to accomplish this week. Anything else will be brownie points.

Are joining NaNoWriMo?




NaNoWriMo 101 part 2

We have 13 days until the start of NaNoWriMo. If you missed my first post on NaNo you can read it here. In a nutshell this is what I covered:

NaNoWriMo Prep 101

  • character sketch
  • plot main scenes
  • research
  • line up subplots

My basic pre-planning for NaNo is finished. So what do I do for the next 13 days. Lay around eating cupcakes while watching Outlander? No! There is still work to be done. Now you need to have a plan of attack to keep yourself on track.

  1. Make a schedule.My work schedule is different this year than last. Even though I have more “free” hours in the day, it fills up quickly. My plan is simple: have my butt in the chair from 8:30 to 10:30 every day, except weekends. On Saturdays I will attempt early morning sessions from 7-9 and Sundays will be a free for all. Sprints will be worked in between church and family events on Sunday.
  2. Make a calendar. On the NaNoWriMo site, they even say it helps to draw up a calendar. Each week I have a word goal. Week #1 is 1,700 words a day, each week after that I increase the word count by 1,000. I end with 2,100 on Nov. 30. If you do the math, you only need 1,667 words per day to reach 50,000 words. But Thanksgiving is right in the middle of November which means my kids are out of school for a week and I have to help cook a feast! T100_9679hat’s why there is a blank spot on the 25 and 26. I’m not planning on writing those days. I’ve also lowered the word goal for that Friday and Saturday. Seriously, I would have to bribe my kids with unlimited movies and candy to get the time needed to reach my original goal. Even with those adjustments, I should have a little cushion.

3.  Pull out your lucky underwear. Athletes have lucky socks, and really are writer’s all that different? NaNo is the Olympics of writers.  OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. You get the idea.  If you have a lucky mug or shirt pull it out, wash it, and get it ready to wear on Nov. 1. What ever you need to help you succeed. I’m wearing my NaNo shirt from last year, the first and so far only year that I’ve won. Not that I’m superstitious, my writing buddy is a black cat.

4. Make a nest. Chose your writing space with care and pack it full of all the supplies you will need to write your masterpiece. The less you leave the chair the easier it will be to finish. My spot is the kitchen table. Unfortunately for those that live with me, all my supplies will be stack up at the end of the table and spilling out onto unused chairs. No dinner parties or guest allowed during November! I’m not cleaning house.

5. Start writing now. If you’re like me, you’ve spent more time prepping than writing. I challenge you for the next 13 days, do a daily writing exercise. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, just get into the habit of writing during the same time you plan on writing for NaNo. Get your brain used to functioning and writing during the assigned time.

here are a few writing prompts to try:

  • explain why your dog constantly barks at the same person every day.
  • ways to stop your husband from snoring.
  • explain who’s watching Rockwell.
  • the secret life of your child’s teacher
  • describe what your neighbor is really doing leaving the house at 3 every morning. It’s not work!

There you go. Five helpful tips to help you succeed with NaNo.

What’s your best tip for NaNo prep?