It’s October and the scary beast known as NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. The funny thing for me is: I had never heard of the dang thing until last year! That’s right, miss wander around the internet for years had never heard of it. Of course, by the time I DID hear about it, it was in December and January when all my new found writing pals were talking about trying to revise their NaNo Novel (Yea, imagine someone saying that to you with no knowledge of what that is, I thought it was some weird new slang the kids these days have)
Once I finally understood the magnitude of what they had done and how short of a time span they had done it in, I did the deer in the headlights look before shaking my head and going ‘nope, no way’. Of course, my tune changed over the year. As I became more efficient at blogging (not always, but hey I try!) and more enthralled with all of the new fandangled methods that I was being taught I decided that perhaps I would take a smack at trying to write those 50,000 words in 30 days. How bad could it be, right?
I don’t think I have yet comprehended the mountain of a task I have taken on. On top of that, I’m not sure if I quite understood how much preparation it would take just to come up with a book or be ready to write that novel. This has been my strategy so far and until the end of November comes, I have no idea if it’s valid or not. But hey! It may help someone swimming up to their eyeballs in anticipation and fear.
Promptober – I mentioned this in a previous post. Sitting down with Jei and my sister we decided to take a stab at writing out an outline for a book or a snippet of flash fiction for a prompt every day. The prompts have consisted of actual word prompts or pictures that portray interesting scenes. So far I have outlined 24 books. I think the largest challenge about this is the fact that I have had to think of different story concepts every day. It did do what I intended though, I found a book that spoke to me and decided to make it my project.
Outlining – While I have both been a fly by the seat of my pants writer, a mix of the two and an outliner at times, I realized with this up and coming challenge I would need an organized outline to get through the 50k without wanting to pull my hair out. Of course, that meant that I had to decide on an actual method of outlining beyond my haphazard thrown together bullet points. So I sat down and did research, finding a multitude of ‘recommended’ methods. With me and my little unique brain, none of them fully fit so I took three of them along with my original bullet points and began to outline. So far so good!
Socializing – When you think about preparing to take on a lot of writing you don’t think ‘Hey I need to socialize with people to do this’. In this case, it has been essential to my confidence and feeling like maybe I can really do this. Reading people’s experiences or prep on the NaNo forums has been amazing. The current region of writers I am associating with has also helped a lot along with perhaps making me a handful of potential new friends. Having a cheering squad or helping a fellow NaNo participant really keeps you going.
Pre-Writing the Blog – I know, I know. You want me to keep up week to week. I love it too! But with the demand of the 50k and the fact that I tend to be longwinded when it comes to blogging I have decided to take on pre-writing nearly all of my posts. This will remove the obstacle of choosing between my near loss of sanity over NaNo and my blog. Because come on, I hate leaving you guys in a hiatus again!
Dabbling with that Dabble – As I mentioned in my review, Dabble is a writer-friendly novel building program that I have decided to take advantage of during the free trial time. Instead of gushing like I did before about the program, I will just say that taking the time to get to know the program is incredibly important. The last thing I needed as I began to write is a kerfluffle of confusion in the very program I chose to help me through this. Luckily it’s pretty straightforward but that doesn’t mean I didn’t need to practice and make sure I understood it’s quirks!
World & Character Building – I love both character and world building. Though it can sometimes consume me due to my obsession when it comes to details, I always find it a comfort when I am attempting to craft any story. I have sat down and sketched out my continent, decided on my country and cities along with how everything interacts with one other on a global scale. Along with this I also decided to take a whack at a newer concept for me known as making a Character Bible. I’ll expand on that topic next post, but man, has it been fun to figure that out. Both Character and Worldbuilding have been an important part of my preparation.
Food/Menu Prep – This was not something I would have ever even thought about when it comes to NaNo. Who would even consider their food schedule or what they eat? Apparently everyone! And honestly, it’s not a bad idea. Here we are taking on the chaos of attempting to make 1667 words a day happen and we’re supposed to somehow still function in our everyday life? A menu and meal plan seems essential. So now, armed with my virtual cookbook and stack of other great cookbooks Jei and I intend to make a menu for the household so that we can concentrate on our writing and less on what the heck to eat for dinner!
Overall the preparation for NaNoWriMo has been going a lot better than anticipated. A lot of great suggestions from peers and on the forums has helped us make a battle plan. While all of this might not be for you, finding your own way to prepare for NaNoWriMo is a great idea. I intend to go socialize, do write-ins and keep you all abreast of my progress in my Wednesday briefs. I promise all will be back to normal in December!