Michille: Getting Ready to NaNo

NaNoI have been prepping for the start of National Novel Writing Month and yesterday, one of my favorite writing blogs, Writers Write, posted an organizer that led to a brainstorming worksheet and 30 tips (with lots of links for other helps). From the Writers Write blog, I found some resources that are on the NaNo website. Like the Reference Desk. I never knew it was there. Rather than spending time noodling around on the internet doing research, post a question on the reference desk and another writer might have the answer. Want to know how to rig a 500 gallon propane tank for explosion? Need information on growing up in a Turkish Cypriot family in London? Need to know how to milk a cat (really?)? Post your research question and get an answer (maybe – no one seems to know how to milk a cat).

There is also a NaNo Prep page that has useful resources and lots of good sponsor offers. There are young novelist workbooks on their site, too. They are targeted to students, but I found some helpful things in the high school version. Writing buddies. I never knew there was such a thing. I found one so far. If you want to add me as a writing buddy, my NaNo name is mikeely. Or send me your name and I’ll add you to mine.

There are a lot of community NaNo happenings all over the world – all over Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe and I only scrolled a third of the way down the region page. If you like in Chicago, the Northbrook Public Library has a NaNo program. There is a Night of Writing Dangerously in San Francisco. There are several write-in opportunities in my area. I’m not sure if I’m going to do one. As I mentioned on Nancy’s post the other day, the only time I went to one in my town, the writers all had weird furry hats on shaped like animals, except the guy with the reptile on his shoulder. Not my cuppa.

Did you know Water for Elephants (Sarah Gruen) was a NaNo novel? So was The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern), Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell), THREE Marissa Meyer books, Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress.

On the personal front, I’ve gone through my outline and added more than 40 scene ideas, character sketches that need fleshed out, back stories that I need in order to have full-blown characters (i.e., Great Aunt Gertrude’s boarder who is an ex-wise guy living in backwater Bachman’s Run on the DL [with some interesting information stored in the house]), room descriptions for rooms that are used repeatedly, etc.

What are you doing to prepare?

6 thoughts on “Michille: Getting Ready to NaNo

  1. I’m a slow writer, so NaNo stresses me out and makes me feel inadequate. It also makes me write faster, but mostly crap I wind up throwing away. I do like the focus it puts on writing, though. And I love that it introduces young people to writing as a hobby and possible vocation.

    Have you NaNo’ed before? Does it work for you?

    • I’ve done it before. One time I made the goal the next I didn’t. The time I didn’t was the 35,000 words of Luke and Genny’s story that I worked with in the McD program. Both times, I started from scratch. This time, I’ve got 30,000 words already on the page so it will be more challenging. That is one of the reasons I’m going to let myself write other stuff – backstory, character sketches, etc. If I get the 50,000 – great! If I don’t, at least I will have refocused on my writing and will (hopefully) have a writing habit established. That is really my main goal, more than the word count. I wouldn’t do it if it just created more stress.

  2. I have done NaNo twice but have not yet hit the 50,000 target. I’m hoping the third time is the charm. This time, instead of starting from zero, I have an outline and a plan. I’m hoping that will make the difference.

    Good luck to you on your efforts.

    • I have an outline, too, with scenes filling in a lot of the gaps in my story. I need a bunch more and time is running out to get the scene ideas down. But I also have that other stuff to write that will help me reach my word count. Good luck to you, too, and anyone else who is going to try it. Sunday is take-off.

  3. I took a page from Jilly’s book last night and had a bubble bath and glass of wine to help me untangle a plot problem at the end of my novella (the intro, which I’m calling book .5, of my series). Now I’m ready to get that sucker finished, and move onto completing Book 1, which was so rudely interrupted by a killer consulting gig followed by the start of a brand-new day job. If I make it to 50,000 words, I’ll have the completed first draft of both of those and can probably have them ready for critique by mid-December. No pressure on myself or anything…

    • Life does have a way of interrupting. NaNo is at a good time for you. With your new day job, focusing on writing and fitting it into your new daily schedule could be a good and productive thing – new schedule, new routines, new habits.

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