It’s that time of year again, folks. Time to get ready to NaNo. Next month is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is a “fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.” It starts on November 1 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in that timeframe. I’ve done it several times and was actually successful last year. After November and my 50,000 word success, I kept working on the book for a month or so, then life interrupted and I haven’t gotten back to it at all.
I plan to NaNo again this year, but I’m thinking I’m going to edit instead of write. If I force myself to edit a scene a day, I should get back into my story and back into the habit of writing. If, between now and November 1, I have a brainstorm for a new story idea, maybe I’ll write instead.
For those of you who plan to NaNo, I’ll share some of my usual prep work. I look for organizers, brainstorming sheets, writing ideas, tips, etc., to provide ideas and motivation. Here are some I’ve used in the past and some I just found:
I found some resources that are on the NaNo website. There is a NaNo Prep page that has useful resources. They start their prep calendar with developing a story idea between September 9 and 13. That ship sailed, as did the create complex characters and contruct a detailed plot. This week is build a strong world time. All of these steps are included in the NoNo Prep 101 workbook, too. And there is a blog. Sadly, the reference page went away last year. It was a page that had questions for writers to shortcut research, like, what kind of poison works fastest, do cats always land on their feet when they fall, and how big was the back seat of an Edsel. Fascinating Q and A.
Writers Write (one of my favorite writing blogs) posted an organizer a number of years ago that some might find helpful which lead to a brainstorming worksheet and 30 tips (with lots of links for other helps).
One year, I followed the community NaNo happenings and I’m sure there will be lots of write-in opportunities in my area (the blog for my region already has postings for it). I’m not sure if I’m going to do any of them. 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.
Writers Digest got in the tip game, too, with 30 Tips for Writing a Book in 30 Days and plenty of other sites have tip pages, including The Writing Cooperative, Bustle, and Storyist.
Do you plan to NaNo? How do you prep for it?
I love the idea of NaNo, but I never do it because November is always such a busy month. This year I’ll be trying to get The Seeds of Power finished and up for sale, so I’ll be deep in the weeds on all the indie-publishing setup one-offs that Jeanne, Nancy and Kay have already conquered. Then, if I’m really lucky, I might manage some marketing–I should have that in shape already, but sadly I don’t. Hopefully I’ll learn a lot with this book and do better with Alexis next year.
Long story short–no NaNo for me this year. Maybe 2020.
Here’s hoping you ‘win’ this year, whether you decide to edit or write something new!
Jilly, since you are going gangbusters on your writing, you certainly don’t need to NaNo this year. I use it to kickstart my writing, which you obviously don’t need.
I seem to pin an awful lot on my WIP Pinterest board and create a playlist on Spotify! Then strap in on November 1st and hope that life doesn’t get in the way!
Exactly – I hope life doesn’t get in your way this year, Christine.
I did NaNo once, and I think I got about 35K words written, which is pretty good in a month in which I travel about two weeks. But mostly, NaNo is too much to do with that major holiday occurring. This year will be the same, so I’ll give it a pass again. My hat’s off to everyone who manages it, whether you hit the golden 50K or not! Christine and Michille, good luck with life not getting in the way!
Thanks, Kay. I hit 35,000 once a couple years ago and was thrilled when I hit the 50,000 last year. I just need to do something with all those words now.
Editing last year’s entry sounds like a great idea! Good luck and when you’re ready for a beta reader (waves arms frantically).
Thanks, Jeanne. You have more confidence in my abilities than I do at this point. But I will definitely keep you in mind as a beta reader. Your feedback at McD was always so valuable.
Michille – we’ll have to buddy up for NaNo. I’ve had some success in the past and am planning to give it a go this time around. I’ve found that the times I’ve been the most successful have been the times when I’ve (1) done some pre-work up front so I could hit the ground running, and (2) been part of a network of other writers so the competitive drive (or the drive not to fall behind the others) kept me moving when I wanted to give up.
Good luck to you.
p.s. I love that NaNo image. Very pretty.
Whoo! No pressure but…what Jeanne said about beta readers 😉
We will have to buddy up. Mutually blow sunshine up each other’s skirts to keep us motivated.
And the NaNo image was from their blog.
(-: It’s a great idea to get started with the organizing already. There’s so much that can be done to make a NaNo run smoothly — supplies ordered, and maybe a backstory and a few characters kicking around (not to mention, finding quick and easy recipes for feeding the family when you hit dinnertime and still need to get 1300 words down to make your word quota for the day).
I don’t know if I’ll be NaNoing or not; when I plan to, I tend to drift off. When I don’t plan to, I often get hit by an idea. So, I’ll just coast a bit more — but will start organizing my life so that in case I do get that great idea, I can cruise through. Fortune favors the prepared! And if I sent my Christmas packages out by Oct. 31, they’d get to the States just about at the right time (-:.