If you don’t know what Nanowrimo is and you’re a writer, WOW WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!
So let me explain… Nanowrimo (or National Novel Writing Month) is basically this awesome global event that happens in November every year. It’s for writers of any caliber to join; it’s free, it’s easy, but it DOES take some preparation! Which is why I’m starting early (teehee). The goal of Nanowrimo is to write 50,000 words in one month (1,600-1,700 words a day). It can be a daunting task but once you get going it can be easy! (So I hear.) The good thing about this global event, is that you have motivation, you have people to push you, you have collateral in the form of internet friends who will yell at you to get your life together and JUST DO IT! (Oh, Shia hehe).
For myself, this will be my VERY FIRST YEAR!!! OMG!!! Well the first year I’m LEGIT going to do it if it kills me. I’ve tried in the past, but most of the time I just fall short after a few days and stop trying. BUT THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT! This year I have over a month to prepare, so I will prevail!
What I’m doing to prep is this:
- Writing a LOT. Wow sounds like brain surgery right? NO. I try to write a lot and keep “in the zone” so that I’m continuously motivated and inspired to KEEP writing. I don’t want to get to November and just start writing then, because I will most likely crash and burn from lack of previous commitment. It’s easier to keep going once you’re started than to start at all.
- Outlining. From prepping my brain, to prepping my story, this is something you SHOULD DO. I know people who just want to jump in and let the story take itself away and that’s great if it works for you, but if you’re not in that small percentage; THAT IS HOW YOU FAIL. That is how you get stuck somewhere and don’t know where to go. That is how you stop writing 2 days into Nanowrimo! NO MORE! We will outline to our hearts content! (And in great detail!)
- Ready the troops! Really, how do you expect to write anything if you don’t KNOW who you’re writing about? Know your characters, their enemies, and most of all know your protagonist! For a helpful character sheet to get you started, try this one.
- Get in the zone. Read, and read a lot. Read books that inspire you. Listen to music that inspires you. WRITE things that inspire you. Do whatever it takes so that on November 1st you are dying to put words on that page!
- Put things in perspective. Think about it. 50,000, writing between 1,600 and 1,700 words a day is not a lot. It is doable. Which is why writing a LOT puts you into practice. I can VERY EASILY get through 5-6k in a day. Keep in mind that’s while I’m at work, between taking calls (I work at a callcenter, BLEH). That’s also between my other work, blogging and social networking. Not to mention socializing with coworkers. If you write a lot, you’ll be ready to keep writing, I promise you!
- Knowing how to start. This goes along with outlining, but realistically it also needs to be a point of its own. If you don’t know how you’re going to start your story, you’re never going to get started. SO, take the time to think about your story, think about the scene you want it to start on. Think about it on the bus, on the way home, at work, before you go to sleep – solidify it in your brain so you don’t only start, but you get off to a GREAT start.
Well I think that about covers the steps I’m using to prep so far… More are bound to be added closer to the date. Such as; food prep, plans, making sure I have non-writing related outings to give me a break and having time to talk to other writers to get inspiration too.
There’s also this neat little thing where you can meet up with people in your area who are participating in Nanowrimo. I think that is a WONDERFUL idea and will hook you up with people all over who will be going through the same stuff as you, so don’t be afraid to get involved! You can find a location/group near you on the Nanowrimo website.
For more tips on prepping for Nanowrimo, head over to Pen and Muse to get some ideas! These two lovely ladies are experienced Nanowrimers and they know their stuff!
Until next time,
Stay classy internet!