Month: November 2012

NaNoWriMo: How I Prepared

We’re about half way through the month, which should mean half way through my novel, right? Haha… right. Anyway! Though this is my first year attempting NaNoWriMo I am in no way new to writing novels/stories. So in preparation (as per the suggestion from le internet), I did my planning at the end of October. I knew my story pretty well, it’d been developing for 6 years, but I wanted to make sure I knew everything about it before November came and I had to actually write it and make it sound good. Today, I thought I’d share with you some of the stuff I did to prepare.

First, I bought a journal. This lovely little journal you’ve seen on my other NaNoWriMo posts is, in fact, my NaNoWriMo planning book! I bought it specifically for this story and for NaNoWriMo. I don’t usually buy spiral bound notebooks, but it seemed the most functional for this month. This little notebook was an ever present accessory for me for the last two weeks of October.
I’m one of those super paranoid egotistical people who thinks
everyone wants to steal my story, hence the burring.
Sorry, except I’m not.
Next, I mapped out the major plot points I wanted in my novel from beginning to end. I also tentatively assigned each a chapter. I’ve certainly changed a lot of the chapter assignments and added a lot from this list of 13! 
Like the fancy swirls I did there to hide the building names?
In my hours of procrastination from my school work, I drew up a map of the main setting of my novel, the school campus! I was really excited about this. I started with little sketches in my journal and suddenly decided I needed a good one as a constant reference point, so I drew it up, as basic as it is, and then got carried away with the watercolours and fancy labeling of each building. I really enjoyed making the map and I’m really glad to have it now, even if I don’t describe the path a character takes to somewhere, I like to know what they’d pass in case anyone should ever ask.
Finally, I decided I needed a cast of characters. I wrote out each name of the main characters with a short bio, physical description, and relation to other characters. I’ve also been adding to this the minor characters I’ve used should I need to spell their name again or should they become strangely important.
I would say I’m one of those writers who likes to let the story take me, so sometimes I’m surprised by the importance of certain characters. Granted I’ve worked on and thought about this story for 6 years, every character has changed drastically since the first imagining and I have to say I’m fairly happy with this one finally.
If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, how did you prepare or did you? If you aren’t how did/do you like to plan and organize projects/papers/etc. in school or at work?

NaNoWriMo: How I Intend to Keep it Going

As you know from this post, I am taking part in the NaNoWriMo challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. If you didn’t realize, this is quite a challenge and to win/succeed is quite a feat. So I thought I’d share a few ideas I have on how I’m going to try to keep myself working hard enough to achieve my goal and win the challenge! 
  • Write no less than 1,700 words a day. My daily goal this month is 2,000 but my bare minimum is 1,700 words. If I write 1,700 words a day for 30 days, I will reach 50,000 words on the very last day.
  • Forget the formatting. I am obsessive about formatting. I love to make every chapter heading the same, every time jump match, and everything perfect. For this month, I’m not allowing myself to format a single page until I have completed the novel.
  • Work every day from 2:30-3:45. I just had to drop a class from my schedule for various reasons, so the time I would have spent in class is my designated times to work every day. Weekend will be a bit difficult for me to keep this, but there is rarely anything going on at 2:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule. If I can force myself to go to bed every week night by 10:30pm then I can get up in time to go to my classes and prepare for the day. Sometimes, when I stay up to late, I roll out of bed and into class then spend the rest of the day trying to prepare myself and making myself take on the day. This simply won’t work for November.
  • Take at least an hour each day away from writing to read. Every new book I read leaves me with new ideas about style and wording. reading enhances my writing and what could I need more to finish my novel?
  • Water. I’m challenging myself to stay hydrated as best I can this (and every) month. I’m horrible about drinking water and it certainly shows in my fatigue.
  • Enlist help. My life partner is absolutely wonderful at keeping me on track. He will ask every day if I’ve done my reading and if I’ve finished any goals I’ve set for myself. He really does keep me on track, which is good because I’ll be spending about a week of this month at his house and I’m happy to know he’ll be helpful rather than a distraction.
  • Carry my computer everywhere. I write, as I feel most people now do, on my laptop, or really on a tiny off-brand notebook that barely runs chrome, but it works. It’s small and so I intend to carry it everywhere with me this month. 5 minutes of quiet can be that much more towards my goal each day.
  • No revision. I’m the worst at reading over my work and revising it before I write anything new. This month that ain’t gonna fly. I’m, instead, going to write down in my NaNoWriMo notebook the changes I want to make with a page number and proceed writing as if I’ve made the changes.
I’m nervous but very excited to continue my work this month. I’ve had one productive day and am beginning another. Day 2 is on! I hope these ideas help you to keep up at whatever you’re doing and if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, good luck!
What are your best NaNoWriMo or anti-procrastination tips?