Gearing up for NaNoWriMo

Yep. I’m doing it again. Because I’m not insane enough already (I am going to do a post about this soon, I think.), I’m prepping for doing NaNoWriMo next month.

Please note: When I say again, I’m referencing my (successful) attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo back in July. I’ve never done the official November NaNoWriMo. I have done 50,000 words in a month. So in some ways, it’s going to be new, and in other ways, I’ve done it before. In my mind, I’m going with the mindset of, “I’ve done this before. I can do it again.” because it’s more encouraging than thinking that I’ve never done it before, at least for me. Many things are easier the second time.

So what am I doing? Lots of things. Perhaps the most important thing I learned from doing the NaNo in July is that I (not necessarily you, but for me…) have to know where I’m going, or else I’ll get stuck and not be able to write. To this end, I’ve been outlining and throwing ideas around for the past month or so, and I like what I’ve come up with. I have characters and character conflicts, and ways to resolve them. I also have at least the first portion of an overall plot, and some idea of what the world is like. Between now and the end of the month, I want to write up and ending-ish thing for my plot, break it down into general chunks of chapters/scenes, and then build up the world a decent bit more. I want to be ready to launch in with my notes at the beginning of November, and not have to worry too much about getting stuck in plot holes or lost on side paths. I also write better when I’m excited about where the book is going, and if I have an ending and several “checkpoints” along the way that I really want to get to, I think I’ll be able to write more easily than if I don’t.

I’m also doing this with friends. That, I found, is perhaps the second most important part of this attempt. It is not meant to be solitary. You are meant to have others to compare word counts to, to talk about your latest problems, or complain to about how late you were up working, or how brag to about happy you are that you not only met your quota, but exceeded it and are ahead of schedule, because your book is going awesome. Having these people helps a lot, and most of the time, it helps if they’re doing NaNo as well, though you can certainly have cheerleaders who are not writing.

In addition, I’m having to do something new this time. Last time I did this, in July, it was between school semesters. I was essentially able to stay up and write until I was done, and then go to sleep when I felt like it. That’s not going to be able to happen now. I have classes every week-day, and I have to be awake at certain times. I also have to spend enough time to finish my schoolwork on time, and get enough sleep to, well, function. To that end, I’m going to have to manage my time more efficiently. I’m already starting to go to the library to focus on my schoolwork, and that’s done wonders. I still feel like I’m going to need to do something else, though. I think I’m going to have to set up turning off the internet on my computer for a while each day when I’m writing so that I can really focus.

This will also mean that you’ll be getting a lot fewer blog posts. I’m sorry about that. Just, you know… Wish me the best and in a few years you can read my published novel instead, right? RIGHT? (I want to release some short stories at some point, and I’ll probably put at least a few of them up here on the blog free, by the way.)

Oh, and for motivation, I’ve also started attending a writing group here at the university that meets for an hour every Monday evening to write for 45 minutes, and then share whatever they have for the other 15. It was a lot of fun, and I’m intending on attending every week. Having other people around you who are writing really helps your focus, let me tell you… It was crazy how much I got done during those 45 minutes.

So, yeah… Those are the things I’m doing right now to gear up for NaNoWriMo. What are YOU doing, if you’re planning on doing it. (And if you aren’t what’s your excuse?)

7 thoughts on “Gearing up for NaNoWriMo

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