Some recs today to help you get ready and excited for NaNoWriMo.
If you haven’t started planning yet, and don’t where to start, I highly recommend Max Kirkin’s How to Plan a Novel. A non-proscriptive brainstorming session that helps you get started. It emphasises the importance of finding your enthusiasm, developing and following the characters as opposed to a strict plotline, and gives you some tools and tips that might work for you.
It’s good to know I’m not the only one who listens to music and imagines music vids/fanvids/trailers of the fiction and characters I’m working with!
Worried about getting all those words written? Rachel Aaron’s How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day might be helpful. At that rate you’d complete NaNoWriMo in five days!
Seriously though, there is a lot of pre-planning involved and if you’re more of a pantser you might not find the process as useful as if you prefer a more coordinated approach. Plus it requires temporary sacrifices – think about how people are describing their preparation for NaNo, such as cleaning the house now because nothing non-essential will not get done during November!
The approach that works for Aaron is to step away from the computer and make handwritten notes about what the scene about to written consists of. This is coupled with some research about how you write – when and where do you achieve your best wordcounts? Find out and use that knowledge to plan your writing. Finally, there’s a focus on enthusiasm, something echoing Max Kirin’s advice. You have to love this story, you have to get excited about it. The words will come more easily if you’re in your optimum workspace, knowing what you want to write, and you’re excited to do so.
I’ve seen lots of advice about gearing up for NaNo and things like “talk in the NaNo forums” and “make a playlist” to get you enthused. Amanda McCormick’s article NaNoWriMo Tip #5 – Get Hyped! gives five suggestions to get you started.
As I said before, I’m not used to this level of planning and I’m still struggling to pin down some of the details. But some of the characters and scenes are very clear to me and I’m making notes before I forget the details. I’m hoping that keeping these in reserve and not letting myself write them yet will let them grow, ferment, brew, and that, in November, I’ll be anxious to write out the full versions of the scenes.
If you want to be writing buddies I’m meridianrose.