Prepping for National Novel Writing Month

Ready. Set. WRITE! Wait! Not yet- starting November 1st! If you are not aware, November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50K in 30 days. I love NaNoWriMo and look forward to it every year. I have participated the prior two years (and won!) and two other years as well. I can’t remember the years I participated in.

Why do I love National Novel Writing Month? It FORCES me to turn off my inner editor and just WRITE! My current piece of fiction, which is in the hands of beta readers, was a result of last year’s NaNo. I went into NaNo with a basic concept. I finished JUST over 50K. Then I almost entirely rewrote the book from January to August. The book had some of the same scenes, but the book changed entirely. I removed characters and changed a few. Then from August to September I did more revising and additions. At 70K, I sent to beta readers. Starting in December, I will edit it some more. I am hoping to be finished in February.

This year I am trying something different – outlining. I don’t normally outline. I am a discovery writer. I simply put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, however the mood strikes me, and just write. Sometimes I don’t even have a concept in mind. However, this year for NaNo, ,I want to be as prepared as I can be. I downloaded EverNote and have been doing this on my iPad.

A calendar. I recall last year I would write and then figure out if I was where I should be at that point in the month. I thought this year it would be easier to just have a calendar that listed the TOTAL word count goal for the month for each day. I created a calendar, which you can download here. I will print this out and at the end of each day, I will put my total words for the document (not the day) above the line to see how close I am. I know I need 1667 words a day, but seeing the total picture will help me more.

A support group. I find this on Twitter. I have a small circle of people I have developed friendships with through Twitter, and a few of them are participating this year. We will keep each other motivated and on track for our word count. The NaNo website has writing buddies, but I personally find the website a little confusing and would rather get support this way.

OneNote. Yes, this is my secret to getting my words done. While I can type quickly, I find I have many times that I am away from my laptop and scenes strike me. What do I do? If I had to type on my phone, I’d be typing what would normally take me five minutes for about thirty. I am not a fast touch pad typist! I simply speak my words. When I am done, I email it to myself. I have to edit it (because we all know how reliable talk to text is), but it helps get those words out.

I’m so excited to get started. I have an idea, an outline started. Now I just need the calendar to switch from Halloween to November 1st!

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