Brief Prep for NaNoWriMo

Every year I attempt to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short, and NaNo for shorter). And every year, besides last year and I’ll get to that soon, I’ve failed almost immediately. I set up my novel, plan my every move, and somehow the words never make it to the page (or word document, but you know what I mean). Sure, I’ll give it my all for the first week, reaching and occasionally surpassing the suggested word count, but it never lasts beyond two weeks.

Last year I was forced to do a mini NaNo for a class. We had to write 15,000 words in a month and I attempted to begin and end my novel in that time. I succeeded and the sense of accomplishment when I was done and turned it in was so overwhelmingly wonderful, I’m going to try again. And this time succeed at doing the full novel. That’s right, 50,000 words in a month complete with exposition, climax, resolution, plot, setting, and even characters… you’d be surprised at how absolutely necessary each of those are, and yet some in my class would neglect them.

I have a list of ideas that I add and subtract from in a variety of places. I keep a little notebook on my at all times to jot in but I also have a master list of ideas on my Google Drive (I will make another post sometime about the benefits of using Google Drive if you’d like. Long story short, it’s helped me A LOT). I suggest this method to those who are very forgetful (like me), and are prone to losing their idea notebooks (also like me). As it’s a good idea to keep a backup of your novel, keep a backup of your ideas.

I always find in the month of September that the hardest part of prep work is settling on an idea. I, and I’m not kidding, have a document of bullet pointed ideas that’s around five pages long. That’s a lot of ideas. I do have ones I feel more passionately about in bold, but still narrowing those ideas is so hard. I have quite a few outlines for ideas and sometimes that helps me decide, but mostly hinders the process.

This year, I am going to be attempting to write the full novel and journal my progress in an attempt to force myself to finish. Look forward to my future posts in which I will undoubtedly be struggling with writing.

Stay creative my friends,

Dana

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