You may remember my posts last year about NaNoWriMo. I had only started toying with the idea of daily word counts and the challenge NaNoWriMo presented got me all hot and bothered. See, I love competitions. I'm happiest when I'm competing against myself. It's why I loved performing as a musician, why I love running, and why I love writing.
But, for all my love of the game, NaNo blindsided me last year. I assumed I'd win and you know what they say about folks who assume (ass = me). And, I didn't win.
But I didn't lose. Nov 2012 was my highest word count at the time (aka best. month. ever! To-date).
So, to prepare for NaNo 2013 I'm approaching this beast differently. I know 50k in 30 days is tough. I worked my arse off last month and only made 40k in 30 days.
Here are some things that helped make 2012 NaNo a success:
1. Know thy self: setting a realistic goal - November sucks (in the best way). November is full of holiday planning, visits, vacations, shopping, and obligations. Additionally, if you have perfectioninst tendancies, like I do, writing a first draft to completion is on par with donning a hand sewn dress with the pattern still pinned to it. *brushes off chalk lines* I hate drafting because I want to polish as I go. I'm gunning for a win this year just because I want to win. Which means I'll have to plan around my own desire to polish as I go. I know it will be hard. I plan to set weekly word count goals. If I can get a head of the daily word count requirements my schedule can flex to meet other obligations.
2. Tell people: building accountability - Telling people your goals, whether they are word count, running, weight loss, or underwater square dancing increases your accountability to yourself. In other words: This shit got real.
3. Make friends: building support - I hope to build my writerly network again this Nov. In preperation I'll be building my network in Oct. It helps to have as many people supporting you and rooting for you as possible.
Here are some things I'm doing differently to turn up the heat:
1. Blow my pantser out the window with a directional charge a la Fiona Glenanne: I'm a plotter now, baby~!
Well, not really. I'm trying. I learned the hard way that a vague idea does not 50k make. I needed more than a concept. I need an outline. I need a plot and ideas and details. I'm turning Oct into my own personal plotting month in hopes that I'll have structure enough to unleash the beast in Nov.
2. Targeted collection of inspiration like a master spy:
Once I get into the nitty gritty of drafting I tend to collect inspiration. I do image searches and save pictures that remind me a characters. I dig up movies with plot elements that I enjoy or find similar to my structure. I build play lists to capture the essence of a specific character or scene. This month I will pull these items down before I start so that I'll have the inspriation ready when I need it.
3. Writing the synopsis first like a professional!
OMG, I can't believe I said it. I'm going to write the synopsis first. You hear of these crazy writers who do this and my inner pantser would recoil in horror. But not anymore. This Oct I'm writing the synopsis first. The story may change. In fact, I am posiitive it will. But having the synopsis will be my map. The outline that I mentioed above is like the mapquest directions I need to get to my destination. I just hope my directions will be more accurate than mapquest. LOL
What are you doing to prepare for NaNoWriMo?
Want more ideas? Here are a few blogs that might help:
25 things you should know about NaNoWriMo from my favorite pen monkey, Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds
NaNo Prep: planning your novel by Janice Hardy
The Siren Call of NaNoWriMo (general thoguhts and practical advice) by Raewyn Hewitt
Pitfalls and how to avoid them by Lisa Cron via Writer UnBoxed