We're getting close to NaNoWriMo 2015--yay! NaNoPrepMo is now in full swing, and after discussing ideas last week, I wanted to turn my attention to logistics.
NaNoWriMo is not an easy thing--never call it easy! It can be fun, wild, hectic, stressful, silly, lonely, social, and over-caffeinated, but I would never call it easy. The reward is well worth the investment, but it is important to accept that there will be an investment, and to take that investment seriously. Because of this, some preparation might be needed to stay on track. A few tips:
1. Figure out your Word Count strategy
The backbone of NaNo is that word count. Most people suggest 1,667 words per day, which will definitely get you there, but there might be other things to take into account. Are you going to be super busy on Thanksgiving? Is there no chance that you are going to be able to write on Tuesdays? You don't want to be into November and realizing this; you want to prepare now.
One way that I've done NaNoWriMo is to write 2000 words a day, and get one day off a week; this helped me take a day off for Thanksgiving (always busy!) and my birthday. If you're a commuter who is planning on writing on the train or in the carpool, perhaps it would be easier to do 2000 words each weekday and 1000 words each weekend. Perhaps you need to start off each morning by writing 600 words before work, so you only have to write 1000 when you get home.
One benefit of NaNoWriMo is that it gets you into the practice of sitting down on a regular basis and writing. Prepare for that new habit now!
2. Write-Ins and other social NaNo events
I used to never go to write-ins because I was too shy, but as I am now an ML I have to attend several a week, and I love them. One of the huge perks of write-ins are that they are times solely for working on your novel, with no distractions from your home. Use that time!
Most regions have their write-ins scheduled by this time of year--look them up and see if you can attend. If not, perhaps it would be a good idea to get on the forums and plan your own write-ins. They don't have to be anything formal; a simple "I'll be writing at Starbucks on Wednesday nights; feel free to join" can suffice. Once there, you can use @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter for some help if you need it. But put some writing time on your calendar now--you'll appreciate knowing that you have those blocks of times already set aside come November 1st!
I'm not going to get into outlining much since I just did a series on it, but now is the time to work on an outline if you feel you are going to need it. Figure out what you are going to be writing, and if you're really feeling ambitious, make a list of what you want to do each day. Maybe something like:
Day 1: Introduce dragonstone
Day 2: Amy finds the dragonstone
Day 3: Amy turns into a dragon
Day 4: Amy terrorizes the village as a dragon, and kills her horse on accident.
Et cetera. The month will be a lot less daunting if you know what you are going to be writing each day.
4. Fun preparation!
It's not all boring logistics--you can have some fun preparing as well. If you've got an idea, maybe you can start working on a playlist for your novel that gets you in a wordy mood. Perhaps you want to choose a type of gum and make it your "Novel Gum" for the month--the one you only chew when you are writing. Do you want to bedazzle your computer so you can show it off in public?
If there's anything you need to do to make you excited to write, then start it now. You'll appreciate it later.
5. Read More
Writers need to read. Read a book this month--maybe of the genre you're planning on writing. Get into the reading and writing mood ahead of November!
And remember--have fun!