So things are going to be a little different in November.
Since I do Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) every November, my primary focus will be to write like a madwoman until the end of the month (or until I reach 50,000 words), whichever comes first.
So WIP Monday will probably change to Word Count Monday.
I’ll still be knitting, but that will be scaled back, as the same free time I use for knitting will be used for writing. I’ll still post if I complete any knitted items, and I will still post randomly when the mood strikes. But those will probably be mostly writing-related. And I’ll probably descend into madness- you have been warned. Nanowrimo is hard.
This week (the week before the madness starts), I will be preparing. You can do everything short of actually writing your novel. You can do character synopses, or outlines. You can research any particular diseases or poisons that you know a character will have/use. Or maybe how to survive falling off a horse.
I have tried outlines, and I cannot do anything beyond a vague one. My characters rebel if I get too detailed. I mainly use this week to make sure I have all my supplies. So let’s detail my supplies!
The Dana is a fabulous piece of low-distraction awesomeness. I bought it back in 2012, and I have used it (and a spiral notebook) every November since to write my 50,000 word novels. (Click here for more on the Dana and more Alphasmart/RenLearning products.) None of the products are offered anymore, so you will need to get them secondhand. Usually on Ebay. If you are looking on Ebay- check out my post on what to make sure the seller includes: Things to Know.
It’s supposed to be a productivity powerhouse, so I’m really going to test that. I have also bought a case with a wireless keyboard. Now- I do not have a lot of disposable income (and what I do have usually goes towards yarn), but my tablet-y awesomeness was made possible by my wireless carrier. They have moved to a month-to-month system, where instead of paying the whole price up front- the price is broken up into manageable monthly payments. So I can manage $25-$30 bucks over what I already pay them monthly. If the tablet turns out to be too much of a distraction (Ravelry… email… games… various internet rabbit holes… ), then I will move back to my Alphasmart.
As backup (because you cannot take the tablet-y awesomeness everywhere), I will also have my normal composition notebook. That notebook will also be used to capture ideas, character profiles, and maybe experiment with a flow chart or something. If you will remember from this post (Back to School), I also have a stapler, some Post-It Notes, and various colored pens at my disposal. And trust me- they all will be used. In addition, I plan to free up a few flash drives to use for data backup. If I’ve learned anything from doing Nano- it’s save early, save OFTEN, and save in multiple places. Also do not overwrite a past save. For instance- if you save your file once a day- name it 01.doc. Then when you save on November 2nd- name it 02.doc This way you have every version saved. Why? Say you think a particular piece of dialogue is really bad, and you decide to delete it. But later- you decide that parts of it are usable- you still have the original to work from. Then once you have that saved document- copy it on the flash drives. Also email a copy to yourself. This may sound paranoid, but I’ve had everything happen to me from a laptop with a bad charging port (that also wouldn’t use outlet power), to a blown motherboard, to a virus that corrupted 3 of the 5 backups documents I had. Anything that CAN go wrong during Nanowrimo, WILL.
I generally cannot write at home. Too many distractions. So all my writer-y goodness happens outside of the home. Usually on breaks at work, or at a cafe. The white noise of normal people interaction is perfect for my creativity. Panera Bread Bakery/Cafe is usually my favorite source for uninterrupted writing time/caffeine/sugar. I think they are used to people camping out for a couple of hours, because the only time they get disgruntled about people staying for hours, is during their peak busy times. So just be aware, and be willing to leave, if you’re taking up real estate during peak hours. I also try to buy something every hour. Even if it’s only a pastry- I don’t feel like I’m freeloading as much. I also like park benches. Just be careful with food around animals. Squirrels will steal your food when you aren’t looking. So will pigeons.
So, if you decide to participate in Nanowrimo, you need:
1. Something to write on.
2. Something to write with.
3. A totem to carry around to remind you to write (a cute little stuffed animal or bobblehead doll works just fine)
4. Lots of caffeine
5. Lots of sugar
6. A place to write
7. A partner (or many people) to keep you accountable. (Nano is more fun with friends!!)
8. Understanding family who know they will not see you much during November.
And if you need an internet friend to cheer you on, I am adais on Nanowrimo.org. Feel free to add me as your Writing Buddy.