How to Prepare for Nanowrimo

Alright folks it’s less than 10 days away and you’re about to enter a 30 day war.

That’s right, I said it. This is war, but it’s not a war of words or creation or even a war of ink against paper.

This is an inner battle between your focus and procrastination, between your ego and determination. What stands in the way of your possible victory is yourself. So what are you to do, get ready.

  1. Join http://www.nanowrimo.org
  2. Find your idea
  3. Schedule your Time
  4. Do your research
  5. Say Goodbye to your Love ones, it’s time to ship off to war.

1)  Join the Website – Simple enough go forth to http://www.nanowrimo.org/ create your account, set up your profile, poke around the forums. Find your local community, see when the write outs are going on, where the kick off party is, who your fellow local writers are. Hey you already know me so add me as a buddy and try to stay on par with me as I race to the finish line.

2) Find Your Story –  Don’t go in to this with a blank slate. That’s not how novels are written, you don’t want to show day 1 going “hmm maybe I’ll write about… um…er… car… monsters…?” You have time right now, let your mind go. Spend the next few days finding the story that intrests you.

  • Write a logline or tagline – “You’re Crustacean my Heart –  A Crab Comedy”
  • Jot Down Names and concepts on main characters – John Powers, the brick, short temper and full of muscle; Tina Brown John’s seductress sister, with lips of beauty that spread lies and deceit
  • Put down some key story moments – John’s face off with his sister, John destroys the crab shack, John falls to butter induced alcoholism.

3) Schedule your Time – In an ideal world where you don’t have a job, or school or responsibilities you can just block off 2 or 3 hours a day for the whole month and Probably be well ahead of the game. Most people don’t have that. So you’re going to have to do some kind of complex math here. Try as hard as possible to schedule time every day and make it the same time every day.

The best way to keep writing once you’ve started, is to make it habitual. You want to ingrain yourself with that Pavlovian drive, so when it’s time to sit down and write you’re craving it ready to burn through pages. You’ll find that if you miss a day or start late you’ll be yearning to break away from everything and go for it. So find the time, make it an appointment with yourself and hold to it.

Don’t try going in to this with a day by day case. Figure it out now. When you just try to go with the flow, you’ll get sucked in to other things and find yourself rushing to catch up swimming up stream. Save yourself.

4) Do your research -One of the best ways to procrastinate is to fixate on something and research it. You’ll spend your whole day trying to figure out the name of that Brazilian Fruit bat with the largest wingspan, or find out just which indigenous people have a genetic allergy to mangos. Whatever research you can do this week, get it done now.

You’ve got your idea, you’ve got some bullet points, go forth and create a big folder of prints outs (and I mean print outs not internet bookmarks – cause in a few days I’m going to tell you to GTFO the web).

So get on the web now, find the weirdest most random things that you think might connect to the world you’re creating and let it stew in your system, let the ideas flow, jot down some ideas and notes, but hold the damn in. Cause in a few days we’re going to open the bomb bay doors and explode on to the page.

5) Say Goodbye to your Love ones – This is war kid, tell the wife you love her and you’ll be back in 30 days. But you’re shipping off and you don’t know if you’ll even be the same person when you come back. You’ve scheduled your time and now it’s time to enforce it.

Tell everyone on your day to day about your schedule, tell them “I’m off to war”, tell em “I’m a crazy wide eyed dreamer and I’m writing a novel.” Tell em “I’m the pope of chili town”. Whatever it takes. But make it known that your schedule is set and you’ve got a mission and a deadline and they cannot bother you during those time periods.

And hold yourself to it, when the time comes, when you sit down Day 1 during your scheduled time slot turn that cell phone off, close the web browser, turn off your instant messenger destroy distraction and write.

I’ll be posting nearly every day here with more tips and tricks to get yourself ready for Nanowrimo, including videos. So come back daily/bookmark/Subscribe to RSS Feedrss feed

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2 Responses to “How to Prepare for Nanowrimo”

  1. Dorlana - Supernatural Fairy Tales Says:

    Good luck with nanowrimo – I participated last year, but I don’t think I’ll have time this year – I already have too many writing projects and nanowrimo requires all of my time –
    Dorlana

  2. Lynn Jordan--Author's Tools Blog Says:

    Thanks for the tips. This will be my 6th NaNoWriMo. I find that it’s good to try new things during NaNo.

    It helps to participate with others. Enlist friends and relatives or join a local group. The more the merrier.

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