Monday's WC: 1,313
Nano is less than two weeks away! I'm excited, I'm anxious, I'm PANICKED. Well, actually, I've calmed down...a tad. I'm really thankful that I've prepared myself with OctoPractiMo. I've learned quite a few things this month, things I'm hoping to reinforce next month with nano. At any rate, I had a dear friend from a writer's board state that she, too, was panicking. Here are a few things that I'm figuring out...and remember, I'm still a beginner. I'm a nano virgin.
Inner Editor Sucks Creativity: Yes, yes, that terrible editor that lives within us all. I read a post a couple of weeks ago (wish I could remember where) where the blogger referred to that editor as a jerk. Yes, he/she is a jerk. Because I write two paragraphs and want to delete them. Or, that one word isn't quite what I was looking for. Or, this plot will never work. Or, or, or... Yup, I struggled with that jerk all week. Even the court jester teased me and my delete button usage. In my head, I think that I'll never remember to fix that paragraph/word/character/scene. So-in order to keep myself from deleting-I highlighted in a strange pink kind of color(it's a very pretty addition to the manuscript)so that I know I want to go back and look at that specific passage or whatever-after I'm finished. Oh yeah, darn! That word...finished.
You see, our first draft is never going to be finished, in the sense of finito! Our rough draft will suck, it will contain punctuation, grammatical and spelling errors. Some paragraphs might not make sense, some plot threads will be left hanging. That's why it is a rough draft.
Time is Precious: Even more so than usual-we have to set aside a time to sit down and write. And write some more. If you have a DVR, I would suggest recording your weekly shows or what have you during the month of November. Because tv time is eating into your writing time. And I have certain shows that I really look forward to throughout the week (Pathetic, huh? It used to be Friday night clubbing that I looked forward to....*sigh*) However, I've made a firm commitment to really evaluate what I want more-tv or a novel. Novel wins. This isn't just about tv either-it could be that for the month of November you could talk someone else into driving the kids everywhere, or at some of the where's. Or, you skip Wednesday night with the girls, or you dutifully take your notebook with you to every function that may give you five minutes or more of down time. There are a lot of ways to adjust your time availability-you just have to look hard.
Plan: Even if you are a 'seat of the pants' type of writer(oh yeah, that's me), something could be said for planning. It doesn't have to be a professional outline, like the kind you had to turn in with your research paper in high school. It can be a simple jotting of notes-events and characters, plot lines, conflicts...these things help you out when you get to that 'stuck' part of just writing on the fly.
Plan some More: 50,000 words in 30 days is daunting enough-then look at it broken down and it's still daunting. 1667(approximately) words per day. Of course-this is assuming that you write seven days. Remember-kids have a short Thanksgiving break, do you have family coming in? Are you cooking the bird? I know I have to take care of Thanksgiving around here by myself. The day before and day of are spent cooking-like most women. I also know that when the kids are home on weekends, I don't write as much...so I know that I will have to adjust my word count. My goal is to write a good 3,000 to 3500 once a week to keep up. Will this goal hold true? I don't know-but it sure looks good on paper and when it's on paper-I tend to try a lot harder to achieve it.
READ: There are a lot of bloggers and websites that have great and helpful information from those much more experienced in the Nano life. I have linked to them below.
Reward Yourself: Even if it's something simple, like a chocolate bar, or a walk around the block or a bubble bath-when you reach your wordcount goal consistently for a few days or a whole week, remember to give yourself a little instant gratification. It makes it easier to go all the way to the end goal.
Kristi Holl: Wonderful advice all the time, but she has some great links for nano on her blog.
NanoTools: This squidoo page holds great links to fun programs that might make reaching your word count a little easier.
Liana Brooks: She also posted a little 'plan' post for Nano, reminding us that plotting in advance is key for writing under a deadline.
Lynn Viehl: She links several different documents that she uses for plot planning, character development, etc.. She also shares with us other links of interest specifically for nano.