Oct 192010

Yup, I’m doing it again this year. I will be attempting to write a novel in 30 days. Be assured that it’s only a small novel and one week of that month is fall break. And we all know that I have all the time in the world when I don’t have to teach. Right? – Right?

So this morning found me actually preparing for it. After overcoming the initial shock I thought that might be a good idea. Now before you get all crazy ideas, I’m not outlining or making character sheets or anything for the novel, that would just be weird, and neither am I cooking a month’s worth of meal in advance. I did in 2006 but it didn’t really work out the way I planned. In fact that month I spent more time cooking lunch than I usually do despite all the planning and freezing and assembling. Especially now that my husband cooks lunch eight times out of ten. (Okay, I’ll tell the truth: nine times out of ten, and that tenth time is usually Chinese takeout or something equally challenging to make). So here’s what I did to prepare:

  1. Had a talk with my husband to tell him that I want to. Again. Now, my husband has never been happy about NaNoWriMo ever. I can’t blame him. At best it’s as if I’m never quite there, at the worst I’m totally stressed out about getting my word count done while being cranky and sleep-deprived, and totally neglecting my family and housework. I didn’t actually manage to have this talk gracefully in any way but I’m happy to tell that this time (unless last year) I managed to tell him first without telling anybody on my blog. He still isn’t happy about it but there isn’t much he can do. I also might have promised to do all the housework by myself until Christmas or something. (Which works really well, which is why I’m sitting here typing instead of hanging up laundry like I should right now.
  2. Told my writing group that I want to do NaNo again. Sadly there’s only one other writer joining me. Everybody else is being sensible on me.
  3. I unearthed last year’s manuscript because right after I thought, “I want to do NaNo again!” I thought that it would be cool to write a second part to my fantasy novel of last year. I thought it might be a good idea to read that before I start writing the next part if only to get my main characters name right. (It wasn’t Selina as I had thought, no, it’s actually Serena. I think. Maybe I should get a start on those character sheets, ahem.)
  4. I started importing last year’s novel into my writing software (it’s Scrivener, by the way). Importing is easy but it might actually help to break the thing down into chapters and scenes so that’s what I’m working on right now. Also I’m making a list of characters. Just their names and who they are. I have quite a few of them by now and I’m starting to confuse them sometimes.
  5. Made a plan. Now I’m well aware that time doesn’t grow on trees and so I know that for me to write roughly 2,000 words a day something else will have to go. My plan is to skip writing morning pages and spend that time (6.15 until 6.45 in the morning) working on my novel. Then, after sending my son off to school and my husband’s breakfast I’ll write another 30 to 45 minutes. If I do that it will bring me well ahead, about 1,000 words. Then I need another writing session, maybe after breakfast instead of checking e-mail, and another one in the evening instead of watching DVDs. Sounds great, doesn’t it? And still leaves me with enough time to sleep, eat, work, spend time with my family and exercise. (Wish me luck, please.)
  6. Got into the habit of writing every day again. I had been doing so well with my “500 words a day” until mid-July but since then I’ve been struggling. But now that I’ve given myself a mighty push and a stern talking to I’ve started to work on my current story again, and I find that I enjoy that very much. The plan is to set that aside for November and start again either in December or maybe only past Christmas. We’ll see how wiped out I’ll be feeling come Advent.

Is any of you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Why not?

  6 Responses to “Preparing for NaNoWriMo”

  1. I do so admire you!
    Every year I am toying with the idea of participating in NaNoWriMo but I never quite get around to it. I have some ideas but nothing concrete so I am afraid to start.

  2. I can only encourage you to just jump right in. It’s a ton of fun, and I never know where my story is going to lead me. It’s not a coincidence that the book the NaNoWriMo-founder wrote is titled “No plot, no problem”.

  3. I want to. I really do. I have no plan. I also have no time. Then again I do get distracted by watching things like Fringe on the telly so maybe I should stop that til December. I’ve had a bad writing month. I have the fear. But I also have Scrivener… 🙂

    I’ll try and talk myself into it. I think it might be good for me…

  4. I have a friend who occasionally does something like “half-NaNo” where she tells herself the goal is 25,000 words or maybe even less. For me the fun of doing NaNo comes from the mad rush, and the panic, and the fear of not winning, and from the fact that by just writing on and on, however lame and stupid the story feels at the end there is a story. And most of them aren’t half bad. (Well, the first one was. But since then, every time I reread something I have written during NaNo I’m amazed that from all those evenings of writing anything just to meet my word goal there comes some nice writing.)

    Don’t talk, just do it. And let me know your NaNo username so I can “friend” you. Mine is freejazzmama.

  5. Oooo-kay! I downloaded Scrivener (the trial version), I ordered “No Plot, No Problem” for a good pep talk, I registered at NaNoWriMo and already I am shaking in my shoes because I haven’t the foggiest what to write. 😯

    Heaven help me!

    I am not really the social kind so I don’t see me joining a writing group near me. Especially since they all are full of people who do NaNoWriMo since the Ark and I would really feel stupid. Not my favorite pastime!

    Do you plot in advance?

    And what if I reach 50K words (haha!) and am still not done with my story?

    OMG, I don’t only FEEL stupid, I AM stupid!

    BTW, I am anea at NaNoWriMo (just as on Ravelry, too).

  6. Hi, found you thru the NaNoWriMo forum. I’m live near Munich too and will be doing NaNoWriMo for the first time. It’s great that you’re doing it again! Good luck with the writing…

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