So You Want To NaNoWriMo

So you’ve decided to take the leap.  Is it your first year?  Your billionth?  Are you a professional writer?  You ARE?  WHY ARE YOU READING MY BLOG!?

 

Okay, so let’s get back to first timers.  Or repeat offenders.  What’s your plan?

STEP ONE:  MAKE A PLAN

My plan has been to half-ass an outline, of which I’ll maybe get half the month out of.  And then I’ll pants* the rest.  I’ve had the heart of this story in some iteration or another for years, so I’m confident.  I’ve got extensive notes about these characters.  I have oodles of witty dialogue involving a psionic direwolf.  I’m on this shit.

STEP TWO: WRITE THAT SHIT

Easier said than done, right?  Absolutely.

Make time for yourself to write.  Steal it.  Do what you have to.  I’m planning on writing at lunch, and then for at least a couple hours at home after work.  I’m lucky though, because my wife is also a writer.  She gets it.

You’re not writing a masterpiece… even if that’s the endgame.  You’re writing 1700 words a day, every day.

That means no editing, no rewrites.  Only go forward.  Frustrated?  Skip that section and write the next one.  Or drink.  Just kidding.  You can drink and write at the same time.  Don’t give up or give in to despair.  That’s what half-way through December is for.

STEP THREE: ?????

STEP FOUR: PROFIT

Okay, now we’re underpants gnomes.  Sorry about that.

You’re the only winner with NaNoWriMo.  Your whole plan was to write FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS IN THIRTY DAYS!  You didn’t give up!  You didn’t surrender!

THIS WAS A TERRIBLE PEP TALK, RIGHT?

I’d apologize, but let’s face it.  We’re in the same boat.  Work competes with the projects and no plan survives contact with the enemy.

You’re going to feel an intense pressure, as with any attempt to write. (Or not, in which, you’re awesome.  Go you.)  But if you keep writing, you keep working, you’ll get it done.

I’m just some guy writing on the internet, but I believe in you.  I know that if you want to do this insane thing, you will do it.  Maybe I’ll even read it when you’re done.

 

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It’s Nearly Here

So it’s that time of year, that most magical time of year.  Leaves have turned colors and fallen off the trees.  The houses are decorated with spooky things and my daughter is asking when we’re going to carve her pumpkin nine million times an hour.

That magical time of year where I wonder just how long it will take before I cave and get into the Halloween stash.  Where I check the levels of beer, whiskey, coffee and other necessities.

In one week, it will be the first of November.  In Colorado that’s the first (and last) week of Fall.

It is the day in which a bunch of word-obsessed maniacs hurl themselves, heart and soul, into the masochistic craft of writing a novel.

It’s National Novel Writing Month!  50k words in 30 days.  1700 words a day, for 30 days.  If you break it down even more, 500 words at 12pt font is about a page.  So just over 3 pages a day.

Madness, lunacy!  What’s the point?

You mean, other than the stories themselves?  I have no clue.  The feeling of satisfaction?  Practice?  An opportunity to get a first draft done.  Learning to accept that sometimes you have to write a whole bunch of shit to figure out how a project works.

Its a contest.  So what do you win?  You win 50k words towards a finished novel.  And a cool sticker for your social media page.

In one week, this shit begins!  Don’t let the fuckery keep you down!