NaNoWriMo: Some Get Ready Ideas

Last week I bragged about how I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2011. I thought it only fair to post how I do this, because I’ve been winning and I don’t think it’s an accident.

The things I do before November 1st:

  • Get my blog posts done and scheduled for November
  • Get a majority of my research doneNaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-Square
  • Have my settings and character descriptions written down for quick reference
  • Estimate how many words I’ll be writing in total. I write mysteries which are between 50-80k.
  • Create a framework of where your story needs to go and how fast. My plot points land at or around 12.5, 25, and 37.5k.
  • Give yourself writing prompts every day. (note: I use scene/chapter descriptions which are very helpful for my synopsis.)
  • Assign a word count for each day β€”minimum 1.7k.

The things to do during NaNo:

  • Show up and write.

There is one more thing that I do.

I push forward at all costs. If my scene goes wrong, I don’t stop and rewrite it. I just asterisk, hard return and begin all over again. I know it sounds stupid, but it keeps me on task and that’s my goal. I need to move forward until I’m done.

If I’m short for the day, I’ll add to my scene by digging deeper and adding random/concrete details β€” smell, hear, taste, touch, space, time of day/season, and the unknown factor that hopefully hangs in the air afterward. All of it will be incorporated later when I revise.2715858

examples are:

  • blinding sunshine;
  • storm clouds rolling in with my MC’s mood
  • the touch of fingertips

If you are participating in the NaNoWriMo adventure, share what you do? Have a plan?

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41 responses to “NaNoWriMo: Some Get Ready Ideas

  1. I don’t think it is an accident either. πŸ™‚
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. Sounds like a good plan. Going to have to come up with a plan of some kind for myself. Especially to shut off my inner editor. In the meantime, I have to finish brainstorming my outlines. But damn, I still can’t believe NaNoWriMo starts next week. I’m both excited and scared. Good luck to us all!

  3. This is a great plan! I like the idea of the prompts, and pushing forward at all costs. Over the last year or so, if I got stuck, I started writing “as if” – as if the previous scene was the way I wanted, as if the character name was the name I wanted, etc – no going back and changing it right then.

  4. Pingback: NaNoWriMo: Get Motivated, Get Hyped, Get Writing! | Turtle Writer

  5. Good list. I start to see how NaNoWriMo can happen.

  6. Excellent advice. No wonder you win every year. I agree on the keep writing part. No time to actually revise, just get those words down on the page and keep on keeping on. Best wishes for another win in Nano this year!!

  7. show up and write is the plan before, during and after
    Juneta Writer’s Gambit

  8. This year, I’m going in with no plan at all. I may write the fictionalized version of my parents’ suicides and then again, I may not. I’m taking my pantser-ness to new heights and leaving my muse in charge. If nothing else, it will be an interesting ride!

  9. Hi, Anna! While I admire the folks like you who participate, I don’t and probably won’t. I’m a bit contrary like that. I don’t like the idea of a set thing I have to do no matter what. But, all the more power to you and others!!

  10. Great tips! With organization like that, you can’t help but win. πŸ™‚ I foresee another win in your future.

  11. I’m not participating in NaNo. I am, however, writing a short story for the IWSG fiction contest. I write plays. I’ll use Nov. to work on the current one. Good luck in your writing goals for NaNo!

  12. Nice to-do list for Na-No. ANd I love that…push forward at all costs. That’s a good mantra for every day. πŸ™‚ Good luck with NaNo!!!!

  13. The two years I participated in NaNo, I had all my research, character sketches, premise, and word count goals ready in advance. I never, ever considered blogging during NaNo. You are amazing, Anna!

    Wishing you a November brimming with many fine words. Good luck with NaNo!!!

    VR Barkowski

  14. wow, you are so organized and driven … I really admire you for that! πŸ™‚ Best of luck !!!

  15. NaNo doesn’t work for me, but I cheer on those it does work for.

  16. I’ve been successfully talked into it. See you there! πŸ˜‰

  17. Great prepping! When I did NaNo, I did up all my blog posts and through into the beginning of December too. I never outlined. I just wrote and wrote even when it didn’t make much sense. It’s a fantastic feeling! πŸ™‚ Good luck.

  18. Hmm…let’s see. I normally start the month with a strong resolve to stick to the daily word count and not fall behind. Then I take a weekend off. And another. On the last day, I write between 12K-14K words.

    That about sums it up. πŸ™‚

  19. jennifer@badbirdreads

    I like how organized you are about this.

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