Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday: NaNo, Here I Come!

Today's Road Trip Wednesday asks:


 Are you doing NaNoWriMo, or have you ever? Does having a deadline inspire you?

As I mentioned on Sunday, I will be doing NaNoWriMo this year. (My username over there is SilversteinELA--I could always use more writing buddies!) And this year, I'm going to finish.  (I prefer the term "finish" to NaNo's "win"--listen, I love videogames and boardgames as much as the next nerd, but in this case I feel like it doesn't quite fit what I'm trying to do.)  

And yes, I am HUGELY deadline-motivated.  NaNo is already motivating me to do a few things: 

  • Finish unpacking and stay on top of the housework!  My goal is to be completely finished with our unpacking by the 26th (a Friday), so that I can take the last two weekdays in November to give everything a really good, thorough clean and start outlining my chosen project in a little more detail.
  • Start actually writing down story/character ideas, picking up craft books, comparing methods of outlining, and throwing together quick-and-dirty outlines of some of my ideas.  I've just got a running-record style Google Doc with tons of unconnected bullets: worlds, what-ifs, characters, first lines, concepts.  Just last night, I had one of those moments where I had to sit up in bed, grab my computer, and jot a note IN ALL CAPS--I think I've found the heart of my story.  Now I have to find the bones, the skin, the liver, the spleen...but that's what November is for!
  • Look at my calendar and customize my daily word-count goals.  I'll be writing on weekdays only, since Mr. S often has to work late and our weekends together are really important.  I might be taking an overnight trip in mid-November, and of course there's Thanksgiving, so I've got four days at half-speed.  I've marked each day's goal on my calendar, so I know in advance exactly which milestones I need to hit.  The goal for regular days is 2500 words (totally do-able, since I'm home all day and I'll only have to worry about maintenance housework) and for the four half-days, 1250. 
And, if you are also doing NaNoWriMo: be sure to check out this AMAZING roundup of NaNo tips, advice, and other good stuff from Katy Upperman!

16 comments:

  1. Wow, you sound very organized! That's so great you found the heart of your story during a late night brainwave. Love it when inspiration strikes in the middle of the night even if it's not the most convenient time. Doesn't it seem like that's when the best ideas always hit? Good luck fleshing out your story during NaNo! :)

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    1. Thanks! My organization really comes in fits and starts, but that looming deadline is really helping!

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  2. I'm also taking the time to take care of things that I would otherwise work on in November, as well as try to get some basic plot ideas on paper. I don't think I'll need too rigid a structure, but I want to have enough so I know the general direction of the novel, and I'm not left stuck, not knowing what to write half-way through. Though I can't honestly see that happening. If I get stuck, I'll probably just keep going with *something* just to see where it ends up... sounds a bit exciting, actually... :)

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    1. Yeah, I'm fully prepared to have a lot of side stories and tangents to corral at the end of the month. I'm actually really looking forward to eventually getting to REVISE something...it's just the pesky writing that has to come first!

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  3. Wow, that's a very organized plan - I love it! I find Google Docs really helpful for keeping ideas as well. It sounds like you're really going to make the most of November - that's awesome!

    On another note... I ride the F train everyday... I always wonder if you're on there...!

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    1. Haha, that's too funny! Sadly (ok, I"m not that sad about it) I'm not riding the F train anymore. We moved away from NYC over the summer. While I may not miss the whole subway experience, it did give me a BUNCH of time to read, and I do miss that scheduled, structured time. I think I'm going to have to start blocking out time and setting timers--I can't do any housework until my reading is done!

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  4. I love your tip for mapping out a custom word count instead of the stock 1666 or whatever NaNo gives. I think I'll incorporate that into my planning. Thanks!

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    1. Now let's hope it works! But it seems like the most sane way to do things.

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  5. That custom word count is a GREAT idea. No two days are necessarily going to offer the same amount of writing time, so mapping that out is a great way to plan ahead. I might have to borrow that idea! :)

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    1. Go for it! I just know I'm not going to hit 2500 on a day where I have to board a plane or eat a big turkey dinner with the family...but a measly little 1250? Sure, no problem. (I also like the cushion of planning for weekends off--then if something comes up during the week, I can at least try to get in a few quick bursts on the weekend to make up any ground I lost.)

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  6. Sounds like a great plan. Good luck! Cheering you on from the NaNo sidelines :)

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    1. Thanks! The plan is in place...now I've just gotta do the work. Simple, right? (Ha!)

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  7. I'm doing it this year too, for the first time. :) I'm in a similar place with my idea - I have the heart of the story figured out but I need to start plotting out the rest! Good luck! I'll be rooting for you.

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    1. Good luck right back at you! We can do this!

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  8. Yay, Jess! So exciting for you to start writing (and hope to see something in December :P)
    I am seriously thinking about doing NaNo...The energy surrounding the event just sounds so great (and I´ll need something to distract me from querying :P)

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    1. Hah! Think...February! At the earliest! That will give me time to recover/do the holidays/revise my NaNoMess into something worth sending to beta-readers :) But yeah, I'm excited.

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Thanks for coming by! Please chime in!