Preparing for NaNoWriMo

I wish I had decided later in the year to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Deciding in August has left me with too much time to fill between the decision and the beginning of the event. That means I am doing far more preparation than usual.

I am fortunate to be in an area where there is a very active local NaNoWriMo group. My group is meeting on Sunday for a Plot Planning Party. Being more of a pantser, I don’t care too much about the plot planning aspect. When preparing to start a story, I will do some planning. I usually have a very sketchy outline and a small dossier of information about each character. I’m not sure I can spend three hours planning my story. But in spite of my lack of plot planning skills, I’m attending the party. Hopefully I don’t come up with a different project idea for the month (again).

I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year for the community. I’m not daunted by the word count goals required to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve done that much before. On a typical day, I write 1000 to 2000 words, with most days being above 1500 words. But I don’t know that many local writers, and the ones I do know tend to talk about writing more than they actually write. This brings me back to attending the plot planning party.

My other preparations are simple. I talked my fiancé into accepting an extra 4 hour shift at work on Saturday evenings, which means I get more uninterrupted writing time. I purchased a couple big bottles of red wine. I designated a notebook and folder as my official NaNoWriMo command center. I have made a shopping list of delicious things to snack on while writing (carrots actually ARE on the list, just so you know) and budgeted for takeout pizza once a week for all of November.

There are also pre NaNoWriMo challenges posted in the message boards. This particular one was to watch or read something that we normally wouldn’t and then post our reaction to it. So I watched Dr. Zhivago – which was a bad decision that caused agonizing boredom. Next time I’ll just read the book.

Now I just have to decide on my NaNoWriMo rewards. That’s where I’m stuck. Obviously, I want the t-shirt. But if I complete something big, like a draft of a novel, I think I deserve a somewhat larger reward. Sadly, I have absolutely no idea what I want. But I’m sure I’ll think of something in the next 20 days.

In 21 days, NaNoWriMo begins!

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