Saturday, 7 July 2012

Twenty-four Is A Magical Number

 Here it comes, guys, the Writers Call of Duty. The days are counting down until the second *or third if you count Aprils Script Frenzy* National Novel Writing Month event of the year. You have allowed yourself a weeks break since the event in June, and now it's time to get ready for August.
Here's a checklist of things I'm going to be looking out for and doing to prepare myself in the next 24 days.

1. Get an idea. You're a writer, you have a million tiny ideas flying around in your brain, but most of them are just that - ideas. Choose the one that you think you can bring the most out of. For example, I had a dream where all I can remember was a silver pocket-watch. I've taken that pocket-watch and turned it in to the center point of a novel about Time Travel. If all else fails, go out and people watch. Relax. Breathe. Study.
2. Become Dr. Frankenstein. Yes, it sounds weird, but honestly, characters are fun to make. Not only are they vital to your story, but they can be anyone that you want them to be. Grab the parts - Red hair because you love Rupert Grint. Aussie accent because Ryan Kwanten is Hottie McHotterton of Hotsville. Curly hair, because you're tired of your own straight hair. A musician, a storm-chaser, a trapeze artist, because you hold the pen, and you want to live vicariously through them. Pull the lever and bring them to life! (And then think of a name.)
**For help in finding names for your characters, may I suggest the websites I use?
3.  Plan an outline. -Grooooan- Do I have to? Believe me, I hated writing outlines. I'm the first person to admit that I'd prefer to Wing about 80% of any given novel. I'll think of a few giant plot points, some big ones, and a few minor ones. We all know that even though we're the writer, that we hold the Almighty Pen, our characters can take charge and lead us down an entirely different road. Keeping on track is a great way avoid wanting to pull your hair out during those 30 days. 
4. Tell people you're writing a novel. Just don't tell them every tiny detail about your novel. It's annoying, seriously. If you give too much away, what's the point in reading it if you're going to tell me the entire plot? Telling people that you're writing a novel in thirty dreadful days is a good way to keep yourself from backing out. They'll be envious of you, astounded that you're going to attempt such a blasphemous thing. And now that you told them, you'll have support. If you fail and quit early for whatever reason, you'll have to deal with a wee bit o' self shame for a while. 
5. Follow @CampNaNoWriMo. But Lisa, not all of us are Twitter Junkies. Trust me, I know this. I'm not even a twitter junkie, but believe me when I say, CampNaNoWriMo on twitter gives good advice, support, and ...what's the word i'm looking for...encouragement, there we go. 
6. Join NaNoWriMore on Facebook. I've been in the group since around the time it was founded, and let me tell you, that page is probably the main reason I've been able to build an amazing story. The people are amazing, unique, and always there to convince you to carry on with your novel. For example, I had 40k words to write in 5 days, and they told me I could do it. And by golly, I almost said to heck with the fact that I have to sleep, I'll do it! I'm telling you, these people are amazing. You may have to be invited, but you might be able to send a request to join...
7. Have A Playlist. Music works wonders, that's all i'm going to say. I mean, seriously. The right song at the right place at the right moment could make you think of you're entire novel in like two seconds.
8. Write that sh*t down. As writers, we're probably the biggest self-liars in the world. After coming up with the greatest idea in the world, we tell ourselves, 'oh, it's alright. I don't need to write this down, I'll remember it.' WRONG!! You'll forget it, and you'll want to punch yourself in the face a few times as you pick your brain trying to remember. 
That's pretty much all I've got for now. I'll post more tips until the day the August NaNoWriMo ends. If you want, scope out a few locations, find a place where you can get lost in your work and write, or think, or whatever. You have to write where you're most comfortable. Remember, one mustn't edit during the event. Fine tune it now while you've got the chance. Be the OCD perfectionist you never knew you were. Also, reading your inner Editor a bedtime story might be a good idea. You'll have to shove them in to a steel pit during your time in this.

Good luck with the set up. And don't worry (too much), you've got 24 more days until things get real.

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