NaNo Prep

Every year that I do NaNo, I start off a little slow as compared to the rest of the month. Part of it is that I haven’t really slipped into my story yet, but that is only part of it – I usually know my characters, and can at least pretend I know where the story is going. Will that result in a lot of fluff that has to be edited? Certainly, but the point of NaNo is to get it written, not to get it right (or, as Ernest Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.”)
Really, in large part, I am not in NaNo mode.
Those of you who have done NaNo before know what I am talking about. Our typing speed is never faster than in November (though don’t look at our typos), and we can sit and work furiously for half an hour or an hour at a time. Meanwhile, in most months, I get distracted after a paragraph, or two if I am very lucky (I’ve already clicked away and browsed the internet three times while writing this).
(Make that four)
But I also don’t want to start writing my novel this month (at least not the one I will be doing the big push with in November), and a big part of what November brings is the insanity of the other people. So how do I get prepared for NaNo without actually writing, and without the people?
That’s a trick question, by the way. I can get some crazy people like me together for prep (which is the purpose of this blog post (and likely email)) to get our energies up. Which just left a gap of what to do for the actual writing, but that is solved to!
We write about our novels.
Not on them directly (that would put us firmly in NaNo Rebel territory), but there is much planning that can be done, even for a pantser like me. I won’t work on plot (though you should if it helps you!), but I would love to do character scenes. I want to unravel my characters, see what makes ’em tick before I start my novel, but I get to know my characters by writing them – this way I can do both!
We can do some character-building exercises (especially if anyone knows any! I did one last year, but have somewhat forgotten it), and discuss plot problems and the like. If someone knows how to plan plot, we can do that.
I will also be doing some sprinting. I will have the Box O’ Doom handy for goals. I have switched keyboard layouts since last year (Dvorak now), and am not at the speed that I would like to be at for my crazy Day One challenge. On top of that, for me, sprinting is a mindset that takes time to slip into, and one of my favorite parts about NaNo is abandoning all doubts and editorial tendencies for the thrill of furious writing. If it is fifteen minutes or two hours, I love that focus on getting my story out.
So now is the where and when. When is easy: Tuesdays (and maybe Thursdays, depending on interest), in the evenings (probably starting around seven). The where? My very own chat room, www.cosmam.com/nano/chat.htm. It should be pretty easy to get into and use.
And that’s really all I have. I am ridiculously excited for NaNo this year, and want to drag other people into the excitement and prep with me!
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