Preparing for the Madness.


The thought occurred to me this morning when my alarm clock went off at the rather ungodly hour of five-thirty that NaNoWriMo begins in a matter of days.  It also means I have less than four days to finish the manuscript I am currently working feverishly on.  The panic of NaNo hasn’t set it, and I’m hoping it hasn’t since I’ve prepared as much as one can.

I feel a little like Boromir, ‘one does not simply walk into NaNo.’

Well, they shouldn’t in any case.

What do I do to prepare?

Step One: Stock up on tea, cookies.

Step Two: Inform my hubby not to disturb me for trivial things like laundry or lunch until I’ve made progress on my daily word count.

Step Three: Fill in as many character details in my Scrivener character folders as possible.  I found breaking the characters down into sections by how they relate to each other makes it easier to manage.

Step Four: Determine names, places and faces.   My word count tends to suffer if I’m floundering around trying to determine what a character looks like or where they live in the middle of NaNo.

Step Five: Plot out the first chapter.  I’m mostly a panster.  I don’t outline, but I do like to have a general gist of where the story is going.

Step Six: Create a writing playlist in iTunes.  Music soothes the panicked beast.

Step Seven: Make sure my writing timer has batteries.  I find using a timer helps keep me focused and reminds me to take breaks.

Step Eight: Remind myself it is not the end of the world if I come short of my goal.

Step Nine: Repeat Step Eight.

Step Ten: Keep aspirin handy.

Ivy was my first success at NaNo. So I’m hoping I can repeat the feat this year.

Have you succeeded at NaNo?  What were your secrets to success?