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?