Saturday, October 10, 2009

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

I've decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) from November 1 to November 30, but it did take me a while to make this decision.

It is possible that I have been living under a rock since 1999 (when the competition first began) because I didn't find out about it until 2008. Being the procrastinating writer that I am, I've waited a whole year to find out what NaNoWriMo is all about.

One of the people that I follow on Twitter, who goes by the name ProcrastWriter, has been tweeting and blogging about NaNoWriMo since September. I signed up for her NaNo survival tips and set out on a journey to find out more about this 30-day-Novel-Writing-thingy.

Of course the first place I went to was the NaNoWriMo website. After checking out each page on the site, I was like okay this sounds cool. I still had to give it some more thought though.

And you'll never believe what happened that night. I had a dream about something I would have never thought would ever happen to me in a million years--I was falsely accused of murder but was acquitted and ended up on Oprah. Isn't that something.

Now I'm not the type of person that sits down and tries to interpret what my dreams mean, but I did wonder, "Is this a story I need to write?" The more I thought about it I finally came to the conclusion that I had to use this dream as the basis for my NaNoWriMo novel. So I went back to the website and created my profile.

Then I was at the point where I was trying to figure out how in the world would I be able to write 1,667 words a day for a month between taking care of my son, working (full-time mind you) and going to school two days a week as well as taking one class online. Now I know I spend a lot of time online, which is great because I get to network with new people and keep in touch with old friends; I'm thinking that some of that time (at least an hour a day) can go towards working on this novel.

I Googled NaNoWriMo yesterday and found a few more blogs that had some very helpful information. Paperback Writer posted a blog entitled "NaNoWriMo Ten". This article talks about finding character names, using a graph that monitors your novel word count, and gives information on outlining your novel in 30 minutes as well as a few more suggestions. created a progress form in 2008 that can be used to track your daily word count progress.
suggests finding someone to compete in the challenge with you.

All of these sites offer a wealth of information. I may find myself using nearly all of them before the month of November is over. I'm even considering purchasing a NaNoWriMo 2009 "Noveling Machine" t-shirt to keep me motivated.

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