NaNoPrep 2015: Advice From a 2013 Winner

NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November.

You know, in case you didn’t know that already.

Back in 2013 I wrote a novel that isn’t exactly complete. I reached 50,000 words, but haven’t really touched it since. Last year I just couldn’t find the time to write. This year I fully intend to write another novel.

I like to spend my prep time doing things that are relevant to the writing I intend to do. This year I’ll be writing another fantasy novel, but I want it to take place on a new world. That’s right. A new world. I create my own from the ground up.

With NaNo in mind, I want to share a few things with you. The first list involves my prep work and the second is what I do during NaNo.

PreNaNo Prep

1. World Creation: If your novel is Fantasy or another doesn’t involve Earth you need to build a world for your story to take place on. You never know how many stories you’ll end up using it for. Creating your own world is easy and one of my favorite parts. You define the rules behind it. You make it real.

2. Character Creation: This goes a long way towards getting your novel off the ground in the first week. Remember, you’re about to make their lives hell. Make characters that you love, but won’t feel bad about terrorizing.

3. Research: like crazy. If you’re unsure of anything look it up and take notes to reference while you write. It helps a ton to know you can write something without fear of someone calling you on tour bluff.

4. Writing Apps and Programs: Always download anything you want to use ahead of time. It’s no fun trying to learn a program or app while you’re trying to reach your daily word goal. For the computer I suggest Libre Office. I love using it and it’s totally free. For Android I suggest Write O Meter. It gives you reminders and let’s you keep up with your word count in the app. Others use programs like Write Or Die, which deletes your progress if you take too long.

5. Writing Checklist: Make sure you have everything you’ll need to start writing in one place. Remember, you’ll be sitting in one place foe hours on end.

6. NaNo Forums: Get in contact with your home region as soon as humanly possible. These people can and will become your best friends in November. They get what you’re going through completely! You can meet up with them during scheduled meet ups. You guys will cheer each other on and lend a hand when it’s needed most. These are your write-in buddies. Don’t neglect other areas of the forum. They’re just as useful and entertaining.

7. Know Your Zone: If you stay in one area to write everything can be kept in reach. It could be somewhere in your room, living room, wherever. You’ll be spending a lot of time there, so make sure it’s comfortable!

NaNo Emergency Kit

1. Your Notes: This is important! Don’t waste time trying to find them. Keep them in the area you intend to write in. If you’re in your writing groove you won’t want to get up and look for your notes.

2. Beverage: Keep something to drink on hand at all times. You’ll wish you had when you’re an hour in and your mouth is dry. Caffeinated drinks are a good choice for late nights. You’ll have a lot of those.

3. Snacks: You don’t want to make constant trips to the fridge. Keep it light. Snacks don’t replace full meals. Likewise, it isn’t a good idea to eat nothing but sugar and fat. Granola bars and beef jerky are my best friends.

4. Sleep: Sleep is important during NaNoWriMo. Hell, sleep is important regardless, but you’ll need it during NaNo to keep your creativity going.

5. Writing Partners: You need someone to bounce ideas off of. Blu and my brother are huge helps with this. They get how I think and know what I can run with. In 2013 I was living in another state, so I spent an hour on the phone with my brother, running things by him. Don’t forget about your home region buddies. They can help!

That’s all I have for now, folks. NaNo is tons of fun if you prepare!

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One thought on “NaNoPrep 2015: Advice From a 2013 Winner

  1. This is great advice! Not everyone thinks about planning more than just the actual novel in advance.

    I use Write or Die, and I’d just like to point out that it only deletes your words if you have it set on that mode.

    Liked by 1 person

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