Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo

I will totally admit that I lost NaNoWriMo. It wasn't so much as a failure to me as an, "Eh...." I have written novels before, but NaNoWriMo has never appealed to me for some reason. So when I read about Camp NaNoWriMo, I was actually relieved that it had loosened guidelines. A set-your-own-goal type of thing. I plan to do that with NaNoWriMo this year as well.

When I entered NaNoWriMo, it was the early 2000's (shit, did I just show my age?). So that tells you that it's been a while for me. Since then NaNoWriMo has really become a thing. That's why I've decide to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. I want to have some fellow writers to discuss my work with.

Anyway, you might want to know how I am preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo. I am doing a LOT of stuff connected to prewriting. I have written my outline twice now, and I am reading a lot. Today, I'm going to share with you 6 ways to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo.

1. Read Blake Snyder's Save The Cat (if you haven't already)

This book has done wonders for me. Seriously, I knew nothing about outlining and prewriting until I read this novel. Now, I know this is a book about writing screenplays, not novels, but your novel plays like a movie in your head anyway, so why not use it. Anyway, many prose writers swear by it.

Which brings me to....

2. Outline Your Novel

Okay, so previously I was a pants-er. (I hate these terms, plotter and pants-er, but I'll rant about that some other time.) Oh, I tried to outline. I tried a lot of things, but they just didn't work. Outlining was a mystery to me and seemed pretty perfunctory. But the Beat Sheet changed my way of thinking.

I found a modified version of the Beat Sheet for novels linked on this page.

3. Get to Know Your Characters

Start to develop your characters. Physically, Emotionally...... Do this way before you start writing, like this month! I have spent the last two weeks developing my hero and herione and they are quite fleshed out.

There are some tips from author Kristin Martin on Youtube.

4. Set Aside Some "Catch Up" Days

So you know you won't be writing every day. You should schedule some days to write where you will be completely interrupted. Maybe that is a weekday,  a day when you don't have work or if you're a student, classes. My word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo is 12,000 words, or approximately a little more than 45 pages. For that to work, I must write 400 words a day. Does anyone think that's going to happen every day? No. So I plan on scheduling some days for catch up.

5. Do All the Other Dirty Work

Get all your research done, like FINITIO, before you start in April. Need to talk to some policemen or lawyers, or other professionals? Do it now. Also get all your pages with stuff you need to refer to in Scrivener so you aren't worried about it in April.

6. Get Scrivener

YES. I used to think I could do it all in Word, until I downloaded Scrivener! Best program ever. There are plenty of places where people sing the praises of Scrivener, so I will just leave it at: get it.

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