Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10/23/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Greetings everyone and welcome back. I hope your week is going well so far. We're at the halfway point, which means just a little bit more until the weekend. I have to work on Saturday, so it's only part of a weekend, but the rest of you might not and that's awesome! We are also just over a week until October is over, which means, yes, it's time for NaNoWriMo prep!

Now I'm sure you were all expecting my post on pacing, like last year, but I decided to hold that one off until next week. There's still time left, and I want to make sure it's fresh in everyone's mind before the 1st. Last week we took a quick look at anti-heroes and how to make them work, which I thought was kind of fun. Today I wanted to look a bit at planning overall, especially with NaNoWriMo coming up next week, it's especially important to remember your outlining steps and whatnot.

The whole goal behind National Novel Writing Month is to write a full story in the 30 days of November and get it to at least 50,000 words. Now there are some ways to work within that, and some people do, but if you are starting from scratch, adding the idea that you need to write a first sentence along with the stress of the word and day quota is a little intimidating for a lot of people. It's really interesting watching the national word count sky rocket the first week and then start evening out by the second as well. The reason that happens is that a lot of people don't do all of the planning they think they need before they start. Let's try to avoid that this year.

I'm sure I talked about it last year too, but outlining for NaNoWriMo is ridiculously important. With so much going on, it's imperative that you know the path your story is going to take and the only way to do that is to take notes, plan, and maybe even give yourself a little cheat sheet. I understand there are some people that can do most of that in their heads, and everyone's reference page is going to be different, but the important thing is that you have one to go to when you get stuck.

Also, before the freak out happens, keep in mind you are going to hit a point during NaNoWriMo where you are going to get stuck. It will happen, it happens to all of us, and it happens no matter how well or how much you plan. Things don't always go the way you want them to when you're writing, and sometimes you get a new idea in the middle of writing something, which throws a wrench into your plan. Before you panic just remember to calm down, look at everything rationally and if needed take a break for an hour or so to re-work your ideas together. If you panic and freak out all it's going to do is delay you more and cause a higher probability that you won't finish. You will go through all the stage of panic and your brain will instantly become too tired to want to finish everything as words no longer make sense, but that's why you take a moment to look away from the page and do something else (but not for too long) so that when you come back you are able to jump right back into it. Always remember how important it is to come back.

The other thing that helps is to give yourself a schedule. This partially will come up with the annual pacing post next week, but the brain loves repetition and habit, so make sure to put your NaNoWriMo times at a point where you realistically have time to do what you need to do without too much stress on yourself. If this means breaking out your writing times, then that is perfectly fine. Also, remember that the average number of works you're looking at doing, if you plan on writing from the 1st to the 30th, is 1667. That's about two to two and a half pages a day, if you're using Times New Roman and size 12 font. When you think about it, that isn't that bad, and if you're breaking up when you're writing to help your brain or your personal schedule demands it, don't think of that number as insurmountable, think about it as only a couple pages and that will help. It's kind of like how people don't like seeing something that costs $1.00, but $0.99 is ok.

I really hope this is helping, remember, NaNoWriMo is all about challenging yourself and having fun. If you go to their site, you will find a lot of community stuff going on during the month like Write-Ins and get-togethers locally. They are a great way to find people who are doing the same thing as you, and there's always a point where you can ask others about what you're doing or any potential issues you're having. You'd be surprised to know how many others are doing the same thing you are, and maybe their methods will help you along as well.

For now I will take my leave. I will be back on Friday for the normal review. If you could, please tell people that 'The Light Rises' is 50% off until the 31st using coupon CN49P at Smashwords. I would really appreciate it. A big boost in the last week would be super fun! Have a great rest of your week and I'll see you all Friday!

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