This will make the fifth year that I have taken part in National Novel Writing Month (2015’s event kicks off tomorrow.) Whilst there are many moments within the thirty days where I want to scream, lift my desk and throw it over whilst also throwing my laptop out the window whilst screaming “Laura smash,’ hulk style, there is nothing like that feeling when you reach and pass the 50,000 word target and feel incredibly proud of yourself for doing so.
For people who don’t know what National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is, it’s a 30 day writing challenge. 50,000 words, 30 days. It’s all about getting the words down in any shape or form and telling your inner writing critic to go away for a while. It can be hard work but it can be really fun and there is a lovely online community attached to it too.
As usual though, in true Laura style, I have left everything to the last minute. I have been frantically trying to get all my planning done and get the things together that I need for my NaNoWriMo survival kit.
My computer, notebook, loads of pens and pencils.
This is a must for my NaNoWriMo. I do mostly type straight onto the computer (using Scrivener,) but sometimes, it does help me to have a notebook nearby for when I need a change of scenery or when I can’t use my laptop.
My NaNo Plan.
I find I am needing to know where I am going with a story, especially during November. There is so little time in the month to get to 50,000 words that I need to have a clear idea of where I want the story to go so I don’t get stuck and waste time.
I use this quite a lot during November and I hit my highest word count in a night (23,000 words) using this method. It seems to work for me. I set myself a word limit, set the timer for ten minutes and then just write like crazy. My little writing challenge. It makes it fun (and like the notebook, shakes me out of a writing slump if I find myself in one.)
Tea and biscuits.
An absolute must for me during November. I drink more tea in this month than I do any other time of the year (and I drink a lot of tea in a normal situation.) I will always make sure I have a mixture of Teapigs Everyday Brew and Tetley and of course, I will make sure I have biscuits too. You can’t have tea without biscuits.
November is not the healthiest month for me. As well as the tea, I will always make sure I have a few snacks to hand. I want to be able to have an energy boost but not go far as I don’t want to get myself out of the writing zone so there will always be a few snacks stashed on my desk.
This doesn’t always happen but, if I reach my daily word count, I always try and give myself a treat like a bubble bath with a Lush product. I will also make up a little rewards jar. I include buy a new book, an iTunes voucher, a Starbucks tea. These will be for when I reach the big milestones; 5,000, 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 and then finally, 50,000. It helps me to have something to work towards.
I always like to have a dedicated playlist for when I am doing NaNo. I do tend to go through TV shows (most stuff I’ve seen before so it remains background noise.) However, I tend to mostly listen to music.
What tips do you have to survive NaNoWriMo?
My NaNoWriMo profile if you want to become a writing buddy: http://www.nanowrimo.org
If you’re taking part this year, good luck fellow NaNoWriMo.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.