Okay, so unless you’re brand-new around here, you know that NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, in which I and millions of other people across the country endeavor to prove ourselves certifiably insane by attempting to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days.
And you’ll know that I’ve previously participated in six NaNoWriMos, and that I’ve reached the 50,000 word finish line, er, six times. With four novels that were later completed, and two more that are “in progress.”
The problem is that the two that are “in progress” haven’t been making a lot of “progress” lately. So I’m seriously considering turning this year’s NaNoWriMo into a NaNoFiMo (National Novel Finishing Month).
I’m pretty sure I can write at least 50K more words on either story. And at the moment, I’m leaning kind of heavily toward spending my November adding to the word count on last year’s wizard story. So as long as I can convince myself that it isn’t really cheating, that’s probably where I’ll go.
I’ve posted previously about NaNo prep (here and here, among others), and there are plenty of other people who have good and useful advice about how to properly prepare for a month of insanity (like Kronda Seibert, for example).
So instead of going over all of that again, I’m going to share my “to do” list of things I’d like to get done before November 1:
- Make Maps: This story takes place in a fantasy realm. Which doesn’t automatically mean I need to include maps in the final product, but making some to help me keep my own head straight would certainly be helpful. As I see it, I need a number of maps: One of the “entire world” (at least a rough sketch), one of the “near world” (my protagonist’s country, the neighboring country–both islands–and “the continent”. And no, they’re not England and Ireland in disguise). Then one of just the protagonist’s country, with a fair amount of detail (like roads, rivers, towns, etc.). And then I need one of the capital city (Tayendia), and of the wizard’s school (Balincove). I might also need a floor plan of the protagonist’s rooming house. My plan was to try to find some kind of freeware mapping tool, but I haven’t had much luck with that. So I may be toting a sketch book off to Mile Hi Con this weekend and doing a little doodling between panels.
- Review Outline: Yes, you read that right. I’ve actually got the entire book outlined–at least roughly. Some details will certainly change. I’ll probably re-order some events. But I actually know where this story is headed, for once. We’ll see how that affects the writing process and the outcome.
- Adjust Attitude: I need to start swapping my brain from Edit Head to Writer Head. Because Inner Editor is a very pushy bitch and tries to horn in when she shouldn’t. Perhaps I’ll make myself some reminder signs, like “Write Now, Edit Later” and “ALL First Drafts Suck”.
- Gather Research Materials: My protagonist is–or was, before she got picked to go to wizard’s school–the cook at a country inn. Now that she’s in the Big City, she’s going to earn money for books, supplies, tuition, and clothing by getting a job at a restaurant. But she’s in for a few surprises. For starters, the country-style cooking she’s used to back home (based heavily on medieval and Renaissance foodways) is far too old-fashioned to fly in the City. Not only that, but she now has access to types of fish and seafood she’s never even imagined. So I need to scan my post-Renaissance cookbooks for some seafood dishes she can make or adapt.
- Manage Infrastructure: For starters, I need to clean my desk. Which means clearing it off as well as dusting it. Then I need to get my second monitor installed, and do a few other hardware chores (like swapping the DVD drives between my computers, since my old one actually has a better one than my “new” one).
- Connect With NaNo Community: I still haven’t registered on this year’s NaNoWriMo website. (My handle there will be arwensouth, as in previous years.) And I need to verify when my local write-ins will be happening.
- And finally, Update Playlist: I put together a pretty good playlist last year. I just need to dust it off and fine tune it a bit. Because picking just the right music for writing is a tricky business.
So is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year? If you are, what preparations are you making?