Monday, October 30, 2017

NaNoWriMo advice for writers from Arlene

NaNoWriMo, writing for teens

The following is advice from Arlene, for anyone, especially other teens, who are considering joining NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), it begins Wednesday, November 1st.

So I'm on the YoungWritersProgram (YWP) of NaNo and the new intern asks a question and of course I can’t just give a simple reply. This got kind of long so I thought I would share it as encouragement here for anyone else who wants to give NaNo a shot this year.

ModKS Q:What are all of you doing to get ready in these last few days before NaNo starts? What things are you getting taken care of now? Do you put together NaNo kits for yourself? What do you make sure to have? What do you recommend?

Me A: So this is only my second NaNo besides the two camps I did over the summer (neither of which I really committed to like I did in November so this is kind of my ideas of ok now that I have done it what can I do better this year).
So for prep I would say write. Yes I know you are going to be writing all of next month but if it has been a while since you wrote fiction then write a short story in the last few days this month just to get back into the writing a lot each day groove. For this I have actually been working on my story for next month early writing out how all the characters arrived at the location of where my story takes place since it happens at the beginning. 

Second you don't have to outline. Some people really do some people don't at all, I’m somewhere in the middle but plan as much as you are comfortable with and then let your story surprise you and take you to the awesome place you never knew it could go. I have an idea of what is going to happen but I don't heavily outline before because then I feel like I will be too stuck to my outline to let the story go a different direction if it wants to.

I don't have a kit except for a package of good chocolate as a reward for myself if I get to my word count by the end of each day and plans to hang out with friends this Sunday as a break before going into a full week of writing next Monday.

What do I have? Well last year I wrote on my computer and in a notebook. This year I’m writing on my computer  only because I got behind on typing up what I had written by hand for last year's project. This year I have my computer, Wikipedia (which when writing fiction is more helpful then you might think) and the aforementioned chocolate. I don't think I’ll read as much as I did during last November as it got me too distracted to write some days but I will definitely have a few books on hand for if I get a block and just can’t think of anything.

What would I recommend? Well for writing I would say just go for it, it might not fit or it might sound weird to you at 2 in the morning but this is writing month. Turn off you fixer and just write to have fun. After all that is what writing should be, it should be something you enjoy doing and not something you are doing because you have to. If you do it because you have to then your end product won't be as good because it won’t have your joy and fun personality in it. 

As for supplies, food is good and don't stay up too late either. You need fuel to keep going and not just caffeine because that is like a car running on fumes, it works but it’s not good for you. Also you want lots of sleep so you can be fresh every day. 

Word wars and sprints are your friends, it you are good at typing and know where you want the story to go then if you can do 500 words in 20 minutes then it should only take you a few hours to get to your word count goal for the day. Also, set you goal for each day higher then it needs to be (say make it 2000) that way if you have a day where you just can’t write a lot then you have gotten ahead on a different day so you don't get too far behind. I have heard this from lots of people who say it works.

Ok so that’s kind of prep and some stuff for during the month hope it is at least a little helpful. :)


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