Prepping for NaNoWriMo – Are you going to join this year? Please say yes!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is just around the corner. Are you ready? I know, I know, there is still almost three weeks before the first day but this is about when I like to start thinking about what I am going to write and what my writing goals are this year.

The cats are exempt from the not bothering mom while she tries to NaNo, because they are cats and will walk on my keyboard anyway.

I have made a deal with my family that they mostly follow, where they encourage me to write and support me for NaNoWriMo. I have still yet to get any of them to join me but I try. If you are doing NaNoWriMo (and why not!) feel free to find me! I would love it, because I often don’t get to go to a lot of the meet ups. My username is paula1849.

As an admitted semi pantser I don’t do a lot of prepping ahead of time, but I do take the time to think about what I want to write. 50 thousand words is a lot so I don’t like to waste a single one. So I end up creating a very general story idea in my head and start to work around different issues and problems. Then on the first day, I put the story down on paper and make a very general outline which I then fill in. No wasted words!

As I continue to try and grow in my writing, I also look to find a particular area in which to grow and practice. Last year I focused on dialogue, and found the experience to be quite helpful. I had been struggling because a lot of dialogue I wrote seemed stilted and it seemed to me like I had too many “said”s. I took the few weeks before last year’s NaNoWriMo to really focus on the stories I read to watch how those authors managed their dialogue. It turns out, there are a lot of “said”s but you don’t notice it as much as a reader. The good part of NaNoWriMo is that you are not suppose to stop and edit, but push to get your words out and your numbers met.  So when it came time to write my 50K words, I was pushed to write better, faster and that improved my dialogue.

This year I am going to focus on “showing not telling” more.  I got a really crazy science fiction story that I had dreamed about that really needs to be written. The dream was so vivid that I think I will be working on world building a little bit too! I am so excited!

So what do you do to prep for NaNo?

Have a great day!

Paula

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