NaNo2016 – Reverse NaNoWriMo

So, last year MLHGL suggested that she was going to try for REVERSE NANO.

Quick update: She failed, and badly.

This year, she wants to try it again (this is how she keeps doing NaNoWriMo, after 5 original years of failure – she started winning and by all that’s holy she intends to maintain an unbroken streak of wins until she just can’t anymore). In case you’ve forgotten what it is (or plan just don’t know), here’s a quick rundown:

REVERSE NANOWRIMO
A method of writing that encompasses writing more words in the beginning of the month, starting with a higher word count and slowly working one’s way down to a required word count of 1 on the last day. It’s sort of a way for the Americans to handle thanksgiving, by building up massive word count early in the month and allowing them to only need shorter and shorter windows for writing thru the holiday that kicks off the major holiday season.

 

One thing to know: You’re going to have to click through the read more link for the collection of daily word counts (someone else math’d it out long ago, and I haven’t seen them online in a couple of years, for which I am sad). This need to click thru the read more link is because well, it’s a BIG list of word counts broken down into 7 day segments.

Read more “NaNo2016 – Reverse NaNoWriMo”

Writing totems aka IDENTIFYING THE WRIMOS

This one is mostly for the newcomers! (If you’ve been around for at least a year, you’ve probably met at least one of the MLs and can pick them out of a crowd.)

But, if you’re new…. How do you identify the huddle of NaNoWriMo participants?

Generally, there’s a laptop for every person present. Occasionally, there might be one or two who don’t have one. A few participants have NaNoWriMo stickers on the lids of their laptops. (MLHGL is one, there are a few other WriMos who stick stickers on everything.)

MLHGL also has the great fun of having a chunk of blue in her hair, a bright red mouse and stickers on her laptop. (There’s a good chance of plush penguins too.)

MLkitkatt  ((((( HGL MADE A MISTAKE. OOPS )))))

Help! I can’t find a time/place to write

This is a thing that a lot of people have trouble with every year.

Finding either the time, or a good place, to write.

Both MLkitkatt and MLHGL have been blessed for sometime with having a job that allows them to have their laptops and write while they’re at work. Most stay at home parents already have a good idea of when their “downtime” is and adjust accordingly.

But what about students and people with full time jobs?
.     When MLHGL had a job that didn’t allow her the opportunity to write while she was at work, she would sit down for an hour or two immediately after work and write. Challenge yourself to X amount of words in a 15 min block. (MLHGL’s personal goal is 500 words/15 min. There are those who shoot for 1k30min, but MLHGL’s wrists do not like that idea.)

Writing in small blocks with “small” word count goals will help you break it down and get it done. In the 500 words/15 minute word sprint blocks, it only takes a little over 3 blocks of time to get the official daily word count goal. That’s only 45 min a day. (trust MLHGL, you will get better at typing, and you will get faster, and eventually, you will be able to train your brain into more than 500 words per 15 min.)

Or, just join in some word sprints. Twitter offers an official nano sprints account, and there are a couple of other accounts that do word sprints throughout the nano season. (They also stay active throughout the year.)

Word crawls are also very good word count boosters, and MLHGL is currently planning to write at least one for every Star Trek, and a few that are just general space themes. (feel free to ask her to message you with links)

One thing to remember though, is that thru NaNoWriMo, you can be selfish with the time you set aside to write in. Tell everyone that you’re doing NaNoWriMo, and that when you’re focused, (and maybe have headphones in), that you don’t want to be bothered. Not because you don’t love them (or want them to starve…) – but because you’ve challenged yourself to write a book, and you’ve only got a month to do it in.

NaNo2016 – Research!

Research – probably the only thing more distracting than the general internet for authors. Why? Because most authors I know love to learn, and research is self-guided learning. The only other thing more distracting is social media (currently included in the “general internet”), and we all know that we probably have a problem with being distracted with social media. Find a seat and kick back with a notepad, MLHGL is here to talk research!

So, if you’re here before November 1st, you’re probably doing a great deal of planning in advance of NaNoWriMo (and are probably a planner, which MLHGL is not). You’re doing research. You’re getting your information together so that you don’t get things too terribly unbelievable in the first draft. Though, I will admit, once I’ve written a couple thousand words, I have enough of an idea about my plot to know a few points I should research and that’s always a good thing.

If it’s during November when you’ve come to visit this page, well, you’re probably wanting to make sure that you either do or do not need to do some research. If you’re asking that question, then yes, you probably do need to do the research.
Reasons why research is a good idea:

  • Knowing what kind of weapons your characters might use!
  • What kind of food is realistic?
  • How long, on horseback, from point a to point b?
  • What colors of clothing they might wear?
  • Were there windows in the castle, or arrow slits?
  • Would XYZ type of lifeform be able to easily survive in ABC sort of climate?
  • What star system is closest to earth’s?
  • Is there a Walgreens or Starbucks on that corner?
  • Is the coffee shop crowded or deserted at 2 in the afternoon?
  • How large is the fallout zone of a nuclear blast?
  • Pants, skirts or kilts?

There are many, many things that just a little bit of research can help you with that would make your story that much more realistic.

Some of these questions can be answered by books, some by the internet, and sometimes you need to just ask your crowd of fellow Wrimos if anyone might know the answer to that question. Google StreetView is an amazing tool too.

ML_HGL will be offering easy access to a book called “How to Find Out Anything” any time she’s around – which can help you figure out how to word your search terms for maximum results.

I’m going to point out something here though: If you aren’t in a position to give to National Novel Writing Month, and would like to know of a way to donate anyways, use GoodSearch – register for an account with them or use your facebook account to log in and choose NaNoWriMo as the cause you’d like to donate to. Each year, NaNoWriMo receives between $2,000 and $6,000 as a result of GoodSearch’s offers and from those wrimos who use the service. GoodSearch gives a penny for every search done with their service, it adds up.

Generally, during NaNoWriMo itself – I will usually use GoodSearch myself for everything. (ML_HGL)