ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing

NaNoWriMo - The Pre-Game Show

Updated on October 22, 2013

And So It Begins

The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to the diehards) begins shortly. The goal is to write a novel of 50,000 words in the space of 30 days. The winner of this challenge is a nice shiny certificate and the personal satisfaction of doing it. The advantage is that you can say with pride that you wrote a novel. I’ve written four so far. I have written something with a beginning and end. I have not only managed 50,000 words but I have sometimes gone over that number. Without the editor that sits on my shoulder telling me I suck after every paragraph I can write quickly. Sometimes it’s garbage, but not all the time. The one thing I have gotten out of this is the satisfaction of actually finishing something.

The editing process.
The editing process.

Preparation I: AKA How to waffle for 11 months.

 

Preparation starts in December. This is where the exhaustion has kicked in leaving me to sleep or play endless games of solitaire while I work up the energy to do something for Yule and Christmas holidays. January through May is where I do anything but look at my novel. This is where the excuses not to edit come out in force. June through September I regain the interest in writing and learn to love it again. October. This is the month of the extreme waffle. Do I? Don’t I? My hands cramp at the thought of repeating days hunched over a computer or laptop trying to crank out 1,667 words of pure drivel a day. At the same time the new plot starts to drift through my mind. Music takes on a new meaning. Songs begin to reflect a stage or scene in the story. Thus I reach the point where I have no choice. The story will float in my head until I give it an outlet and NaNoWriMo gets it out of my brain and on to the page.

Preparation II: What to do before you start

If you are lucky, you’ll have a support system. These are the friends and family who will cheer you on, nag you constantly, badger insanely, wave pompoms at you, do the dishes and make sure the coffee pot is on 24/7. There are also the bribes. Chocolate is a wonderful bribe. Sleep is also a nice bribe along with the neck massage to reduce the cramping from being hunched over keyboard for hours at a time. Those Hot Pockets ™ are also great to have. A 30 day supply will get you through when you need a break. You can eat them quickly and then get back to writing. Don’t forget to wipe your hands. Crumbs in the keyboard can be a very bad thing. The same with drinks, you’ll find the drink boxes are harder to spill and make a much smaller mess. It is very important that you keep yourself hydrated.

Music is critical for me to write and I try to spend the week before NaNoWriMo compiling a playlist of the songs to inspire me. One year the entire soundtrack of Serenity played constantly through the entire process. This was very useful for writing science fiction. Also critical, at least for me, is to trim your fingernails. This mostly applies to women but I have found that when my nails are fashionably long the number of typos go up.

A computer is nice but not required. There are people who successfully complete NaNoWriMo with just pen and paper Just like they used to before the typewriter and white out was invented.

BACK UP YOUR FILES DAILY DURING NOVEMBER!!!
BACK UP YOUR FILES DAILY DURING NOVEMBER!!!

Gemsong’s Tips & Tricks

Here are a few important things I do during NaNoWriMo to get me through the month.

  • Gag the internal editor. You know who that is. It’s that little voice that sits at your shoulder pointing out ever flaw, real or imagined that they see. Duct tape is your friend.
  • Do NOT delete. Even if the last sentence you wrote was pure crap or not what you meant to say, leave it there and continue writing. You can take care of it during editing.
  • Getting through the inevitable writer’s block. I use several methods through this.
  • Skip the scene to write a section I find more interesting.
  • Detail, detail, detail. If you haven’t made your daily quota detail out the activity of your main character. For example in a past novel I detailed the characters making breakfast. During this word padding effort the characters decided to make conversation and I ended up with more back story and a direction to take the story. In another story I filled my word count with a recreation of a scene from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Last Words

Last but not least, believe in yourself. Any author will tell you the first draft is crap. But the foundation is there and after vicious editing and rewriting could turn into the next best seller. Even if you don’t make 50,000 words, it doesn’t mean you failed. You didn’t. Trying is the first important step. My first attempt netted me a whopping 4,000 words. I decided I sucked, but I didn’t give up and neither should you.

 

And don’t scare yourself with the editing that will come in December.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Gemsong profile image
      Author

      Madalain Ackley 8 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Great to hear.Keep up the goo work!

    • Its Angel profile image

      Its Angel 8 years ago from Charleston, SC

      this is a great hub, lots of information, I am having a lot of fun doing this,

    • Gemsong profile image
      Author

      Madalain Ackley 8 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Go for it! Can't find your pen name. Mine is Gemsong.

    • Blogurl profile image

      Blogurl 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Great Hug! I have decided to take the plunge and signed up for NaNoWriMo this year. It will be my first. I do not have a very great support system at home, but there is a really great and supportive NaNo regional group I have joined. I am really looking forward to the write ins that they have planned. This will also be my first fiction writing experience.

      Good luck and I hope to see you in the forums! My NaNoWriMo pen name is K.T.Riffic (also on twitter http://twitter.com/KT_Riffic )

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Gemsong for your very informative and exciting hub, thank you so much for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • Gemsong profile image
      Author

      Madalain Ackley 8 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Maybe we get a hall of fame forum. :D

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      My first novel was 452 pages. My second and third novel will likely be shorter! I could probably do this project, but being that I have time restraints and other obligations, I don't think I can at this time. However, I enjoyed hearing about this and look forward to your successes. Thanks for the head's up. I'm really interested to see which hubber completes this task!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)