Saturday, October 31, 2015

My NaNoWriMo Essentials

NaNoWriMo has already started in some locations, but I sit at my laptop waiting for the hours to tick by until my time zone can begin.My fingers are itching. I've been imagining my first chapter rather vividly in my head all afternoon. I can't wait.

But until then, I thought I'd share some things that I've decided are rather necessary to keep nearby while trying to type out 1,667 words per day.

If you get hungry or thirsty, going to the kitchen is just a distraction. Don't tell me you'll brainstorm while you pop popcorn, or while you wait for tea to steep. You'll get busy washing dishes or texting a friend and the next thing you know, your popcorn is stale, your tea is cold, and your word count is still sitting at only 300 something and it's almost midnight...for the third night in a row. Get these things taken care of before you sit down to write. An emergency chocolate bar is also a good idea.

Notebook & Pen
Sometimes you just need to scribble out an idea. Sometimes you get stuck while typing. I've heard a change in medium can help with that, so I'm putting a notebook and pen on my list of essentials. I do most of my writing on the computer, but I tend to brainstorm with pen and paper better.

On the technology side, you need something that keeps all your ideas in one place that is accessible from anywhere. If you can manage to keep actual paper and pen with you all the time, use that. For the rest of us, we need something that can be accesses on our little smartphones--those are always in our pockets. Personally, I use Evernote, but you could use Google Docs, or anything else that lets you access from phone and computer both.

This was something I didn't think about last year: tissues. Writing can be very personal, and if you suddenly realize that your plot or character speak to you, tears may ensue. Toward the end of last year's novel I hit some emotional scenes that had me in tears as I was writing them. You don't want to be scrambling for something to wipe nose and eyes if you're writing an emotionally charged scene.  Keep a box of tissues handy.

So there's four things that I consider essential to have near my while writing for this month. What is on your list?

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More about NaNoWriMo?
Four Benefits of NaNoWriMo
This Year's NaNo Prep
What I Did Last Year To Silence My Inner Editor

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