Yay! It’s November which means NaNoWriMo! National Nobel Writing month challenges you to write a 50,000 word draft in 30days, that approx 1,667 words every day. No editing, just writing. I took part last year but gave up miserably. This year I am determined to do it! WOO! You should do it too! You don’t even have to sign up if you really don’t want to. Just write 50,000 words in 30 days and you’re a winner!
Have you started yet? Are you just planning it still? Here’s some quick last minute planning tips. (You’ll want a notebook or some paper)
First Name Clouds (aka name banks?) are incredibly useful! Write down as many names that you like as you can think of, half boys half girls. Then you can pick out your main character names and as you’re writing if you come across a secondary character who needs a name, you don’t have to waste time searching for one and your character won’t end up being called Pablo-Marco Junior the second, because you had to come up with a name on the spot.
Second General plot bubble. Draw a mind map (aka spider diagram?) and everytime you have a possible plot idea, jot it down. Eventually it builds up and up and you can read over it when you get stuck for ideas and it will jog your memory or inspire a new idea!
Third Timelines! Draw a line out over a couple of pages. Then put a label at the beginning Of the line for Prologue/Opening or Chapter One, and one at the end for the Last Chapter or Epilogue. The. You need three or four (maybe more maybe less, up to you!) labels of the ‘Main Events’. Jot some notes for each label and then fill the gaps in for what happens in the chapters in between to get you from one event to the next. This is useful for when you’re writing and you get stuck not sure where your plot or your characters are heading next.
Fourth Character Trees. Draw (stick figures are fine) your main characters near the middle of the page. Draw and label arrows between characters showing the relationships between them. You can also add labels to each character saying a bit about them. You can then clearly see the connection between main characters and between all the secondary characters too.
So as I’m writing this the first day of NaNoWriMo has finished, and my Target for today’s word count was: 1667 words.
My actually word count was: 1680 words!
Let me know if you’re taking part, and if so, how are you doing?!