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Preparing for NaNoWriMo Part 2

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 9:35 AM
In my last journal, we discussed the best ways to prepare for NaNo and included a couple tips on how to make that writing go a little faster and smoother.  Well, now it's time to discuss how to NOT fail at NaNoWriMo.  Because just as there are some really grand ideas on how to prepare yourself and keep yourself on task during the month, there are also going to be those times of self doubt and using excuses to not write.  For NaNo, any of those excuses are completely unacceptable [well, except for life threatening excuses - those are allowed].

So once again, I reached out to the Lit Community to find out exactly why other deviants failed at NaNo, or what they found to NOT work for them and compiled it all together in a pretty little list like last time.


What Not to Do


:bulletpurple: Don't get sucked in Wikipedia, TVtropes or any other sites like that.  In fact turn off your WiFi so the internet isn't a distraction.  All your research should be done before NaNo, so this shouldn't be an issue.  If you REALLY need to use the internet, have one specific task in mind and as soon as you're done with that, close the browser window.

:bulletpurple: Don't stress if you miss a day.  Just tack a little extra onto the next four days' goals and you'll be back on track.  If you miss a week, you may be in trouble.  This is where having a schedule comes in handy.  No not a schedule of what time you're going to write, but knowing days you will definitely be writing and what days you'll be unable to due to prior engagements.

:bulletpurple: Don't edit as you go.  Write what you write and leave it at that.  There'll be plenty of time later to edit.  But during November, DO NOT edit anything that you write.  You'll get stuck editing and not writing. 

:bulletpurple: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT backspace!  Well, alright you can do it a
little, but only here and there.  Don't doubt your writing and leave the
editing/changes for later.

:bulletpurple: Don't worry about the quality of the writing.  The goal is to get 50k words down.  Editing word choice and grammar will come later.

:bulletpurple: Don't be discouraged after the first week when the words aren't flowing as smoothly as they were at the start.  Just stick to it and push yourself through.  Consider jumping a couple scenes ahead if need be.

:bulletpurple: Don't be lazy.  Keep at it.  Join a group (either local to your area or online) that will push you.  Because people you know that aren't writers won't push like your writer friends will. 

:bulletpurple: Don't do NaNo instead of homework.  That's just asking for trouble.

:bulletpurple: Avoid becoming sick or getting in car accidents.  They will kill your word count quickly.

:bulletpurple: Don't let excuses get in the way. There's a REASON they put NaNo in November, with all the holiday chaos and while people are still in school. There will always be a reason you're TOO BUSY, but you have to push these reasons aside and make time to write anyway.

:bulletpurple: Have a baby due on November 8th [Thank you BeccaJS]

I'm Stuck! What do I do?!


Your brain has been attacked by the evilness that is writers' block or brain freeze.  Obviously, this isn't a good thing during NaNo, so you're just gonna have to work yourself through it.  I'm a firm believer in just sitting there and writing whatever comes to mind until you get back into the groove, but here are a couple ideas that come from other deviants on how to get out of that rut your brain just fell into.

:bulletpurple: Death by Shovel.  Take a character (any one will do) and kill them with a shovel.  That should get things moving along.
:bulletpurple: Natural disaster.  Mother Nature is a bitch.  Let her wreak havoc on your characters.  Storm of the century style!
:bulletpurple: Step back and write a quickie flash fiction scene of something that's been floating around in your head.  Get that out and then get back to work.  Even if these scenes aren't used in your final product or even toward your NaNo word count.  They're great ways to get your creative juices flowing and those words flowing on to the screen.
:bulletpurple: Change your location.  Not your story location.  Your ACTUAL location.  Go somewhere else.  If you usually write indoors, try going outside.  If staying at home isn't an option, go to a local park, your public library, a coffee house.  A different place will spark fresh ideas simply because you're in new surroundings.

Once Again a HUGE Thank You to All the Deviants that Made this Feature Possible


TarienCole, WTFgirl, AzeeraTheNinja, kittykittyhunter, forbiddenhero, Thy-Robocop, damina, AeternusVotum, TMCanada, evil83angel, MeganLawler94, Loza-Muse, thorns, TheSkaBoss, SkysongMA, PinkyMcCoversong, Nekolai, ozzla, BloodrainFireDawn, The-Monoblos and AspiredWriter

Part 2 of the NaNo articles. This one focuses on what you shouldn't do during NaNo.

:iconcrliterature:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconwtfgirl:
WTFgirl Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
[link] link to the NanoWrimo chat room.
Reply
:iconaspiredwriter:
AspiredWriter Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
one site you forgot to mention... DeviantArt!!! the biggest distraction for most dA NaNoers.

i'm sorry but are those three points one and the same? don't edit don't backspace (i.e. don't edit) and don't edit... um ok we'll not edit :iconcryingplz: (i probably will a bit though, can't help it)

this does'nt seem to me to be as good a list as the first one hmm....
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012   Writer
This is why I turn my WiFi off when I'm writing. If I don't, I'll end up hanging on dA and not writing. And that's bad.

I was trying to be very clear about the NOT editing part.

And I agree. The first list was much better, but it's also the more important list.
Reply
:iconapocalypticangel4792:
ApocalypticAngel4792 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student Writer
This year I have to miss the first day of writing, but I won't let it bring me down. Like you said, just adding a few more words a day to your overall schedule or pulling a double-day can get you on track. If I miss a week though, I will be in trouble: With 2 research papers and finals in early December to plan for, I have to get finished as quickly as possible. Failure is not an option!
Reply
:iconeuxiom:
Euxiom Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
Yeah seriously people.

TVTROPES IS THE DEVIL AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE DURING NANOWRIMO.

Personally, I like having the internet up because taking a moment to chat with people, or keeping a tab open to a dictionary/thesaurus is real handy for my writing process.
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
I don't have a problem with TVTropes. Wikipedia is my evil. It's like crack to me. I'm completely addicted.
Reply
:iconeuxiom:
Euxiom Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
Well, I guess it just flipped for you then.
Reply
:iconxxxxzz:
XxXXzZ Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for making these journals! It should be really helpful, and I'll be sure not to give birth in the next few months.
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
You're very welcome. I had a blast making the journals, too.
Reply
:iconsurrealcachinnation:
SurrealCachinnation Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012   Writer
:clap:

I can't wait.

I like the shovel bit.
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
A shovel ALWAYS comes in handy.
Reply
:iconsurrealcachinnation:
SurrealCachinnation Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
A shovel, a hammer, a pocket knife, and a towel. With those four things, I do believe I could take on the universe.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012   Digital Artist
I love the shovel tip :lol: I've heard it with "someone comes through the door with a gun" before, but shovel is hilarious.
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
I've never heard the gun version. But I think I still like the shovel one better. It's more universal in its uses. :giggle:
Reply
:iconeuxiom:
Euxiom Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
Shovels make everything better, especially if they are used to hit someone over the head.
Reply
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012   Digital Artist
I gotta get my story some shovels...
Reply
:iconskysongma:
SkysongMA Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student Writer
Don't be afraid to write out of order, too. I don't do this because character development is always a huge problem for me during first drafts (they are usually fragile paper figures that I push around as I try to figure out the plot), and writing character moments out of order just doesn't work for me. But if you're actually good at rearranging things, try it.

(Also. Easiest way to plot. Characters make a plan? It goes wrong. Things seem easy? They aren't easy. Everything should be a curveball.)
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
I always write out of order. I actually have a couple scenes already written for my project. I started with the first, then jumped half way in and then skipped ahead another couple scenes. I was trying my best not to write them, but they just HAD to come out of my head.

So you can write without having your characters completely fleshed out? I tried that once. My first NaNo. I failed miserably!
Reply
:iconskysongma:
SkysongMA Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student Writer
(That only happened to me once. A pair of minor characters insisted that I write about them instead of the mains. Really, it should have been a giant hint that, as I realized only after I was about 70k in, that I was writing about the wrong characters.)

Usually what happens is that I have a good idea what they'd be like--introverted or extroverted, etc.--but then I get further into the story and they surprise me with some massive character revelation. My plots are always really tied up with character, but I usually have to write the plot before I understand what it will do to the character. It's kind of like these people who hardly know their lines take the stage, and then all of a sudden they bust out a Shakespearean soliloquy.
Reply
:iconpochapal:
Pochapal Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Hmm... I'll definitely keep those points in mind. And try to avoid giving birth whilst in a car accident on the 8th. :lol:

And the death by shovel idea is interesting; I'm probably gonna have thirty deaths by shovel over the next month. :XD:

I just hope my school doesn't decide to do what they did last year and decide to send us boatloads of homework daily- that'd really mess up my schedule for NaNo.
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
That's a very good idea. Giving birth while in a car accident could be dangerous for you and for the baby. :giggle:

If you have thirty deaths by shovel, I want to read them!! :eager:

Teachers should know better, but I bet half of 'em don't even know what the hell NaNo is.
Reply
:iconmeganlawler94:
MeganLawler94 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
I really like the "I'm stuck!" portion of this. In case I get bored of what I'm writing, I could just kill someone with a shovel. :giggle:

I think I'll need to turn my WiFi off from my laptop when I'm writing. It's going to be the only way I can get things done. Between constantly checking DA and Facebook and Twitter and the NaNo forums, I'll get so side-tracked.
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
Me too. I think that's the one thing I'm dreading. I know it's going to happen and I want to prevent it as much as possible, but it's gonna happen anyway.

My WiFi is a flick of a button, so if I really need to grab something off the internet, it's only a button away. So I turn mine off. It forces me to focus.
Reply
:iconmeganlawler94:
MeganLawler94 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Professional Writer
My plot is pretty detailed, so I hopefully won't get the urge to stray from it.
Reply
:iconthevioletfox:
TheVioletFox Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Haha, glad to know what to look out for while enforcing Jose's NaNo writing. Man, this is exciting :D

Some of his especially bad habits are TV tropes and Wikis. YouTube can be another distraction, as it often starts off as "but I'm just looking for music." So I guess having a playlist already put together (if you write to music, that is) would be a good preparation as well.
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
Oh, YouTube. I hadn't thought of that one.

I have a couple playlists in iTunes that I'll be using for NaNo. And ear buds. They're a must. Using ear buds takes away all the background noise and really lets you focus on what you're writing.
Reply
:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
I'm already making a list of disasters to throw into my story. I'm writing a whimsical contemporary this time around, so I probably can't have like gunfights and explosions, but you can bet there will be like diary stealing and sports injuries and a pumpkin carving accident.
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
:plotting:

Well, you could. It could be the demented dreams of your characters so you're not really hurting them.

Pumpkin carving accidents? :nuu:
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's not that unsafe! :p
Reply
:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Lies.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I never lie!
Reply
:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
:(
Reply
:icontmcanada:
TMCanada Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student Writer
I love that on Scrivener you have the option to black out all of your screen except what you write. It really helps me from getting distracted.
Reply
:iconaspiredwriter:
AspiredWriter Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
why black out? better just writing on full screen. more room for text and no distractions too.
Reply
:icontmcanada:
TMCanada Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Student Writer
I don't like the way full screen looks lol. Just my personal preference.
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
I've never tried Scrivener. I've played around with a couple other novel organizers, and they just don't work for me.

I don't enter any of my research or preplanning into the computer. I keep it all neatly organized in binders. And that works for me, but those novel organizers are hell to me.
Reply
:icontmcanada:
TMCanada Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student Writer
I like Scrivener so much because it helps my organization. I used to keep everything in folders on my computer, but that meant opening several documents at once; with Scrivener everything is in one place. I want to be able to keep physical binders, but my arthritis keeps me from easily writing.
Reply
:iconpinkymccoversong:
PinkyMcCoversong Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Scrivener is KING!
Reply
:iconaspiredwriter:
AspiredWriter Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
omg. i looked at the scivener site and it looks so confusing and i don't think would help me one bit but only make things much worse. for me. i don't do well with many details in my face. simple's the key for me! how about a tool to save characters and add them or change the name once you've written fifty pages? that would be helpful.
Reply
:icontmcanada:
TMCanada Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student Writer
Best money I ever forced my sister to spend on me!
Reply
:iconfollowingstars:
FollowingStars Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think I'm actually going to try this... I've never done it before!
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
:highfive:

I'll be your personal cheerleader for succeeding!
Reply
:iconfollowingstars:
FollowingStars Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconcheerplz:
Reply
:icongalaxygoddess:
GalaxyGoddess Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Every year I say I'm going to do this, and every year I completely and utterly forget until the last week I start seeing "I FINISHED IT!" "Finished what?" "NaNo" "Shit!"


SO maybe this year, with discussions on how to do it, maybe I won't forget!
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
:nuu:

No forgetting that it's NaNo! I'm going to be posting lost of journals and having chat events, so it'll be in your face. You won't be able to forget it.
Reply
:icongalaxygoddess:
GalaxyGoddess Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
yeay! I want to do it this year! make it hard for me to forget!
Reply
:iconamayaells:
AmayaElls Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Maybe you could have someone remind you the day before...
Reply
:iconaeternusvotum:
AeternusVotum Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, internet, the worst distraction ever :D
I think this time I really have to turn wlan off ... but then I would miss the events here :grump:
Self-discipline will be difficult but we'll all try our bests, right?
Reply
:iconinknalcohol:
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012   Writer
:paranoid:

I have no idea what you're talking about. The internet isn't a distraction.

You can turn it on when we're having events, but off all the other times! :threaten:
Reply
:iconaeternusvotum:
AeternusVotum Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, it sounds like you are threatening me but that might be good :XD:
We'll see it by November then ...

And I'm not sure whether you really aren't distracted by the Internet or not ;P
Reply
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