I entered February believing that Camp NaNoWriMo began in March. It does not. Instead it takes off in April. Because of my error, I’m going into the next writing event more prepared than ever.
How am I priming for April’s writing event? For me, the novel-writing process depends upon fiddly odds and ends such as music playlists, movies that inspire yet don’t distract, historical and scientific research, teas, visual do-dads and much more.
I often write late at night, after the children have gone to bed. Therefore, some of my motivators also serve to keep me awake! Then there are character names, research science and history, and maps to sort. Sometimes I sort through this heap of tasks while writing, or perhaps a week prior. This time I’m tackling it now. Below is my “now” list, followed by my list of “then” for all the bits I’ve completed.
- Writing! So far, I’m averaging between 1,000 and 2,000 words per day.
- Work. When I’m not writing or homeschooling the children, I design lots of websites at Silver Rockets Web and Graphic Design.
- Recording all ideas and possibilities that come to my mind. This doesn’t end just because I’ve moved onto the writing phase. My notes fill the pages of a binder that I’ve created on Zazzle. I designed it to resemble a book that one might find on the shelves of the Glass Library (a key location in the story). The binder contains materials both for planning and furthering my studies.
- Outlining the story arc, characters, and chapters. A brief outline, and some of the notes, sit in the beginning of the novel doc for easy reference while writing. However, the bulk of my notes and outlines are in my binder, scribbled in pencil on graph paper, using a combination of Eva Deverell’s One Page Novel formula and ideas from J.K. Rowling’s outline of Order of the Phoenix.
- Filling out countless worksheets just before bedtime, most of which are provided by Eva Deverell. Her site offers abundant help while in this planning stage. At some point, I plan to take her One Page Novel course (it clashed with my schedule this time around).
- Trying to reach the summit of Writing Book Mountain. Reading isn’t happening as much while writing. The following are a few titles of which the mountain comprises:
- Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, by Jeff VanderMeer
- The Fantasy Fiction Formula, by Deborah Chester (I picked up the Kindle version, but now wish I owned the hard copy. I love it!)
- Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction: How to Create Out-of-This-World Novels and Short Stories, by Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans, and Jay Lake
- The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
* The /now page concept originated here
- Building this website! Websites have long-served as ways to organize my thoughts. However, this will be the first time I’ve employed one to help with my novel writing. It is my hope that the site will help to keep me on track, motivated, and inspired with graphics and links.
- Preparing my writing template. I used Scrivener for the past several writing projects. I do love it, but thought I’d return to Word for this one. I’m still not sure which I prefer, and I hope this will help me to decide. I also thrive upon a “change of scenery” and may continue switching between the two. I’ve been customizing the margins, headers, the notes section, colors, and even researched the font sets (both for effect and ease on my eyes). My goal is to have it all set up so that I can pop it open and begin writing without fiddling.
- Collecting names. This is one of the stickiest traps I fall into while writing. Best to get it out of the way now!
- Scouring music sources and crafting a playlist. This is another time sucker if I don’t do it ahead of time. While I’ve not actually begun this yet, I shall today.
- Crafting ambient soundtracks on Ambient Mixer. Similar to the above, but pure ambiance.
- Re-reading The Handmaid’s Tale. Now’s my chance or else it will be a couple months before I read books again.