We are only a couple weeks away from the first Camp NaNoWriMo event of the year. If you’re like me, the excitement is building with each day. Unfortunately, if you are like me, its likely you haven’t done any prep for the novel you are going to be writing in month. Same.
So today we’re gonna talk about a few of the things us procrastinators should do in the weeks leading up to Camp NaNo
Know your Story
One of the worst things is writing a story you don’t know well enough. What you need to know about a story and what I need to know about a story are likely to differ. For me, if I don’t know the main conflict, how the characters are going to get to the conflict, the mechanics/customs/culture of the world the story takes place in, or who my villain and sidekicks are and what motivates them, I’m not ready to write a novel.
Think about what you need to know about your novel before you are ready to start writing and then be actively thinking about how you want your story to unfold based on what’s important for you to know before writing.
Have a Plan to Face the Month
If you haven’t had a chance to spend any time in prep work, it is important to be extra specific about how you will tackle the month. Setting time aside doesn’t happen automatically. You have to be intentional about it.
NaNoWriMo isn’t something that can be done the night before, so think about how to break your project into bite-sized pieces. Is that setting a certain time of day where you sit down and write no matter what? Is that setting aside an afternoon once a week? Is that deciding on a certain word goal each day? Is it getting up a half hour earlier? Is it participating in as many word sprints as you can?
I personally have decided that I would like to do a big chunk of my writing at 5am. (crazy, yes) But guess what! There’s a twitter group dedicated to this very thing! Check out the #5amwritersclub on twitter.
Whatever your method is, set it in stone now. Write it down, set reminders on your phone, post a sticky note on your computer screen to remind yourself of how you plan to get through the month
Set Everything Up
Get on the Camp NaNoWriMo website, create your project, give it a name, and put in your goal for the month. Write a synopsis and if you’re handy, create a cover for your project. Set your cabin preferences, (want to join my cabin? Leave me a comment with your Camp NaNo handle and if there’s still room in my cabin, we’d love to have you!) and meet your cabin mates for the month. Create a Pinterest board. If you’re a Scrivener user, get a project created. If you prefer physical planning, write out the big ideas on index cards, create a map, or a story board. Dedicate a notebook your story notes and planning. Do whatever it takes for you to be ready to write come the first day of NaNo.
The nice thing about these steps is that they don’t have to take a lot of time to do, and although I don’t recommend it, they can be done last minute in the days or hours leading to NaNoWriMo. So even if there’s only a couple days until NaNo, don’t fear, don’t stress. You can go through these steps to help you tackle Camp NaNo!
Once you’ve got a story you know well enough to write, a strategy to face Camp NaNo, and all the logicistics of the project done, give yourself a pat on the back. You are ready to tackle Camp NaNoWriMo!
Are you planning on participating in Camp NaNo this month? Have you done any preparation? I’d love to hear your thoughts on your process for getting ready to write a novel in a month.