Last Minute Prep for Nano

It’s October 31st.  Halloween.  It’s a day to be dressed up like this:




Tonight, if the weather doesn’t keep all of the kids away, Melissa and I are going to hand out candy.  We’re talking full size candy bars and a can of soda to every kid that comes to our door.  Well, we’ll give Caprisuns to the little kids.  We have our costumes, candy, and drinks set aside.  We’re ready for Halloween.


Are we ready for NaNoWriMo?

Quite frankly, I don’t know.  I never feel ready to start a new story.  It’s the same sort of fear that I’ve talked about all this month.  Will I be able to get my ideas across?  Do my ideas suck?  Am I capable yet of being the kind of writer I want to be?

That’s the wonderful thing about NaNoWriMo.  As Lauren Sapala wrote, we don’t have time for fear during this month.  This exercise forces us to ignore our inner editor, set aside our doubts, and just write.  We might fall behind, and that will make it more difficult.  As Hugh Howey wrote, it can put a lot of pressure on a writer, but that pressure can be a good thing.

What can a writer do to get ready?

This is what I’ve done:

  • I wrote a blog post every day in the month of October, reinforcing the habit of writing something… anything… every day.  With an average word count of 800 words per post, I’ve written close to 25,000 words this month.  That’s half the target for November.  A good warm up.
  • I’ve decided on a story idea.  It’s one that I’ve been putting off for about 12 years.
  • I’ve been thinking about the story constantly.  Whenever I go for a walk (and I go for lots of walks), I’ve played out details and ideas in my mind.
  • This week, I sat down and made a very, very rough outline.  I don’t want to outline too much, since that spoils the story for me.  But I need more than nothing.
  • I created a project in Scrivener.


I still need to come up with more names.  My post last night was not accidental.  I have to think about names, and get some written down before I start, so that I don’t get hung up on the names when I get to those characters.

After that?  I just have to do it.

I’m attending a kick-off party for NaNoWriMo tonight.  I’m going to take full advantage of the local community.  I highly recommend it, not only because there’s misery in company, but there’s also encouragement to be found.  I’ve already got write-ins I’m planning to attend.

Speaking of scheduling, I’m looking at the calender, and I can see the places where I’ll have opportunities to catch up when inevitably fall behind.  And I will fall behind, because I have twice as many band practices as I had last year, and there are at least 5 performances to attend.


With that said, I’ve completed Blog-Tober.  One post every day for 31 days.  And, to my shock and amazement, I was able to link every post to some aspect of writing.

I’ve completed one month long project.  Time to get on with the next!

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