Category: NaNoWriMo

Preptober: Schedule Time For Writing

 

Nanowrimo is just a week away and it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of what we’re going to do in November. Which is write (just so we are on the same page).

I know as well as the next person that finding extra hours in the day can be a troubling task, downright impossible at times. So what we need to do is prioritizing.

However, there are a few things we can’t prioritize away.

  • Work
  • School
  • Sleep
  • Kids/Pets responsibilities
  • Food

So, lets do a little bit of math (I know, but stay with me). I’ll use my own life as an example.

  • I work between 4-6 hours/day. Plus 30 minutes to and from work.
  • I sleep for 7 hours/night.
  • I don’t have kids but I do have a dog who I walk for about 2 hours/day.
  • I usually don’t spend much time making extravagant meals so say 30 minutes/day.

Lets add these numbers up.

6,5+7+2+0.5=16

This means I have 8 hours of free time when I can do whatever I want. Some of that time will probably go to playing with my dog, various boring household chores, and things as trivial as personal hygien and updating my bullet journal. But even so I’ll have at least 4 hours left to spend writing.

I know I’m in a very privileged situation. Most people work for 8 hours and have kids and a family on top of that and will consequently have significantly less time over. I just wanted to show how you can calculate your time and find those extra hours each day.

It might also be an idea to schedule your day if you don’t already do that. Say hello to those vertical schedules everyone had to deal with at school and fill in your days tasks and responsibilities. This way you can easily locate when you have a free hour. Maybe your only free bit of time is on your lunch break or when your kids having a nap or maybe you’re lucky and have an entire free afternoon every Thursday.

I’m not saying it will be easy. But it will be easier of you have scheduled time to write. Even if all you can manage is half an hour before bed that’s way better than giving up on your dream.

 

 

 

Preptober: Naming Your Character

 

Me along with millions of writers out there (yes, that numbers is taken without any form of scientific reference but rather a gross estimate by myself and no one else) think this is one of the most daunting thing in the writing process.

A lot of people have built of mile long lists of names, me included. But to be completely honest, when it comes to naming a character I usually never chose a name on those list because I have a tendency to save names that fit in a high fantasy novel while all of my wiring is either contemporary or fantasy-ish set in our modern world. Which means names like Nox, Tri and Theta might be more suitable for a dystopian or fantasy story than my usual ideas.

This is totally okay though. Because as fun as it is to have a name or two be a bit whacky for our modern society they can’t all be Noxes. So I along with the rest of the writing society goes to the baby name websites. If you’re reading this I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

But here’s my problem, while I want my characters to have “normal” names, I don’t want them to be from the top 100 lists. I want the names to be recognizable, I want there to be no questions on how to pronounce them. But I don’t want it to be a name you’ll find in every classroom throughout the country.

So for my nano-project this year I have an assortment of character names. One of my MCs have one of the most common names I’ve ever given a character- and I love it, it rolls of the tongue perfectly. My other MC have a whacky family name but a very generic nickname. I’ve named one of my kick ass secondary characters after my grandmother.

I think there’s a million places to look for character names. Most of us own books, authors names might be a place to start. Or look in you local paper and see if any name sticks out to you. Look at you family tree, ask for your friends for their favorite names. Look at the name of sport stars, friends friends on Facebook. The possibilities are endless.

Whatever you do, don’t name a character after a real life person in your life. If you ever do get published they might have some uncomfortable questions. Especially if there namesake turns out to be the villain.

 

 

 

Preptober: Finding Your Story

 

I think I’ve finally zeroed in on a project for my nanowrimo this year. And it’s not one of the 5-6 ideas I was choosing between.

Nope.

Instead I’ve managed to come up with a new story where I’ve picked out the gems from the other ideas. It might be a brilliant shiny new idea or it might fall to pieces. Only November will tell.

So far I’ve got my main cast of characters, in my experience, this is the most important part for me to have before starting a new project. I’ve also managed to gather about a foot and a knee of the skeleton of the story. Might also be a good idea to have some sort of foundation to start with on November first. My plan is to work out a few more details before Nanowrimo begins (might be good to have two feet for balance) but other than that I’ll be swinging it. Going with the flow and see where it leads me and the characters.

If you haven’t come up with a story yet or seem to be stuck in your pre-planning. Might I suggest looking around you for inspiration. Tv-shows, movies, books, friends, family, your neighbors top notch garden. Inspiration can come to you anywhere from anyone. Make sure you write down everything, the most insignificant detail might spark the most amazing idea.

Finally, I want to be your buddy!