“According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate beings condemning them to spend their lives in search for their other halves.”
~Plato’s The Symposium
- At birth, each human is assigned a robot called a Guardian. Each human is followed by a Guardian, twenty-four hours a day, for their entire lives. Guardians give advice, solve problems, and protect their humans from danger. Guardians constantly remind their humans that the government is good, kind, and necessary. Guardians also remind their humans of the rules, and the punishment for breaking them.
Guides, Resources, and Writing Tips Oh My!
Guide to Murphy’s Law.
(What can go wrong, will go wrong)
1. Back it up!
Dropbox, Google Drive, Icloud.
A few years ago I would have said USB or Data CD, but in this day and age I would say keep it in the cloud. All my writing files are saved on Dropbox which means every time I save, it’s already updated on dropbox and on my other computer. So, if my computer crashes I don’t have to worry. Remember back it up!
2. Get By With A Little Help from Your Friends.
Know where you can go for support. Do you have a writing buddy? Are you on a forum? Do you have a friend who is going to commit to the challenge? Have their info ready, because at some point we all crack. Just have someone or someones who will listen to you complain about how you are the most awful writer and why the hell did you start this process in the first place. That person will hopefully remind you why you’re doing this and all the things you can get out of it.
Sure you’re using your computer, but have your other tools ready. A notebook, your iphone with your notes, your index cards.
Also, remember your outlines, your character sheets, your research and have wiki and google on standby.
Guide to keeping our sanity.
1.Give up your Harry Potter, Pulitzer prize winning notions.
NaNoWriMo is an exercise. It’s a test in endurance, in will power and focus. It is also a rough draft which means it is going to suck. Secondly, most full manuscripts are from 80k-100k…so it’s not a full novel. Do not spend your time freaking out about how good it is. Good comes later. Just get 50k words down.
2. Avoid the distracting parts of the internet.
Facebook, twitter and even Tumblr. Unless, you are going to get writing tips, do some quick research or check in with your writing partner you should NOT be on the internet. It’s as simple as that.
3.Don’t compare yourself to others.
Just, because you can write 5k words in one day does not mean you are Shakespeare. Just, because you have barely scraped past your daily goal doesn’t mean you suck. Everyone writes at their own pace.
4. You are not ready for Beta Readers.
No one needs to be reading what you are writing! No one. This first month is not for getting feedback and figuring out if your book makes sense. It’s to get it all down. It’s to bring the beginning, middle and end of your story into existence. This is not the time to bring in opinions that will only discourage you or give you a false sense of your skill. Again, your first draft is gonna suck!
5. Stop editing!
I do not care if you noticed a an extra comma, if you’re not sure you spelled that big word correctly or if something seems not right. Leave it. When you’re doing you’re rewrite, that’s the time to edit.
Guide to Keeping Healthy.
When I am writing, I can literally go days without drinking a glass of water. Stay hydrated. Keep your mouth moist as your fingers do the talking.
2. Take breaks.
I don’t mean go sit and watch all your primetime shows during your allotted writing time, but…. yup go to the bathroom, walk around your living room, eat your meals and have a stretch. Staring at a computer or word processor for hours can get to your back, your hands, your wrists, your shoulders and your eyes.
3.Comfort and Support.
I have wrist pain (I think it’s carpal tunnel, but my doc disagrees) so I wear a brace especially when on my computer. I also have padding below my keyboard. Think about what will keep you comfortable. Fingerless gloves, cushions, feet warmers. I don’t know, but be comfortable.
Guide to Your Happiness.
You’re just sitting at a table, but writing is busy work. It will make you feel tired, your brain feel foggy and suddenly bed seems like the perfect place even if it’s just 5pm.
You need something to keep you lucid. For me it’s a cup of Lipton tea. But for others it can be soda and the ever important coffee.
I am going to buy myself a party size pack of Reese’s Buttercup and probably my favorite ice cream candy bar, because they give me a rush of pleasure with every bite. But, I am also going to buy red grapes, because I love them.
Gather your snacks before hand. Your guilty pleasures and your healthy ones. Have something close by that you can munch on while the creative juices are flowing.
Guide to your personal Motivation.
1. Computer Wallpaper.
For the last few weeks my wallpaper is this beautiful black on white number that I found on tumblr by Brewed Rebels that reads “You musn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.” It’s a quote from the film Inception and every time I turn my computer off, close a window, etc I see it. It’s my inspiration. My dream is to be a writer and every time I see it it reminds me not to be afraid of my big dreams.
Get something like that for yourself.
2. Goals and Rewards.
We know the ultimate goal is 50k words in 30 days, but set some smaller goals and give yourself a reward. The most common practice is probably giving yourself a small gift every 5k words you complete. This can be a book, a bag of candy…anything that can motivate you.
My daily goal is to watch an episode or 2 of Supernatural, which I am currently binge watching.
You may want to put another reward at the end of the 30 days as well. The ultimate reward is of course 50k, BUT you can talk yourself out of that. You can always say things like ‘well, I don’t have to get 50k now, I can just keep writing in December.”
No, give yourself more incentive if you think you may talk yourself out of it. Perhaps you should say “if I finish this book I can buy that expensive purse I’ve had my eyes on and walked past three times last week.” You know what I mean. Treat yourself to something. Give yourself the ultimate reward that you can afford.
Remember! You can’t tell all your friends that you’re a legit novelist and that you have written a book, if you don’t WRITE THE BOOK. Bragging rights is probably one of the best things in the world. It will take someone 10 years to do something you are going to do in 30 days.
Below are resources such as writing tips, dictionary sites, story generators, places to look up names and other tips from all over the web.
Guide to Working Through Writer’s Block
Six Simple and Difficult Tips for Beating Writer’s Block.
Symptoms and Cures for Writer’s Block
13 Famous Writers on Overcoming Writer’s Block
10 Types of Writers Block and How to Overcome Them
Overcoming Writer’s Block
NaNoWriMo Tips from the Web
Helpful Tools Guide
Scrivener NaNoWriMo Trial Offer -BEST writing software (IMO)
YWriter - Free Writing Software.
A list of Progress trackers and word counters
Write or Die- productivity app that forces you to write by providing consequences for distraction and procrastination
World Lingo- Translations
The Best of British- American’s guide to speaking British
Behind the Name -Name Meanings.
Seven Sanctum-A collection of ‘generators’ that make random characters, plots, ideas and more
Serenity- generates places, character names, title generator and descriptions
Take A Short Break
|—||Steve Almond, WD|
I will try my hardest to post at least once a day for this blog. Nanowrimo is in TWO days and we have a lot to cover. 50,000 words of wonder and my personal goal is 75K but with all of my college essays due, that probably wont happen. :)
If you need inspiration and guidance for NaNoWriMo, please follow me! I will post images, text, and audio prompts in case you feel like you have no direction with your stories. These prompts can be used as fillers and yes, I use a bit of typical idea plots and any genre you throw at me. But I have folders and folders dedicated to this! I am a creative writing major and this is what I do for fun.
Please don’t hesitate to ask, even if it’s a grammar problem. It’s training for the future! And if you want to read my works, just ask. They are stocked
I ALSO BETA/EDIT FOR THOSE WHO ASK. This is NOT limited to participants of Nanowrimo. I work with fanfiction of all sorts and non-fiction. I can’t help with poetry, sorry, I specialize in creative writing fiction.
Please follow me! It encourages me to know that there are people also supporting me as I also embark on this journey. (This is my secondary blog so I can’t follow back, but I will on my regular blog.)