Welcome to the NaNoWriMo Rallying, hosted by the Frog Blog! We have finally reached the very last week of NaNo. Our contestants are panting and dragging themselves to the 50k, which is in sight! (Well, some of us are. A few are already waiting at the finishing line, cheering us on!)
Now that you’re reaching (or have reached) the end of NaNo, is there anything you wished you had done before this all started to make this whole journey better prepared or a nicer experience?
What methods of motivation do you employ to keep yourself going for that final sprint?
I wish I had outlined more. It’s not a huge tragedy, and the story was already partly written (and without an outline), but this is involving some post-NaNo cleanup that wouldn’t have been necessary if I had planned better. One character, for example, turned from American Southern into Scottish. Oops.
Motivation [keeps me going], I think, is a kind of personal thing. There are two things that I do but they may not work for all. (a) I write pretty much every single day, even if it’s just blogging or schoolwork. Just, be in front of a keyboard or have a pen and paper, and write stuff. It is a muscle and it needs to be exercised. Speaking of exercising, that’s my (b) I get out and walk nearly every single day. Any form of aerobic exercise is fine, but walking outside is helpful because you can see sights and/or hear conversations and experience things that using your stationary bike at home won’t give you. The gym is (sometimes) a decent place for story fodder but it depends. For me, I put on the iPod and listen to either music or a podcast I do social media for. I’m always scouring for ideas, even really basic ones like, is there enough for a sequel here, or will this character get a family, that sort of thing.
I wouldn’t have changed anything with regards to Trouble in Paradise. It was a gift book. My biggest mistake was underestimating how much I could write in a month. That meant I hadn’t done any preparation for my second book, Red Alert, although as I didn’t even have the idea until the second week in November, it would have been difficult to change that!
Next time, I’ll either prepare two book outlines to start with, or go at a slower pace so I have time to clean my house as well as writing.
Wanting to see the story finished is always the biggest motivator for me. The only other thing I do is keep a word count for each chapter. I add them all together into a total as I go, so I can see how I’m doing.
I enjoyed every moment, actually. And it’s really exciting talking to other people about this story that’s evolving so quickly. I think next time I’ll conduct character interviews. Even now, twenty-something chapters into March City, I still feel I don’t know the characters very well. I know how they’ll react but they still seem pretty one-dimensional to me.
For me, I enjoy looking at my chart on the NaNo website. Seeing myself climb from day to day has been so fun! Once I start to see the scene unfold in front of me, all I have to do is put the pictures into words, so I always look forward to that “eureka!” moment when a short film starts running in my head.
Got any questions for our participants? Leave a comment below! Next week we learn about the writers’ process of writing and their hopes and dreams about their beloved NaNo. Phew! We can all take a deep breath of relief, now!
Be sure to let friends and family know about this rally!