Day One - Nanowrimo

This November, I thought I would post some travel postcards, as it were, from my journey through Nanowrimo. For those not familiar, Nanowrimo stands for "National Novel Writing Month" and it's the time when many writers challenge themselves to complete 50,000 words in 30 days. This is my third Nano outing (you can read Burned to A Crisp, my first novel; it's a product of Nanowrimo) and I am hoping for a hat trick. The new project is titled Evergreen Magic and it is an urban fantasy/magical realism story set in a remote mountain town in the Cascades here in Washington state.

How does one prepare for Nanowrimo? For me, I started jotting down ideas back in September - snippets of things I wanted to include, a rough outline of a map for the town, ideas for character names. I didn't create a large outline for the story - just a rough path that I plan to follow. If I end up deviating from that path, that is fine; I tend to be more of a "seat of my pants" kind of writer than an architect who crafts every turn before I get there. I like the spontaneity of where the story takes me when I don't know exactly what is going to happen along the way.

What platform do I use for Nanowrimo? I use Scrivener for novel writing because I like to take advantage of the virtual notecard feature that lets me keep track of what each chapter is about. I've tried writing a full novel in Google Docs and it wasn't as effective for me, though I do use that platform when I am writing short stories. I feel more organize in Scrivener and anything that helps keep me focused for the month ahead is a good tool in my book.

Do you write every day? I try to write every day during Nanowrimo, which isn't always the case the rest of the year. I know many writers who like to write daily but I don't find that necessary unless I am on a deadline. For Nanowrimo though, I keep the habit because hitting the 50k word count can be daunting if you don't keep up the pace. I tend to write more on the weekends and then around 1k to 2k during the weekdays.

Do you edit as you go? NO! I know people who do, and who are very vocal about the fact, but for me, it is the death of creativity.

Do you edit as you go? NO! I know people who do, and who are very vocal about the fact, but for me, it is the death of creativity.

I don't even like to go back and read what I've done - that's why I use the notes feature to keep track of where I am in the story. If I go back, I get stuck. Stuck in rewrites, stuck in worrying that the story is lagging, just plain stuck. My best piece of Nano advice is to keep moving forward and never look back.

Do you create mood boards, play lists, etc. for inspiration? Yes, I do create these but not as much for "inspiration" as it were but more about just keeping my energy up for the push to the end. Creating moodboards or songlists is something I do for fun, something to keep me plugged into the universe I am creating, and a way to capture whatever vibe I am going for. It doesn't necessarily inspire me, but it keeps the energy flowing.

More reports from the trenches coming. If you are also participating in Nanowrimo, look me up on the website. I am listed there as kamiltimore. If you want to see draft cover images, songlists and moodboards for Evergreen Magic, check out my Patreon page.

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