Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm Gearing Up!

It's almost that time of year again! National Novel Writing Month or more commonly known as NaNoWriMo! Whoo-hoo! Yay! (That's my Week One cheer...it'll sound a little less enthusiastic by Week Two...) This is the time of year when hundreds of thousands of people around the world come together in an awesome display of mass psychosis and tackle writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. Isn't it wonderful!!

I've attempted this monumental challenge three times before and have never achieved the 50,000 goal. I've fallen waaay short...oh yeah, way short. But out of those three times I participated I discovered an amazing writing community, not to mention the reincarnation of my first published book, Sweet Ultimatum, and the start of Love and Protect, my second full-length novel with Ellora's Cave. I've had a ball!

This year, though, I am determined to knock out the 50k! I'm like Hulk-Hogan-meets-Rowdy-Roddy-Piper-flying-off-the-ropes going to knock it out! Yes, I just went old school with the wrestling analogy. But I want it! And in the last ten days I have amassed the requisite staples in order to have a successful November. I'm prepared ya'll!

1. And this may be why I came shy of the count in previous years. I found out I was supposed to have a hat! Sheesh! Why didn't anyone tell me? I know this disrupted my writing karma! But now I have my NaNoWriMo chapeau! Not only does it invoke thoughts of me tapping furiously away in a dim, smokey Irish pub while a light rain falls outside, misting the uneven cobblestones , but it also lets Thing 1 and Thing 2 know that when the cap is on I can't be distracted with run-downs of the latest iCarly episode or hear why Ray Mysterio can take out that Cena guy.

2. Coffee! What undertaking of this magnitude can be attempted without coffee?? And thanks to my sweet hubby I have a single cup coffee maker to supply all my caffeine related needs and cravings! I love you, sweetie! Mwah! Mwah!

3. Symphony bars. Turtle Chex Mix. Cherry Coke. Ranch flavored Pringles. The snacks of champions! With these four major food groups in my pantry and 'frig I fully expect to reach 50k...and ten pounds. But we must suffer for our art!

4. I must have my soundtrack! Music sets the mood for not just writing, but the story. I can lose myself in my compilation of 80s hits, Kenny G, Annie Lennox, The Police... And if I stop writing in the middle of a scene, I can go back to the song that was playing at the time and dive right back into the mood of the scene. Plus...I bought some really cool, mega-size headphones with the funkiest design! And nooo they are not to drown out my son playing the trumpet! How dare you suggest such a thing! He absolutely kills "Mary Had a Little Lamb"! Kill in a good way, I mean...

5. The WriteorDie program! I've been trying this out in the last week and it rocks! Talk about keeps you writing! Let me put it this way. You have the piercing sound of evil violins blare in the library just one time and see if you don't keep writing! Trust me when I say it's a tad bit embarrassing to have people peep at you over the top of their computer screens and roll their eyes. Hee-hee!

6. Okay, so I do have an outline. It's not cheating! I have a road map of where I'm headed and it helps plough through the Week Two sludge! Of course there is plenty of room for different turns that my characters may decide to take...but with my outline, I know where we will eventually end up...It's not cheating...

What I'm looking forward to most of all, though, is letting go. Believe it or not I've never had a rough draft of any of my novels. I edit so much as I write that I've never allowed myself to have a horrible, much needed revised draft. So this month I'm giving myself permission to write a bad book full of repetition, cliches, misplaced commas and misspells. It will need to be reviewed, edited and thesaurus-ed the hell out of! And you know what? I'm actually looking forward to it! Okay, folks! Happy NaNoWriMo!


Wynter Daniels said...

Good for you. I've participated before, but never made the 50k goal. I'm sitting it out this month in lieu of a month-long plotting class. But I'll be there in spirit:-D

Jina Bacarr said...

You're definitely prepared for the long haul, Naima!! Good job.

Having an outline is like having a map as you start out on your journey...you know where you're going, but a lot can happen along the way!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Wynter!
You know we're not in the minority. I picked up the book by Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo. And only about 21% actually reach the 50k mark! I thought that was amazing...and cool. Because what it says is the journey is just as important--if not more--than the goal. Hopefully I reach it this year, but if I don't I'm still excited to see what I come out with!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Jina!
Exactly! Thank goodness I'm not anal about veering off a laid out path. Can you imagine all the cool twists we'd miss if we didn't travel off that well-plotted road every once in a while?? *shudder* Boredom! LOL!

Dalton Diaz said...

If I came and stole your single cup coffee maker, would you suspect me?

Callie Croix said...

Good on you, Naima. Go get 'em! You're a braver woman than me :)