Ahoy, mateys! It’s almost that time again, arrrgh! Yep, NaNoWriMo, or to you landlubbers, National Novel Writing Month. We’re hoisting up some great tips to get you ready, the Pirate way! (Is there any oth-arggggghhh way? Okay, I promise to stop with the pirate talk now.) And we have a great prize up for grabs this month : an e-copy of Chris Baty's NO PLOT? NO PROBLEM! We'll tell you more later in this post.
SO, WHAT IS NANOWRIMO?
If you’ve always wanted to write a novel, but never quite got around to it. NaNoWriMo is for you. And if you’re a seasoned novelist, NaNo is a great way to have a little fun and write the majority of that next idea in thirty days. You’ll have plenty of people rooting for you, and lots of incentive to reach the goal of 50,000 words in one month. That’s approximately 1667 words a day. Not too bad, huh?
After signing up, you can find out about NaNo events in your area, upload NaNo participant badges for your website or blog and begin adding prep information to your account (basically, a synopsis and any plot points you might need to remember). Then, it’s up to you. At midnight on November 1st, you can begin uploading your word count each day. You’ll have until 11:59pm on November 30th to write as much as you can. If you make the goal of 50,000 words, you’ll be a NaNoWriMo Winner for that year! (Hey, you’ll even get a nifty badge to post so everyone will know!)
WHAT CAN I WRITE?
Anything. Write a memoir, a novel, an epic poem…whatever you want, as long as you’re aiming for 50,000 words. There is plenty of information on the official website about the rules and regulations, as well as advice, writing prompts and pep talks…just in case you’re wavering.
But we wouldn’t be proper Buccaneers be if we didn’t give you some NaNoWriMo advice---Pirate style! So here goes.
The Pirate Plan
#1. PLAN YOUR ROUTE! ---
Pirates always have a map to guide them. You should do the same when preparing for NaNo.
Plot your novel ahead of time, and you’ll reach your destination easily. You’ll need:
- A beginning (the moment when everything changes for your MC)
- 3 major peaks (each one causes something to change)
- Subplots (this will give you something more to write about in each chapter)
- An end (have a goal)
#2. GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES! ---
A journey requires adequate supplies to reach your destination.
Your supplies might include candy, caffeine, or chocolate. Whatever will keep you going during long hours of writing.
Don’t forget your crew! Make sure your family has plenty of snackage, pre-made meals and pizza money. Yes, you’ll need to bribe them on occasion.
#3. A PIRATE’S SHIP IS HIS KINGDOM! ---
Pirates never leave port without first making sure their ship is fit to sail.
Get your laptop charged up, some fresh notebooks and pencils, and someplace to back up your work.
A good pirate can’t do everything on his own, though. Make sure your family is prepared to swab the deck, work in the galley, and do some fishing. Have a work schedule for everyone in the house, including laundry, cleaning, food prep, and transportation. It’s only 30 days. They can all chip in.
#4. A STRONG CREW WILL GET US THROUGH! ---
A Captain will only choose the best crew members he can find!
Get your family and friends on board before you begin. Make sure everyone understands how important this is to you, and accept help where you need it most. Look for people in your area who are also participating (try libraries, bookstores and coffee shops)---it’s more fun to write while other people are doing the same. And get a list of good babysitters. Now. Don’t wait. Do it now.
#5. SHARPEN THOSE SWORDS! ---
You need sharp swords and cannons at the ready while at sea.
You’ll need weapons for NaNo, too.
- To counteract writer’s block, have a plan: exercise, watch a movie, spend time with your family.
- To deal with noisy households, prepare to write somewhere else. Scout out bookstores and coffee shops before the month begins to find the best places to write.
- To maximize writing time, try getting up an hour early, or write during your lunch hour. You might be surprised at how much more creative you are at different times of day.
The Pirate’s Plan isn’t foolproof, but if you prepare for the next few weeks, you won’t be caught off guard on Day #2 and give up altogether. As always, if you’re interested in practicing for NaNoWriMo, why not join us for one of our weekly Word Sprints? (There will be extra Word Sprints during November, too!) We’re willing to be part of your crew during NaNoWriMo, if you need support!
Remember how I mentioned the great prize for the treasure hunt? It’s easy to play. Just leave a comment here right now, and you’ll gain an entry into our great prize draw on October 25th. Hop on over to Captain E. Hook’s blog right now, and you’ll find another great NaNoWriMo tip, and have the chance at another entry! It’s easy. Go there now, matey! And best of luck with your novel!