Gibberish, right? That’s not even a word. How do you say it? To writer’s, it is the month when the entire world ceases to exist… when life on Earth becomes a distant figment of our imagination… when we forget all the other hobbies we had if they don’t include a notebook, a pen, or a computer keyboard…
You may have already started to notice the writers in your life, or yourself, tuning down the radio of the world in order to plan for their WIP (work in progress). We’re scrambling to decide if NaNoWriMo is our mission this year, too.
Why are we scrambling?
National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, will start November 1 and continue until November 30. NaNo is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people write that book they’ve always wanted to write.
The goal is to write 50,000 words by the end of the month, which estimates to writing about 1,667 words per day. Unless we rebel, which allows us to work on revising or editing projects instead. Or we can rebel and work on several different ideas.
Before we can start writing, however, we have to know which WIP we’re going to work on…
- the first draft of a shiny new idea (what you’re supposed to do)
- the rest of the WIP from last November (oops)
- the rest of the WIP from the November before that (double oops)
- rebel and finish revisions on current WIP (they need to be finished)
- rebel and draft two projects at once (they are both calling out)
- rebel and work on revisions for one project while drafting another (what?!)
The scramble is happening now!
What does preparation look like, then?
Getting ready for NaNo can take on many forms, but it all depends on the writer and the project… If a writer is starting a new project, then brainstorming of some kind is probably happening – at least for the planners.
However, how do you plan for NaNo when you are a rebel?
For the rebels…
Your first step as a rebel is the same as everyone else’s: choose your project (or projects). What kind of rebel are you going to be? Set your goal.
- I will finish this round of revisions on my current WIP.
- I will start the third draft, too.
Your second step is to determine how you will count your goal. Different writers have different ideas. Here are a few from a NaNoWriMo Rebel Thread:
- Count the same way: word=word — each word you revise goes toward your daily word count.
- Average: take the average words that you revise per hour and count that as your daily word count.
- If you average 500 revised words per hour, and you revise for 4 hours in a day, then your word count that day would be 2000.
- A ratio: for every two words revised, count one toward your NaNo goal.
- A set count per hour: for every hour you write, it counts as ____ words.
- Chapters: each chapter’s word count that you revised goes toward your daily word count goal.
The tricky part here is choosing what works best for you. Rebels are already breaking the rules, so we may as well figure out how to break them in a way that works for us.
Feel free to join us! Writing for NaNo is an adventure no matter if you follow the rules or rebel a bit. If you have a story on your heart, then you have a chance to jump in with other writers as we all paddle our way through the scary rapids that are NaNo.
Which path will you choose? Are you joining NaNo this November? Are you planning, pantsing, or rebelling? Share with me in the comments!
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