Okay, so NaNoWriMo is three days away. If you’re like me, and you’re a hopeless Pantser and Procrastinator, then these-last minute tips are for you. (I like to tell people I put the Pro in Procrastination.)
1. Stockpile Halloween Candy.
There’s nothing like a Kit-Kat staring you down as you try to write the next 500 words. My personal favorite for writing is Twizzlers. I’m pretty sure I consumed like 100 Twizzlers in the first week of NaNo last year. But hey, if that’s what it takes….
2. Check out the forums.
I especially recommend this forum, which is for word sprints, challenges, and word-wars. Pretty sure that word-wars are the greatest things in the universe. My competitive nature takes over and forces me to write faster than humanly possible. Word sprints are also great. (Why do you write like you’re running out of time? CAUSE I LITERALLY AM.)
But there are forums for basically everything nano-related. Adopt-a-character, help with outlining, advice on life with NaNo… it’s a glorious black hole of information.
3. If you can, find people in your area.
Join your region forum, and then see if anyone’s organizing write-ins near you. I went to a bunch of write-ins last year, and they were amazing. Like so darn cool. And if no one’s organized a write-in in your area already, organize one yourself! Otherwise, at least see if you can drag a creative friend to Starbucks for a few hours. Their job is to make sure you write the whole time you’re there.
4. Do SOME Planning.
I’m pretty much a Panster, but I do wholeheartedly suggest that you do some sort of planning. Not necessarily plotting, but planning. Maybe you want to figure out your main character’s Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Maybe draw what your characters look like with colored pencils. Or plan your opening scene. Or maybe plan how you want your story to end. Or stockpile names for characters, explore your magic system, or come up with your villain’s catchphrase. Do something. Get your creative juices flowing.
Here’s a good blog post if you need help with basic plotting: 5 Secret Steps to Story Building.
If you’re looking for an epic overview of different ways to outline, try this insane blog post: How to Outline… (warning: language in that post. But worth it ’cause it’s awesome.)
5. Stock up on Sleep. Sleep while you can. Get all the Sleep. Because come November, you’ll need it.
Good luck to everyone embarking on NaNoWriMo, whether it’s your first year or tenth! You are gonna do great! See you in November.