1) Read through the existing manuscript
As previously mentioned, my Nano challenge this year is to finish my incomplete novel, at least in first draft. In an attempt to try and remember what on earth was going on in the story, I recently skimmed through everything I had written so far. Surprisingly, I didn't hate it. I didn't exactly love it either, but that's okay.
2) Made a plan
I love planning. If I could get a job plotting books and not writing them, that would be marvellous. Recently, my Geneva writers' group indulged this perversion of mine by promising we could have a 'structure clinic' at some point in the near future, whereby we all help one another put our stories into some sort of order. For me, this is painfully exciting - sort of like a literary Christmas - although I have realised I should probably make a plan for my own Nano project, if I'm going to be bossy about everyone else's.
3) Signed up
Nano has an excellent website, featuring lots of tips and banter, where you can design yourself a fancy profile, with pictures and a novel synopsis and everything. Mine is now up and running here. My favourite thing by far on the Nano website is the Bar Chart of Joy. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than watching the bar chart of my word count go up and up during the month of November - just as nothing fills me with as much dread as getting behind and watching the projected word count get further and further out of reach.
|My Novel profile as of 01/11/12 - featuring the Bar Chart of Joy|
During previous Nanos, I've found it best to tell my nearest and dearest that I'm attempting a novel in thirty days, just so they know why I look so hollow-eyed/unwashed/confused by reality. Better yet is to get them to do it as well. Long ago (May) I made a pact with Miss Joely Badger that we would both do Nano this year. And then there's my Geneva writers' group, some of whom may be attempting it too. As I said in my previous post on collaborative writing: share the writing burden!
5) Tidied my flat
I am notoriously messy and will neglect housework for weeks and weeks on end if I can get away with it (considering my 'studio apartment' in Geneva is probably only slightly larger than a shoe box, this is rather shaming). But when one is in the throes of novel-writing, scrubbing the bathroom often begins to look like an appealing alternative to writing, so that particular procrastination path has been nipped in the bud.
6) Bought a lot of food
|The 'Inspiration Station' |
- complete with novelty lighting
7) Bought a lot of booze
As above, but more so.
8) Got in the mood
I've been working on my poor nameless novel for a long time now. Almost five years, in fact. As such, I have a pretty good idea of who will star in the inevitable film adaptation (Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Julianne Moore), what the soundtrack will feature (Israel 'Iz' Kamakawiwo'Ole's Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Portishead's Numb, among others) and have even built up an 'Inspiration Station' of random pictures vaguely connected to the story, so I can't accidentally forget I'm supposed to be writing it. In addition to reading through the manuscript, I have revisited these bookish bonus features - and am now officially In The Mood To Write.
Soundtrack music: Israel 'Iz' Kamakawiwo'Ole's
version of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'