I’ve been trying to prepare for NaNoWriMo, with great difficulty. I can only plan so much before I embark on the content of the novel itself. So far I think I have up to 10k-15k words worth of material (Actually, I just counted it up and it’s possible I might have 20k-35k!). I don’t feel I can sufficiently plan any father until those words are in place, despite trying to follow some of the good advice offered by my fellow competitors on the forums.
The best piece of advice that has so far had the most impact for me is the ‘five minute rule’. If you think you should be writing, or planning, or character building and you aren’t – you are instead surfing the web or browsing the blogs or checking to see if there is anything even remotely worthwhile on TV – then just spend five minutes writing/planning/character-building and then, if after those five minutes, you still can’t be bothered and don’t feel inspired, then put it down and go back to whatever procrastination you were partaking in previously. After an hour or so (or the next time you feel the guilt coming on) try it again.
Using this five minute rule I’ve padded out my overall plot and added four new scene outlines to detail what I’m going to need to write for them. So far, I haven’t remained working for more than fifteen minutes – but, it’s a start! And at least this way I will have something to show for all that procrastinating.
One of the other things that has really helped spur me on is the wonder of PaperBackWriter. Tons of useful advice and gentle encouragement not just for NaNoWriMo, but also for creativity in general. This blog is one of my favourite bookmarks, and I get the feeling that throughout November I’ll be returning to those fantastic pieces written specifically to support the Wrimo’s, because I know it could really help me get those 50k words written. [Thanks Lynn Viehl!]