NaNo Prep: Trudging through October

I am participating in NaNoWriMo for my first time this year. While I’m still editing my epic fantasy novel, Burn Like Stars, I decided to take off the month of November so that I could write the Space Cowboy idea that is currently burning a hole in my brain. (It’s tentatively titled Blackout.) I’m in love with Firefly, Star Wars and Doctor Who, which left me with a burning desire to contribute to my favorite genre. (I’m being Kaylee for Halloween– I will share pictures soon!)

Here’s how I’ve been preparing this October:

1. Notecards

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Ah, notecards. The end all be all of my outlining strategy. I have a massive cork board that I threw the basic points of my story onto, using purple notecards. After this, every time I have an idea, I throw it up on a green (side plot/character growth) or yellow (small moments of major events) cards. It’s been incredible. Now all I have to do is periodically glance at my board while writing to make sure I’m on track!

2. Listen

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I’ve never written to a playlist before. However, the time pressures of NaNoWriMo have me branching out into areas that I wouldn’t normally use. A lot of people say that playlists keep them going. So, I set out to create the perfect playlist for my Space Cowboy novel. It’s a mix of rock and electronic. Check it out here.

3. Errands, errands, errands!

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I work twelve hour days. I have no time. I will not waste precious NaNo time on grocery shopping when I run out of coffee and toilet paper. I am stocking up before hand on Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend, apple cider scented candles from Anthropologie and Bath and Body Works, and new PJs.

4. Reading

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I’ve been dedicated to reading books on writing, such as First 50 Pages and Bullies, Bastards and Bitches. I always read these books with a particular story in mind. This helps me come up with small moments and ideas as I read.

5. Watching

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Space Cowboy is much more of a film/tv genre than literature, but I couldn’t resist expanding the market. To prepare, I watched all 13 episodes of Firefly, watched some Star Wars and Doctor Who as well.

6. Character Profiles

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I’m much more plot focused than character driven, which is unfortunate because I love unique, detailed characters, like those in Firefly. To prep myself, besides reading Writer’s Guide to Character Traits and watching every episode of Firefly, I made detailed character outlines, so I will know how all of my characters should react when I sit down and start writing them on November 1st!


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