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:
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
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!