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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Looking Ahead to NaNoWriMo

(First off, how adorable are the badges for NaNo this year?  If you're interested in getting your own, go here.  Remember, you can use a badge to just promote the cause, even if you're not participating.)

If you're like me and you've signed up for NaNo, you're just about reaching the panicking point.

What on earth am I going to write about?

How am I going to produce that many words?

Is it going to be pure drivel? (Sorry, I've been watching a lot of British TV lately)

If you're reaching Orange alert, here's a couple of sites that might help you calm down a little:

Random Title Generator
I have a terrible time coming up with titles. It usually takes me until I've finished, and even then they usually suck. This handy generator creates six titles at a time.  Sometimes they're very odd like "Bride in the Man" (that sounds like a 70s self-help book doesn't it?), but they can also be very cool sounding like "The Edge's Lord."  I hate having "Working Title" as my title, so this is a great jumping off point to get your mind working.

Plot Scenario Generator
Completely stuck?  This generator gives you a jumping off part for a story and an idea about a side character.  I went through random creations for about 30 minutes one night, keeping a list of the ones that interested me (about twenty-five).  Then I narrowed it down, cobbled it together, made some tweaks and created the kernel of the story I'm going to be writing.

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method
I came across this in the NaNo forums.  It's a great way to start planning your novel other than a typical outline.  You start with a one sentence summary of your story, then move the three paragraphs (like the ones on the back of a novel), then character summaries, etc. until you have your whole novel just sitting there waiting for you.  I'm planning on using this method today, once I quit procrastinating by blogging.

Are you planning your novel, but just can't come up with the next big event?  Serendipity gives you random suggestions about what your story needs: At this juncture a paranoid psychic arrives, toting a suitcase; Suddenly, in walks a sultry shopper; What you need now is a rocket launcher.  I mean who doesn't need a rocket launcher?  Fun, silly suggestions that can still get your mind over a roadblock.

Write or Die by Dr Wicked
The name itself is pretty intimidating; the idea, even more so.  I'm a bit afraid to use it.  You set a timer (or word count goal) and it prods you to reach the goal when you stop typing.  There are different levels, such as a pop-up reminder, an annoying noise, or Kamikaze mode.  In this setting, if you hesitate for too long, it starts erasing what you've already done.  Just the idea of that gives me the shakes.  Not for the weak-willed, but maybe for the Professional Procrastinators out there.

Well I hope this gave you some ideas, as well as a way to kill time before jumping on the NaNo planning horse.

Remember, only 10 more days to put off planning!

Don't forget to swing by and sign up for my Small Packages Blogfest!  Looking for bloggers with 300 followers or less.  Spread the word! 


Amanda said...

I heard about Write or Die last year and that sounds terrifying! I think I would completely freak out.

My biggest panic going into NaNo this year is I haven't had any time to outline! I know what my story's about and the basic arc, but i need a far more detailed map in order to write that quickly. I've been sick for a week, then I was out of town before that, then dealing with this NYT press crap before that...sigh. I hope next week I'll finally have a chance to sit down and outline!

Good luck to you!

niassne said...

I've wanted to try this for about 3 years or so and I always feel like I don't have the time. I can't write for my 3 blogs once a week each how could I dive into something so fundamentally challenging as a novel?!?! Maybe I'll forget it's happening for another couple weeks and then kick myself for being too late (again).

fairyhedgehog said...

I was planning but I've lost the impetus. Oops!

You've got some fun links there, thank you.

niassne said...

Damnit! I joined. IR JoeGamer. I think I'll write about the Zombie Apocalypse in the style of Zombie News Now.

If I write 10,000 words I'll be amazed.

Witless Exposition said...

@Amanda, I know exactly what you mean. I've been working on my Snowflake of my story, and it's really hard because I'm still trying to figure out main arcs, etc. Good luck!

@fairyhedgehog, It's still not to late to change your mind!

@niassne, Yeah for convincing/passive aggressive bullying! :) Already got you on my buddy list now. I'm under Witless Exposition.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I am good to go! Working on a sequel to my book.

amber d* said...

Oh awesome, thanks for linking up those sites! I'm starting to really freak out, lol

Allison said...

Good luck! I can't write a novel - so I'll be rooting for you!

KK Brees said...

Great help here in the blog today! I'm stoked!

Witless Exposition said...

I'm glad you guys found the links helpful. If you're signed up, feel free to buddy me. I'm Witless Exposition there, too.

@Allison, there are some people that rebel and don't write a novel, just focus on getting out 50k words. Some do non-fiction or short story collections. There's room for everybody.

Not that I'm being pushy, though.

Just ask niassne about that. :)

Allison said...

I still dont quite get it.

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