29 October 2013 - 6:36 pm

Running up to NaNoWriMo 2013

Best. Nails. Ever. (mine)

Best. Nails. Ever. (mine)

It’s almost here. I can’t believe it’s almost November.

As you may know, it’s National Novel Writing Month in a few days, and I’ll be trying to write 50,000 words in a month again. It’s my seventh year and I can’t break the pattern! I’m also MLing this year, which means organising loads of events, including a weekend away on a tropical island for around 30 writers.

Always good to know what your goals is

Always good to know what your goals is

Yes, I’m crazy. Luckily, I have help this year from a couple of fellow nutty writers, and they’re doing a wonderful job of lightening the burden of organising stuff. (No, they won’t help with the 50,000 words; they have their own novels to write and I’m not eager to share that part of NaNo!)

So, other than getting the events all lined up and good to go, what else have I been up to in preparation for my annual Month of Madness?

Let’s see:

  • Getting my nails done, all themely. Because these things are important.
  • Putting party bags together to give away to writers. Because we’re all secretly 5 years old. (Okay, in many cases, not so secretly. Some of us are shameless.)
  • Putting hipster PDA/lanyard packs together with report cards, so that writers can collect stickers through NaNo when they achieve goals. (See point above for reasoning. Writers love stickers.)
  • Getting piles of prizes ready for various competitions.
  • Planning out two projects, because I’m having a decision-making disorder.
  • Getting the next month’s strategy for my team at work all lined up and ready, because I’m taking a lot of November off.
  • Tying up loose ends at work so I can be away for the next couple of weeks.
  • Trying not to panic.
  • Attempting to figure out if I’m taking a hiatus from Starwalker or going to keep writing it while I’m novelling.
  • Remembering to feed the cats.
So many planning cards! (Vampire Electric)

So many planning cards! (Vampire Electric)
Caution: spoilers!

A couple of weekends ago, we had an awesome Planning Day for our NaNo peeps. I took along a pile of notecards and wrote a load of colour-coded goodness. Both of my proposed projects are now fleshed out, and planned about as much as I plan anything I write. After I got back home, I diligently stuck the notecards up onto their respective pinboards, so now I have pretty planning boards for the stories.

If only I was sure about which one to write! I think I’m leaning towards Vampire Electric at this point, though it’s entirely possible that I’ll wind up bouncing to Screw Loose if the steampunk doesn’t flow or work the way I want it to. Yes, I know it’s rebelling, but I’d rather write words I know will be useful than bang my head against a story that’s just not working.

Yet more planning cards! (Tales from the Screw Loose)

Yet more planning cards! (Tales from the Screw Loose)
Caution: spoilers!

I had semi-planned to take a break from Starwalker and go on a month-long hiatus. However, it’s not that long since I had a break (when Book 3 ended), and I don’t think it’ll be a huge drain to keep the posts going over the month. My readers have been awesomely patient with me while I’ve been sick and I’d like to reward them by maintaining their usual weekly service of posts. Also, I can count the posts I write in November towards my total.

Last Sunday, we had our Kick-off Party for NaNo; a BBQ in the park where we can get together, give away loads of stuff, get excited about NaNo, talk about our novels, and meet fellow crazy people. It was great! The weather was perfect (not too hot for a change, and it didn’t rain on us at all), and there was a good mix of familiar faces and new people to welcome into our fold.

Happy planning boards. But which one to choose?

Happy planning boards. But which one to choose?

This week, we have a drinks meetup on the 31st October. I expect there’ll be lots of ‘ahh, I can’t believe it’s the 1st tomorrow’, ‘I have no idea what to write!’, ‘I can’t wait to get writing’, and ‘is that a costume or do you always dress like that?’ It’s going to be a blast. Looking forward to it!

I’m currently reading over the first draft of Vampire Electric, to get myself in the mood for picking it up again. It’s reminding me of how much I like the milieu and the characters, and I’m already starting to pick out the bits I want to redo heavily in the rewrite. I plan to start over from scratch, and it’s good to have a clear idea of what I want it to be.

This time last week, I was drained and weary, and trying not to fret about being ready in time. This week, I’m getting enthused about the writing and more comfortable with how prepared we are for the events. There’s just the logistics for the Retreat to sort out, and then we’re good.

I’m getting there. Soon, there will be novelling. And on top of it all, I’m having fun with an awesome group of people. I love my region. Luckiest ML and writer ever.

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