Thursday, October 29, 2009

Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo

… National Novel Writing Month, that is. And if you haven’t tried it yet, sign up now! You have nothing to lose except for maybe the wildest 50,000 words you’ll ever write.

This is my fourth year of participation and I’m counting the days, pen in hand, ready to start along with thousands of other writers the first day of November at the crack of dawn; no mere figure of speech for me. I’m currently on vacation and in the middle of traveling so I’ll be writing at the airport of all places, waiting for an early morning flight. Should make for an interesting beginning to both the month and my plot!

My working title for this year’s manuscript is Ghazal, inspired by an actual ghazal I wrote and posted on 7/07/2009. My genre is “literary” and the blurb I added to my user page (user name “poppywriter”) at reads: “Thirty years, thirty doorways. Every breath, every door we take matters to someone.”
To further help me get into the NaNo mood, I made a Polyvore set (top of this post) a few weeks ago to illustrate my theme, and I’m using that as my visual inspiration to ensure I’ll keep writing. I’ve printed it out in a larger format to slip into the front cover of my 2009 NaNo binder, a wonderful periwinkle blue notebook that truly speaks to me and makes me hungry to write. Color does that to me whether it’s a binder, a new ink, or the paper I’m using and it’s all part of the fun of abandoning myself to “just write, don’t think” for an entire month.

The rest of my binder consists of:
  • 30 sheets of paper, each with a picture of a different doorway taken from magazines (of course!).
  • A writing prompt for each page selected from A Writer's Book of Days by Judy Reeves.
  • A cut-out phrase from my magazine word pool added to the bottom of each page.
To create this visual “outline” I matched doors to prompts and phrases totally by random. After pasting everything together I shuffled the pages up, and then arranged them into a 30-page/30-day sequence for each day of November’s writing marathon.

I lucked out unbelievably on my first page: a dark, mysterious door slightly ajar and leading to a garden passageway coupled with the phrase “Every story has a bead…” The writing prompt joining these two items commands: “Write about ‘what goes without saying.’” Wow. I couldn’t have planned that better even if I’d tried.

Tip of the day: 50,000 words in 30 days is only 1,667 words a day. You can do it. Go sign up now while there’s still time: Can’t wait to see you on the other side of the finishing line.


Ana - The Writer Today said...

I am a bit apprehensive to start this endeavor. This will be my first year and I am not sure what I am writing about yet. I am afraid to freeze and my brain will not offer any ideas on what to write. I hope this does not happen. On the other hand, I am excited to have a goal each day on how many words to write and finally be on my way to writing a novel, any novel. Thank you for this post.

Rachel Fenton said...

That's a good tip - to break the word count down into less daunting sums. Best of luck and fun with this!

Academichic said...

Wow, what a wonderful approach in mixing the visual with the textual for writing prompts for each day. I would never have thought to do this, but I love the idea. Thank you for sharing this, it's definitely something I'm filing under my "inspirations" tab in my mind.


Annie said...

This is so cool. I loved reading about what inspires you. Thanks for the Polyvore idea. It was so fun to collage and get a visual sense of my novel. Great idea!