Oct 052016
 

Updated for 2016…

NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words during the month of November. This can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task and when you have work and house to run as well it can seem almost impossible. With some preparation, you can make November run more smoothly.

I’ve looked at a few prep lists for NaNo and noticed that mine was a little different. I decided to share it in hopes it helps someone else. I’m actually posting this in plenty of time this year!

Plan all meals for the month of November. Make sure to keep the next two in mind while making your November menu and consider doing a search for quick meal ideas. You can find what I did last year here: Freezer Meals

If you search Google for printable menus and freezer inventory, you’ll find a plethora of templates that you can print or edit and print to help keep yourself organized. I’m hoping to have some custom printables for next year, but making something like that isn’t really my forte. I might have to enlist some help. wink, wink, nudge, nudge 

Freeze leftovers for easy meals in November. My FoodSaver is one of my best friends all year round, but it’s particularly helpful for stocking up on meals for November. The bags are more compact than plastic containers, so you can fit more in your freezer. Freezing meals in plastic containers makes things handier, but make sure to cover the food with plastic wrap to help deter frost.

Dust off that crock pot. Your crock pot can be a time saver and is for more than just making a roast. There are quite a few crock pot/slow cooker recipes posted to help get you started.  I also have some one skillet/pan and one pot recipes, too. Jumping on the freezer meals bandwagon is helpful, too.

Detail clean the house. I have spring-cleaning and then NaNo cleaning. If the house is freshly detailed, those quick room cleanups go even faster. Besides, a super clean house can make you feel more comfortable with putting things off for a day or two so you have more time to write. 15-minute cleanups can help you feel more comfortable with leaving the deep cleaning until later.

These tips allow for a quick cleaning or maintenace cleaning inbetween more thorough cleanings. Find out how to clean any room in 15 minutes or less.

Source: 15 Minute Cleanups for Every Room of Your Home

Schedule blog posts. If you have a blog, write a few blog posts in October and schedule them to post in November to squeeze out a little more writing time. Unless you’re doing NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) as well. I don’t know if scheduled posts are cheating, but it doesn’t seem sporting to me.

Learn your software. I made the mistake of installing new software to use while in the middle of  NaNo. I spent more time trying to learn the new software than I did writing for several days. I use Scrivener when I write and while it’s pretty intuitive, I’d still hate to walk into it cold at any point during NaNo. I can’t recommend Scrivener highly enough, but I’ll save that for another post. Check it out, though. Just give yourself enough time to learn it if you decide to get it. You can always import your work into Scrivener later and in the last few years, there has been a discount coupon for Scrivener if you complete your 50,000. Doesn’t mean there will be this year, but there could be.

Jot down notes or make an outline. While there are many people who can sit down to a blank screen and just start typing, I’m not always one of them. Faced with a deadline, I feel more comfortable with some kind of direction in mind. Doesn’t mean that my characters don’t wander off script and I wind up with a different story than I planned, but it helps keep me from running into that brick wall called writer’s block.

Do any research needed ahead of time. Frantically researching while trying to finish NaNo can be a word count killer. I didn’t finish more than once because I didn’t get all my research done.

Fill out your calendar with appointments and obligations. Make note of these. What days are you not going to be able to write? If there are five days in November that you cannot see a way to fit writing in for whatever reason, adjust your daily word count accordingly and aim for that.

Let your friends and family know what you’re doing. They might scoff, but knowing ahead of time can ward off an explanation later. Listening to the scoffing while you’re doing NaNo not only takes time away from writing but could also damage your flow with negativity and drama you don’t need.

Make a playlist. A playlist of music that fits your genre or in some way fosters your creativity can help drown distraction and put you in the mood to write. Use headphones for best results. 

I use music I own, Pandora and playlists on YouTube depending on my mood. YouTube less so. I’d be tempted to watch, but there are plenty of audio only playlists, too.

Here’s one of my favorite YouTube playlists when I need some creepy background music. Not audio only, but I hide it behind other windows until I forget there’s video.

For those of you participating this year, write like the wind! I’d love to hear/read how you’re doing so feel free to comment on a post, contact me or drop me an email.  Feel free to add me as a friend on the NaNoWriMo website, too!

Nov 302015
 

It’s the last day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and I almost forgot to post! I would have been pretty miffed if I posted all month only to fail on the last day.

I feel like I was lazier this year than last. While editing pictures and posting recipes don’t happen instantly, I posted very few personal posts this year. I think a lot of the prompts were just a bit too personal or would have taken too much time away from NaNoWriMo.

I’d rather do NaBloPoMo during a different month, but I think of November as “writing month” so I wind up doing both at once. I’m not sure which month would be better for me, but I’m going to see if I can make myself participate during some other month next year. 

As always, it has been a good experience for me. Forcing myself to dedicate time to doing something every day for both NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo proves that I can still do it. 

Now, it’s time to get back to work on my novel! Thanks for joining me for NaBloPoMo and I hope you stick around to see what happens next.

~Christy (Kryson)

Nov 282015
 

In school, we learned about three kinds of conflict in a novel; man vs. self, man vs. man and man vs. nature. I remember trying to stump my English teacher by listing books that didn’t fall into these three descriptions. She always managed to explain why said book fit into one of these three, but I didn’t always agree with her.

I find identifying the central conflict helps to keep my novel on track. My characters have a tendency to run away with the central conflict and turn it into man vs. self or man vs. man if I let them wander too far afield.

There’s another not listed but I’ve seen listed other places, person vs. fate. This is where a character is compelled to follow his or her destiny or fate. While many person vs. fate books also fall under person vs. man or another category, it is a popular conflict and I think it’s worth noting.

The list below asks, “What types of novel do you enjoy reading?” While I’ve read and enjoyed novels of each type, I’d have to say that person vs. self, person vs. the paranormal and person vs. society are my favorites.

central conflict

Nov 262015
 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for all of you reading this right now. Thank you for your support or just for simply reading my blather. 🙂 I appreciate it.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to a big piece of this today…

Image from PhotoXpress

Nov 252015
 

I used to listen to a lot of podcasts and Grammar Girl was one of my favorites. In 2009, she covered Lay vs. Lie and I developed a problem where I didn’t think I had one before. Every time I used the past tense or past participle of lay or lie, it never sounded correct.

I started second guessing myself, so I went to the Grammar Girl website and snagged this little graphic to help.

Lay vs. Lie

Grammar Girl is a wonderful podcast. She provides short, useful tips to help improve your writing. If the battery in my iPod wasn’t malfunctioning from age and overuse, I’d still be listening.

Her most recent tip was about formatting internal dialog, which was helpful and informative.

Nov 242015
 

Did you think I forgot to post today? I’m later than usual because I was waiting to make the announcement that I finished NaNo! The book isn’t finished, as always, but getting 50K words down is a significant milestone. 

Thank you to the wonderful people that encouraged me again this year. You helped me hang in there when I was slogging along. And thanks again to Mike Dovers for the amazing cover!

No stopping now. I’m back to the grindstone tomorrow, but for today… I’m going to cheer a little.

WOOHOO!

NaNo-2015-Winner-Banner

Nov 222015
 

Just a short update today…

As I type this, I’m 6,689 words from finishing NaNo. As long as I keep up my word count, I should finish before Thanksgiving. I haven’t been feeling well the last couple of days, but I’m pushing through.

The novel won’t be done at 50,000, but I’m hoping to finish it by the end of the month. Here’s my stat page if you want to see the nifty little graph of my progress: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/kryson/novels/gathering-shadows-853197/stats  

I love NaNoWriMo. NaNo helps keep me on task. Even when I don’t feel well, I write anyway. Thanks, NaNo.

Congrats to all the WriMo’s who have already finished! 

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