notes from NaNoWriMo 2012

These 30 some days after NaNo have been a kind of experiment for me. I wanted to test myself and see how much of what I did during November, I could still manage to do during December. It seemed a pretty unfair month to try, with Christmas and my kids’ being on school holidays and all, but that made it all the more challenging and, well, realistic.
          So, here’s a list of things that I did for NaNo that are still working for me 30 days later-- and beyond, I hope…

          1. Organization.
Okay, I have really struggled with this for most of my life (childhood and adult). I used to think that the rigid demands of organization would stifle my creativity. I couldn’t have been more wrong. But, let me specify what I mean by organization.
First of all, here’s a photo of my desk:

So I obviously don’t mean organized in the sense of neat, clean or perfect. No, what I mean is my brain and story have to organized and, also, compartmentalized.

I was able to achieve this by writing at the same time every day and keeping note cards (one for each day) that kept running notes on what I wanted to accomplish, what I actually accomplished and what needed to happen the next day. It also held practical things like my word count, so I could track my progress.

All through December I’ve kept a similar stack of cards (one for each day of the month) and I keep very similar notes on each. I still keep a daily word count because I like knowing how much I’ve accomplished that day.

Perhaps during NaNo, I abused the word count slightly and let myself repeat things in various ways that I knew would need to be edited later, but in December I was more selective and deleted a lot, so my word count was smaller (45,324) but it’s hopefully much more concise.

My two favorite resources for organizing my writing are: THE WRITER’S COMPASS by Nancy Ellen Dodd and PLOT vs. CHARACTER by Jeff Gerke. I merge their ideas and created a plot line that incorporates the ideas from both books. You must check these books out.

This is just my first observation and I’ll be adding more over the next few weeks. 


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