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NaNo Advice?
SSar's Beast

So: this year, I'm doing Yuletide, but also, sort of, NationalNovelWritingMonth. I'm trying to combine them, in what [personal profile] seekingferret calls the Worst Idea Ever.

My plan:
-Start writing for Yuletide prompts on November 1st
-Complete 50,000 words of writing for Yuletide prompts by the end of November 30th
-Start and stop stories as I please; re-start stories as I please; switch stories as I please
-Give myself permission to fail.

My reasoning:
I often wait until the last minute to work on a story, and that's stressful and has sometimes landed me in hot water. I want to kick procrastination to the curb. But I also don't want to jeopardise the quality of stories that are intended as gifts, and I don't want to stress myself out MORE than usual, so, firstly, there's the first three weeks of December for editing, and secondly, if isn't working, I'll stop.

Apart from the obvious reasons that this is an... ambitious.... idea, there's a major hurdle: I have never attempted to write 50,000 words in a month before.

So, kind readers, do you have any tips?

-I've mostly offered, and have been reading the letters for, Yuletide canons that are quick to consume and with which I am already very familiar. (This is already a step up from previous years.)

-I am planning out large weekend/evening blocks of time to allow me to catch up for bad days.

-I have many online and offline friends with whom I am doing Yuletide and even WIE. There is a local writing group that I don't know very well but whose NaNo sessions I can go to, if needed.

What else should I plan for? How can I help myself succeed?

Advice appreciated!

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Take a few days before November starts and mark out any time you spend not doing anything (or doing optional things, e.g. watching TV, surfing the internet). That's now your writing time. I don't know how much of that you have since you are INSANELY BUSY but usually you can find a few blocks here and there. In Japan I wrote on my 15-minute train commute into work in the morning; I could get upwards of 1000k in that 15 on a good day, once I got myself into the habit, and even if I'd been stuck that morning, when I sat down it was like my brain knew to get into the zone and things almost always cleared up.

Basically I find that routines are the way to go in NaNoWriMo; it's like muscle memory, but for creativity! I also find short bursts are more helpful, whether it's enforced by where I am ("I have one hour for lunch, let's see how much I can do!") or self-imposed (like setting a timer).

I find NaNo sessions are great for socializing, but I almost never get anything productive done in them. YMMV, but group write-ins have never been my jam.

If you ever want to do a word war or something when our time zones align, or just have any questions, ask me! :) I've done NaNo since 2004, and you've been very helpful with Yuletide so I'd love to be the guru for once. ;)

I guess my #yuletide chat time is now writing time! (Happily, that's pretty easy to combine anyway. I get into phases in #yuletide chat where it's just me saying "Word war, anyone?" at every hour and half-hour.)

Me being insanely busy is mostly an illusion caused by overlapping writing assignments. *looks sheepish* I work part-time and have no dependents, so my time is relatively flexible.

When I'm productive in write-ins, it's usually because I brought along a fic to beta, rather than my own fic to write.

Expect some wailing and gnashing of teeth to come your way in a week or so. ^!^

I agree that routines are your friend, and that having a mixture of short and long blocks of time for writing was really useful for me.

I found it very tiring to generate that much story in such a short time frame; I also found out my max sustainable word count is 2,000 per day. Neither of these may pertain to you, but keep an eye out for over-extending yourself in ways that make it harder to write the next day.

I'd suggest making a list of your possible story options, with the relevant letter excerpts all in one place. Having to stop writing to look up a letter, or otherwise get on the internet and spend your time reading instead of writing -- can really eat into your writing time.

Lay in a stock of your foods and beverages of choice.

Good luck!

I have made a spreadsheet of top treating possibilities! I copied my friend's actually. It makes me feel unrealistically organised.

I shall go buy my favourite Earl Grey on payday (which, happily, is before Nov 1).

Thank you!

Don't feel that you have to write linearly. Scenes, vignettes, dialogue, internalizations, character sheets - these all add to the overall story.

Use 3x5 cards to storyboard the story on the wall where you're working. There are software programs that also do this. I like the tactile approach and the ability to unpin the cards and shuffle scenes.

Character Sheets can be block breakers.


Get up early.

YAY for YOU writing long! You can do it!

Thank you!

Yes; soundtracks and early rising seem like things I can do. I haven't tried storyboards, though a usual method when stuck on a story is to switch between screen and paper. Last year, one thing that helped un-stick me for regular Yuletide was to write 100-400 words on paper before I was allowed to open up my laptop. Good words or bad words, they were at least a nugget to start with.

Thank you!! Good luck to you also.

Good luck! Have you tried looking around for some accountability comms? They tend to help me, so I know several, if you're interested.

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