Nearing 12,000 words and my shoulders are aching from typing so much each day. I might have to dictate some of my NaNoWriMo words this year!
My NaNoWriMo word count: 7,072. After the first 1,700 words, this story took a sharp left turn and I have no idea where it is going.
NaNoWriMo begins! For the past month and a half, I’ve been training for this by writing at least 750 words every day. I am feeling optimistic about finishing this year.
I am accidentally reading five books at a time again.
- A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
- The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
- No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
- An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
- Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi
We are mere days away from the start of National Novel Writing Month, so here are some helpful tools and tips for embarking on this bizarre journey:
- Pacemaker allows you to set a word count goal for your manuscript and then a strategy like “Mountain Hike” in which your greatest effort is in the middle of the month. (That’s my preference, anyway.)
- Workflowy is a supremely flexible and easy-to-use outlining tool. (Read my interview for more about how I use Workflowy to outline.)
- These two Mythcreants posts by Chris Winkle have solid advice: “Outline a Short Story in Seven Steps” and “How to Turn Your Concept into a Story”. I also think that Christine Frazier’s day-by-day outline for NaNoWriMo could be useful if you’re starting from absolute scratch.
- Scrivener is my software of choice. I used Ulysses for a while, but I missed features like the corkboard and the ability to snapshot a draft before revising. (NaNoWriMo participants get a 20% discount on the software, too.)
- Don’t re-read what you’ve just written. That will engage your editor-brain, and there is no time for editing in November, only writing!
Share your favorite tools and tips in the comments. And good luck!
Getting ready for NaNoWriMo? Check out my outlining template for Workflowy!
In today’s interview I pick the brains of one of my favorite bloggers, Halsted M. Bernard. You can find and follow her blog at cygnoir.net. Originally from Northwestern Pennsylvania and currently living in Edinburgh, Scotland, Halsted is heading back stateside in January – where she’ll be getting her bearings in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her fiction publications are listed here.
FRANK: Here’s your twitter bio:
What would it take on WorkFlowy’s part for you to ditch your nicest of pens? Or is that a habit that’s here to stay?
HALSTED: Great question! Recently I have wrestled with this very issue, because I used Workflowy as a daily planner for a while. A couple of months ago I made the switch back to a paper-and-pen system because I missed using my nice pens. The tactile experience of ticking items off a to-do list is simply too compelling for me…
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When the autumn rains start, I spend a lot of time looking down at the ground, looking for droplets on fallen leaves, watching out for slugs and worms.
Sometimes I’ll talk myself out of a photograph because it doesn’t seem interesting enough, and then I’ll stop right in the middle of a parking lot and turn around, go back, crouch down and snap a photo.
I’m constantly arguing with myself:
Don’t add more pointless fluff to the world.
But what if the world needs a little pointless fluff to even out all of the heavy stuff?
Well, here it is, whatever it is. I need to stop stopping myself, and just post.
Celebrated eight years of marriage with FunkyPlaid today. He’s my favorite. 💗
Carrot, potato, & chickpea red curry.
Trees at Portland Nursery.