NaNo Is Coming: The Battle Plan

Less than 4 hours ’til NaNoWriMo.

*cue internal screaming*

I am both excited and terrified. For the past 24 hours, my Inner Critic has been on full blast questioning every decision I’ve made to this point. That doesn’t make any sense! You want that subplot to go where? I don’t think so Private, move it next to that sad excuse you have for a plot twist. Is that how you’re planning to resolve that?! Drop and give me 20 better ideas! Your MC is being an idiot. Ok, now YOU’RE being an idiot. Who told you it was a good idea to kill that character off?  On second thought, maybe you should kill them all off, this is obviously not going to work. Are you listening to me?!

Did I mention my Inner Critic sounds like a Marine Drill Sergeant?

The answer is no. I’m not listening. Well, ok, I was listening for a little while…. when he was making some valid points. Now I’m convinced he’s just bitching for bitching’s sake. So I paid the Muse to strap him into a straight jacket and muzzle him, while she’s at it. What do you pay a Muse? I don’t know about yours, but mine accepts chocolate. The point is, it’s way too late in the game for me to be second-guessing a story that I’ve nearly second-guessed to death in the first place.

NaNo isn’t the Inner Critic’s fight. That comes later, Second Draft and beyond is his territory. When I need him, he will be the first person I call but that time isn’t now. Because NaNo is the Muse’s war, and she’s the only weapon/sibling in arms that you need. Chocolate may be enough to get her to do something she may have been inclined to do anyway, but I’m going to have to bring out the big guns to keep her invested for the entirety of November. (Especially since she knows it’s my birthday month and is therefore prone to distraction by celebrations. Doesn’t hurt that Muse likes ‘Big Guns’, either.)

So I’ve signed up for Yarny, pulled out my scene notecards, put together a list of questions to ask myself as I write each scene, assembled a playlist, put up NaNo banners on all my go-to websites for procrastination, and stocked up on inspiration-loaded images for those moments when nothing else will do.

But I’ve also got a plan…

I know, I know. This is NaNo…and “no battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” That’s ok, because I still think having a plan will ensure that *I* survive first contact with the enemy.

NaNoWriMo Battle Plan 2012

1. While I am striving for 50,000 words, this is not the “true” goal. The true goal is to get as much of Dirge’s first draft done as humanly possible during the month of November and using NaNo as a springboard to start writing every day. With the possible exception of weekends. I hereby vow not to berate myself if the daily 1668 word goal proves unattainable.

2. Having said that, I do want to challenge myself. So, my strategy for the 1668 daily word count goal are as follows: 500-1,000 words during the hours of 12 am – 3 am (I’m usually up anyway…) + another 500-1000 word sprint after my morning Rosetta Stone Russian lesson + another 200 words in the afternoon 4pm-7pm if possible.

3. I am not allowed to check e-mail, the NaNo forums, facebook, or tumblr for any reason whatsoever until I’ve finished a writing session. Twitter is a possible exception as my region is doing word wars and I’m hoping to participate. However, if this proves to be more of a hindrance than a help, I will forgo that as well.

4. I am not allowed to update my word count widget until I’ve finished a writing session. I usually am tempted to update it every 5 minutes, which in the short run, takes me out of the flow, and in the long run, ruins the impact and satisfaction of the seeing the progress bar increase by a large chunk because instead, I’ve been updating it inch by inch.

5. Have all my notes together BEFORE I sit down to write. Most importantly, the scene questions to help keep the plot moving.

6. When all else fails, music, and pictures, and music, and chocolate, and music.

7. It’s a good idea to have rewards. My rewards for finishing a session include reading (in this case, it’ll be A Dance With Dragons by George RR Martin), and or watching an episode or two of whatever (in this case, it’ll mostly be The West Wing).
NaNo is Coming… Do you have a battle plan?

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