NaNoPrep and Watching Me Write


It’s nearly November folks, which means that it’s nearly NaNoWriMo time. At this point, writers are scrambling to get ready to start writing on the 1st of November. (Not sure what NaNoWriMo is? Check out my post on it here). Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to decide what to prepare before the big day. Do you need a full plot outline? What equipment will you need? Well, I'm very excited to announce that over the course of the next two weeks, I'm going to be running a blog series designed to help you get ready for NaNoWriMo, and which hopefully will answer some of the most pressing questions.

I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo every year since 2011 and, while I am by no means an expert, I have picked up a few tips that help me get to the end. Every year I see people give up in the first few days because they didn’t realise how hard it was, or because they simply weren’t prepared. I learnt the hard way that preparation is key to making your month as easy and productive as possible, even if that preparation is only understanding exactly what you’re going to be facing. Hopefully this blog series will leave you a little more equipped to face the challenge.

Of course, not everyone will be doing NaNo this November. And I totally understand that. However, I hope you’ll still stick around, even if you’re not doing it, because many of the tips I’ll be sharing work really well for every day writing as well. So to everyone, welcome to NaNoPrep, the blog series designed to help you make the most of your month of writing.

Also, last week I was tagged by Heather from Sometimes I’m a Story for the Watch Me Write challenge. Basically I needed to record myself writing and then turn that into a video so people can see what I’m like when I write. In this video I write and edit a piece of flash fiction. I'll leave it down below in case you're interested in reading the whole thing. Please note that it is not what I would call 'finished'. There's plenty more editing needing doing I know, but it'll do for an example. (See the picture that inspired it here. Music from here. If the quality is too bad, watch it on YouTube. The quality is slightly better.)

There’s no moon tonight. He relies on the wavering light of his torch as he picks his way up the side of the hill. Grandpa says tonight is the night, that the sky is going to put on a show. By rights he shouldn’t really be here. There’s school tomorrow, and the wind is bitterly cold. But the siren call of the stars brought him out into the night.

At the top of the hill, he turns off his light and settles down, wrapping his arms around his knees to keep himself warm. Overhead, the stars stare down, silent and still. He waits, patient, silent as they are. Grandpa said to come, and Grandpa knows. He watched this same sight, oh, a lifetime ago.

The first star falls, streaking across the sky, trailing a fiery tail behind it that slowly fades away. Another star follows it, and then a third. Now all the stars are falling in a shining cascade. Together, they shoot across the sky, vanishing over the horizon. His mouth hangs open as he watches the stars fly away in bursts of light. He will never forget this night.

Maybe one day, he’ll tell his own grandchildren of the night he sat on that hill, staring up at the sky. He’ll tell them of the star’s fiery tails, the shimmer and shine as they flew away. And his heart might swell with the same wonder and awe that he felt on that night. The night when the stars fell.

If you enjoyed this, then I challenge you to have a go. Record yourself writing something and leave me a link in the comments so I can see it

What are your best tips for NaNoWriMo? Leave them in a comment below. How many times have you done NaNoWriMo? Have you made a Watch Me Write video? Leave me a link!

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  1. Oh I think I'd be hopeless if I recorded myself writing something. I absolutely backspace EVERYTHING. >_< Although it'd be really interesting to do, so I might just try it. ;-) Hehe. Such a good idea! And I know this sounds weird...but it was encouraging to see you backspaced a lot. lol! It just made me feel like I'm not such a weirdo writer. XDXD

    1. Backspacing is kind of my thing. My brain thinks it has an absolutely awesome idea for some something should be said, and then when it's written down...bad. Very bad. Backspace is my best friend. I think every writer backspaces a lot more than they let on though. I was actually tempted to edit out the typos and backspacing and pretend I was an absolutely brilliant writer. But I resisted. (Plus editing half an hours footage down to this was a lot of work anyway.) You should totally do this though. I would love to see it!

  2. Great video! Even though most of us are writing first drafts for our #WatchMeWrite videos I still think it's cool to see other people's writing processes. :)

    1. I thought about just filming a first draft (which, in hindsight, would have been much easier), but then I figured I'd be interested to see what other people do when they edit, and ended up doing the whole process. I'm still kinda on the fence about putting out such a sub-par (read: bad) piece of writing, but at least it kinda illustrates the process. Now, another fifteen drafts or so and it might actually be half decent! Anyway, I had a lot of fun doing this, so thanks for tagging me!

  3. This is great! This year is my first year doing NaNiWriMo. I'm a bit nervous though because I've never written a novel before.

    1. Congratulations on deciding to do NaNoWriMo. I'm sure you'll do really well. My biggest tip for you is to find some friends either on the NaNoWriMo site, or somewhere else, who are also doing NaNoWriMo, and encourage each other. It makes it so much more fun, and way easier to write too I find. Good luck!


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