Pictures from the first prep session

Yesterday’s prep session, our first for 2010, was informative and fun. We had 29 people in attendance at the Nichols Library in Naperville (many of them were first-timers in NaNo). Katherine gave a great presentation.

Here are some of the points I picked up from the session
Strategies for NaNo/writing

  • Use the temptation as a reward.
  • Focus on word count (don’t worry about what you’re writing)

Other points

  • In writing, don’t be efficient (sometimes your best ideas come from exploration).
  • Does your idea excite you?
  • Try Freewriting.
  • NaNoWriMo Forum: adoption society – plots, titles, characters, …
  • Don’t get stuck on working titles
  • Sum up your story in one sentence: the Character in the midst of change.
  • You need conflict.
  • Steve Miller (DuckOn): Characters have a life before they appear in your story; make sure they are doing something active. What makes them the way they are? (backstory)
  • Good October exercise: write a short story about some of your novel characters for a time before your novel begins.
  • Come up with pictures of your characters and settings.
  • Setting: write what interests you (not necessarily what you know).
  • Avoid talking head dialogues–add action to the scene.
  • Don’t show everything; it’s ok to tell sometimes.
  • Take a walk: let the characters bubble/percolate within (let them look at the world a bit)
  • Scenes have a purpose

Prep activities

  • Picture collages (characters, settings)
  • Voice journal (let your POV characters rant)
  • Timeline (can be helpful to note dates/times when writing chapters)
  • Plot web (use Freemind or XMind for mind mapping)
  • Music soundtracks (create a playlist)
  • List (unusual) items that are in settings
  • Come up with character quirks

After November: keep writing daily

Here are some pictures from the first prep session
(note: also took some pictures of the entries in the NPL Fall Program Guide; click on a thumbnail to see the full image)

No Comments

Leave a Reply