NaNoWriMo Week 1: Let’s get this party started!

We’re four days in! Whether you’re thousands of words ahead or haven’t even started yet (that’s right–it’s not too late), here’s my first weekly NaNo post with prompts, tips, fun ideas and hopefully some encouragement!

I’ll be doing this every Monday for the rest of November, so please tell me in the comments what you found useful, what you’d like to see more of, or if you have any ideas or tips of your own to share!

For now, welcome to week one! The land is green and comforting, the birds are singing, and the waters of the unknown plot are warm and inviting–it’s a great time to dive right in and try to figure out what the hell your novel is about. Mine has vampires and a cute grey/blue kitten. Besides that, I still have no idea where it’s going.

Activities to stimulate the novel-maker:

  1. Make yourself a t-shirt! Super simple in concept: buy yourself a plain cotton t-shirt and some sharpies, put a piece of cardboard in between the two layers (so the markers don’t bleed onto the back of the shirt) and draw or write the t-shirt representation of your novel. Whether this is the ideal book cover, a punchy phrase, or some concept art, it will be awesome. The hardest part is obviously deciding what to do, but once you’ve completed your shirt you can either wear it as your special ‘I’m writing’ shirt or out and about to show the world how committed you are to your novel. It’s like the cheapskate version of one of NaNoWriMo’s coveted writing t-shirts, except unique and made by you! This is a great activity to do with friends as you can often buy plain t-shirts in packs of 2+ and it works well accompanied with pie, cake or hot autumnal drinks!
  2. Goody bag/care pack. Whether just for yourself or to create several for a party, these are super fun to put together. And depending on how silly you go, very useful! Here are some ideas of what to include:
    • Tiny notebooks
    • Coloured Pens
    • Assorted fun teas (herbal combinations are always fun!)
    • Those fancy instant coffee sachets
    • Funny erasers
    • Chocolate!
    • Simple make-your-own writing dice games (eg. roll any die/dice for location, characters, and the problem)
    • Energy bars. Especially ones with chocolate…

 

Writing Dares:

Write a dream sequence involving purple kittens.

Have your MC lose something precious (character development!).

 

My Tips for Week 1:

Week one is all about exploring your new world. I tend to find myself focusing on world building and character development. Know who my characters are, what they want, and what they’re afraid of gives me lots of ideas for what should happen. World building makes it so much easier to visualise my novel and stay reasonably accurate to the facts, especially if my world is a fantastical one. ‘Real’ worlds still need building too, though–the houses, the people, the lay of the land–writing some ground rules helps set up a stable platform to build your plot on. In week one, everything is exciting and new, so take advantage of that and create yourself loads of ideas to take forward into week two, so that you arrive there will a stable daily word count, instead of petering out.

Good luck! And don’t stop writing!!

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