NaNo’ers: The Literary Boy Scouts

It’s Halloween Night. Also known as all NaNo’s Eve. Tonight, at 12:01am EST, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo, begins in the Eastern Time Zone. In other places throughout the world, it is already November 1st and the race towards 50,000 words of a novel has begun. In an effort to mentally prepare myself for such a daunting task, I have written a preview to this year’s NaNo novel, shared my personal writing confessions, explored who I am as a NaNo writer, and took a look back at some of my favorite stories from the past year to remind myself of my writing “happy place.”

But, now, with NaNo only hours away, I am contemplating my writing process and have started gathering all the tools and inspiration that I will call upon during the next thirty days of “literary abandon”. Preparation is important to the process for me. Like a Literary Boy Scout. I thought I would share some of the items that make my writing process just a little bit easier.

1)    Google: This one is a given. No further explanation necessary.

2)    Baby Names App for iPhone: A simple, straightforward way to search character names from over 40 different cultural origins.

3)    Twitter: I follow users like @WritingCraft, @WritingCom, @NanOrlando, @NaNoWordSprints, @gothamwriters, @WritersDigest, and of course @NaNoWriMo, for writing inspiration and insight.

4)    iTunes: Music is essential. Whether it’s for a quick pick me up, or lyrical inspiration, the wide variety of artists and genres are ever present whenever I am writing.

5)    Android Apps: Apps on my Tablet such as Plot Generator, RNG, and Writing Prompts are perfect for Brainstorming on the Go and/or for overcoming those dreaded writers block moments that can come at any time- and those are especially painful during NaNo.

6)    USB Flash Drive: I am always cautious to back up, back up, BACK UP my work. In fact, this year I’ve ordered a 2GB USB NaNo flash drive bracelet so I will have my NaNo novel wherever I am and can make sure to avoid any unfortunate mishaps.

It may be a short list but it’s an important one. These tools may not work for everyone. In fact, for the over 200,000 NaNo writers, I am willing to bet there are over 200,000 processes just as there will be over 200,000 protagonists and 200,000 antagonists that just can’t seem to leave those main characters alone. That’s what makes NaNo so great. It’s your own month-long personalized trip into your own little world. If you are NaNo’er, may the plot bunnies be with you!

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