Friday, October 26, 2012

NaNoWriMo Countdown: Giveaway

One of the neat things about beginning a new novel is putting together all the stuff I'll need to get the work done: notebooks, folders, sketchpads, research sources, pens, pencils etc. It's like getting ready for the first day of school minus the dread of meeting all those new teachers. I usually have to run to BAM or Office Depot or Target for something I don't have (this year, some new quick-dry pens for my scribbling) but I enjoy that as well. It's what I imagine a trip to a jewelry store is like for the other gals; I adore browsing through office supplies and lusting after something I don't need or can't afford.

While I was shopping I picked up some extra stuff to put together for a NaNoWriMo giveaway: A slim zippered cloth portfolio bag (just the perfect size to hold some chapters, a notebook and pen), an idea portfolio and notebook covered with inspirational words, a pack of the quick-dry pens I'll be using along with some mechanical pencils, a Keep Calm and Carry On bookmark, a Don't Quit journal and a sticky-note mini-journal. I also added a copy of Writing Fiction by Gotham Writer's Workshop, the one how-to I think pretty much covers all the basic nuts and bolts of writing.

If you'd like a chance to win the pile, in comments to this post name something you've found to be helpful with NaNoWriMo by midnight EST tonight, October 26, 2012. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner everything in the picture. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.

40 comments:

  1. I find an Excel spreadsheet to be useful. I have a column for the date, a column for the goal amount of words, a column for the actual word count, and a final column for the difference between where I am and the minimum of where I should be. I like being able to see how far I've come and how far I have to go. It's a great motivator.

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  2. I find small notebooks really helpful to keep quick ideas sorted before you can flesh them out. I even add little sketches and stuff.

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  3. Kris S12:29 AM

    A quote to keep me going when I think of stopping.

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  4. October outlines.
    Form my character sketches.
    Make me a winner.

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  5. Margaret12:49 AM

    I use colored index cards to organize my story elements -- plot gets one color, character development gets another color, setting, conflict, etc. Then I can see at a glance where I am and what I've already covered.

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  6. Bum glue. I tend to hand write my stories out. So for NaNoWriMo I frequently need a good wrist brace. When I'm typing things up however, I like using YWriter.

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  7. Having multiple children in the house who are closer to their goal than I am.

    That reminds me, I have a project to make this weekend. We've decided to make a racetrack marked with percentages. I was planning on a small wall one, but now I'm thinking it should be big, like all around the living/dining/kitchen area.

    I know. I could just run yarn, keep track of how much yarn we used, divide it by a hundred, and place "landmarks" every percentage place.

    And laminate our "tokens" so we can stick a loop of tape on the back and stick them up? That'd be cheaper than velcro. Might have to go buy or borrow one of those grabber things, though. I'm short and my ceiling and walls are tall. Oh dear dog, I start running strings across the high walls, my kids WILL want it to cross the ceiling.

    Hmm. We could even use different colors of yarn and name the different regions.

    I think I need to stock up on tape. And maybe cardstock. And tylenol. And some cheap candy that's on sale after Halloween... my kids fell in love with the whole mini-prizes for word wars thing, and the treats (an M&M, a candy corn, etc) are an excellent way to see massive progress - I've been asked something like ten million times if I've gotten any yet.

    And see what happens when you ask relevant questions? I start planning in your comments.

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  8. Honestly, the best for motivator for me is a group of writing buddies. We've been prepping together and discussing our ideas and fleshing them out more in our heads. It really helps me keep on track knowing that I have a group that knows about my idea and genuinely enjoys it. They make me want to meet all the goals and numbers because I want to share the story with them.

    When I'm writing outside of the group for NaNo, the handiest thing has been a timer. I'll set aside so much time and during that block of time I will just write. If I want to research something I will skip ahead and wait until the timer goes off. That way I'm not sucked into Twitter, Facebook, or the blogs I read.

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  9. All of these are great ideas to someone who has never taken part in Nano before. At this point I *really* want a racetrack - what a great and fun idea. Right now I'm just working on keeping an open mind to the experience.

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  10. I'm not doing NaNo this year - too much editing to be done for me to jump into something new. In the past years, though, the best tool I have for NaNoWriMo is Aspercreme. Typing in big chunks over a short period of time kills those little muscles in my hands and arms, but if I rub some Aspercreme on, it's not so bad. ;o)

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  11. I find that a good support system works miracles. When I have somebody who will listen to my "OMG I suck as a writer, I will never write another word" rants and whining towards the end of NaNo really helpful :)

    Plus the outlines I have in Scrivener and write or die app. and, oh! oh! COFFEE (lots of it) and Skittles, as a reward for meeting the daily wordcount.

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  12. Lots of multi cooled pens and graph paper for making various charts to keep me motivated. Also Polyvore for making character collages.

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  13. I've never done Nano before but i've read your posts on it for many years. I think i might give it a go this year!

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  14. Anonymous9:02 AM

    I am considering NaNoWriMo again. Thanks for the encouragement.

    SandyL

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  15. I didn't know about it last year, but since You've introduced me to Hiveword, I'm sure it will be my greatest tool for NaNoWriMo this year :D thanks again!

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  16. Sharpened pencils, and lined sheets that are neverending.

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  17. Anne V.10:13 AM

    I need to have a reward system in place for myself. Sadly, I'm not intrinsically motivated to write and I require a stash of M&M candies or other small motivators for daily counts paired with a larger item that I REAALLLY want for overall success. Beyond that I still need my laptop revved up and my Texas Mountain Trail Writers cheerleaders backing me up so that I can turn all the paper piles and scribbles into something somewhat less chaotic.

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    1. This is my biggest help as well! I have a large bowl of York's peppermint patties sitting on my counter every NaNo, and when I make my goal I get to treat myself to one. It's gotten me through multiple NaNos so far... Not the same bowl of candy, obviously. New candy every year.

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  18. Write ins - nothing really did the trick like sitting in a room full of clicky-clacky typing. ^^

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  19. Sticking to my self-imposed NaNo writing schedule: breakfast, shower and walk the dogs, write, lunch, write, yoga, write, dinner, walk the dogs, organize notes for the next day, stop. Well, unless my brain is on fire, then I'll write until the flames die down.

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  20. I've found most important is the idea I write with. It needs to be something that fires me up and can keep me writing throughout November. I can build on it and warp it but that initial idea needs to get me through at least 10 days of the initial writing before I get into my stride enough to go in random directions using the dares forum on the NaNo site. It's all well and good having all this stuff for writing but if I don't have the idea I can't really write anything and use it. Thankfully my head is full of ideas that I can turn to if I need.

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  21. Writing with index cards is my most practical item.

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  22. I tried doing NaNoWriMo last year and I wasn't able to get organized enough to actually do it. I have colored pens, many sharpies, tons of index cards, my graph paper and my outline all ready to go. I am also in the process of setting up a schedule for myself. I think that was my problem last year is I wasn't sure how to write and work a full 40 hour week (plus overtime occasionally) at the same time. I get my schedule a full month in advance so I have began setting up a schedule for each day of November. I work 2nd shift (2:30-10:30pm) which allows me to wake up with my fiance in the morning (7am) and write until I leave at 2:15pm.

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  23. Anonymous12:29 PM

    The Way of the Cheetah is my NaNoWriMo bible!

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  24. clairecherven1:41 PM

    What I find most helpful when I write is a cup of warm Chai tea and English scones. Not much help with the waist line but great for my outlook!

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  25. I keep a flow chart of plot points and complications, fill out character sheets, and keep scribble all over index cards for any extra ideas. It helps me move forward when I'm stuck to glance over everything I've compiled.

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  26. My best NaNoWriMo writing has been when I get out of the house and find a nice coffee shop to sit in while writing. I love people-watching at Panera, and there is always plenty of fodder for background characters there - a woman in an oddly colored dress, or a man who has an unusual accent walking by. I tend to prefer hiding out at home when writing, but I plan to force myself out of the box in November and to get in lots of word-count.

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  27. An endless supply of yellow lined pads and a decent pen!

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  28. Random Plot and Character generators. At least these will lead you in a direction of what you could potentially right about. Don't forget to include a strong pot of coffee for the nights ahead

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  29. I've found word wars absolutely essential to winning NaNoWriMo. Especially the crazy 10,000 words in 4 hours one. It's so exhilirating!

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  30. Using Scrivener for the first time for NaNoWriMo. I love the way the corkboard works!

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  31. Don't know...I haven't won yet lol. I think my best output though comes when I remind myself that I can do this and ask myself "why the heck shouldn't I try to write a book?". A good support system,along with skittles and coffee (not at the same time lol), are a very close second.

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  32. My local MLs. They're angels.

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  33. I have never actually tried this before. I would think that having a clear outline, or notes about the major points of the story would be the most help. An organized writing area, peaceful setting, a nice smelling candle, and definitely some small rewards for yourself (candy, favorite drink or dinner, etc).

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  34. Starbucks gift cards. I spent a little time there each week and my supportive family supplied with with a month's worth of starbucks cash to feed the caffeine and snack needs. :)

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  35. I love erasable gel pens! vibrant color, bold line, and completely erasable! I also have to have a thesaurus when I write, can't do without it.

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  36. Different colored pens and the small notebook in my purse to write down ideas. Thank you.

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  37. Sorry ifhis is late. My phone time is messed up and i have tried to post this many times but it would not go through.

    Truthfully? My alarm clock on my phone. LOL

    Now that i use a alarm to tell me when my writing time begins, ive had more time to wrte. I very easily loose track of time so i often find myself with little writing time because of it but now with my alarm, I've had way more time, about 1/4 hours and it is amazing. Ive had more time to plan, write and edit!

    Been a great help to me!

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  38. I find that good music that fits the story helps me get in the groove. I'm a little nervous about this year's Nano, but I'm determined that even if I don't get all the pages, I'll get a beginning, a middle, and an end.

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  39. I like having an online thesaurus.

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