hNovember is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)-- I participated in Camp NaNo this summer and it was awesome! (Though I didn't get to the neccassary word count- it was still an *awesome* experience!)
The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write at least 50,000 words during the month of November and, today is NaNo Prep Day! Woohoo! Writers will be sharing the ways they prepare and their favorite writing tips. (Twitter users can follow tips using the hashtag #nanoprep).
I've been prepping for NaNo by drafting a (rough) outline of the story I plan on writing. I have also began to "get to know" my main characters. One of my writing professor's shared this list of 36 questions to ask your characters with a class I was in last spring, and I've been using the list to get to know my characters. The first ten questions are:
- How old, exactly?
- Who do they live with?
- Where do they live? Describe the physical place, home, neighborhood (not people, yet).
- Describe the kind of people who live where character does (not in the house, but in the neighborhood).
- What day is their birthday? Birthday important to them?
- What is their level of education? Where did (do) they go to school? If college, what did they study?
- What is their parents’ socio-economic level (education, wealth, cultural background)?
- Parents religious? If yes, what religion? A big deal to them?
- Religion important to character? Explain.
- What is ethnicity? Is ethnic background important? Describe.
Not all of the questions on the list apply to my story- so some I've skipped those that do not and I've added some of my own. I've found it to be a great guide for the process of mapping out where you want your characters to go because you know who they are...
Other things I've been doing to prep is looking at art and other things to help inspire me. I've also been spending time listening to music that I believe represents some of the feelings that are driving the story I want to write. Yes for inspiration!
I will tell you one thing I have not been doing this month (which is CRAZY) and that is- reading! My biggest fear is to adopt another writers "voice"-- so I've been steering clear of all literature. Poetry, poety on the other hand has been a-okay! Have you checked out Matthew Dickman's new book, Mayakovsky's Revolver? Sheer brilliance.
Is there anyone reading this who is also participating in NaNo this year? What are you doing to prep!?