Tuesday, 22 October 2019

NaNoWriMo and Page One


It's almost November and so some people will be attempting the annual NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month, where participants write 50,000 words of a novel, in November.

For those who like (or hate) maths, that's 50K words in 30 days, or 1,667 words per day, every day. If you take one day a week off (5 days off over November) that makes it 2,000 words per day.

Now, I know a lot of people do this and find it useful, and/or an accomplishment. I am not one of them. I'm far too much of a planner to be able to write that much in such a short period of time. And I can tell you for free, that if I did manage to write 50K words in 30 days, they wouldn't be worth reading and I'd spend at least six months editing them into the equivalent of a first draft, so I might as well just spend 3-4 months on a first draft!

For those of you who are thinking of doing the challenge, I wish you all luck and hope that if you write the 50K you're happy, but that if you don't manage to do it, you don't feel bad. Either way, a plan may well help you keep those 50K both flowing and worth keeping, so let me show you a notebook I was given to review, recently. It's the Page One notebook, designed specifically for writers.

So, what's so special about it? Why is it for writers? And how will it help me through NaNoWriMo?

Well, the notebook has 192 pages, split into several sections: characters, plot, setting, scenes, notes, research... and for when the book is finished, a section for tracking submissions. It's actually very well designed. Some of the sections have a little structure to them - the character pages are particularly well thought out, with space to note various details and even include a picture (should you wish).


The other sections are largely free-form - space for notes with less structure, but it will keep all of your notes on one particular area all together. There's also a table of contents at the back so that you can quickly look up where you made the notes on x or y.

Will you write 50,000 words in November, just because you bought the notebook? No, of course not. You actually have to get your ass in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard to do that. But it may well help you write 50,000 words that won't need totally ripping apart and re-writing in December (and beyond).

As you may have guessed, I won't be doing NaNoWriMo (I'm eyebrow deep in editing and other stuff, even if I was otherwise inclined towards doing it), but I will be using the book for planning book 9, even if it takes me considerably longer than 30 days to write 50,000 words.

Anyone doing NaNoWriMo? Let me know how you get on?



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