NaNo Warm-Ups

NaNoWriMo is a writing marathon.  It’s hard work putting out over 1600 words a day, every day, for an entire month.  Your creativity, your commitment, even your typing fingers are challenged.  (And much like a marathon, most of those competing aren’t worried about being first or best; they just want to finish.)

Today I realized that, except for the occasional writing practice and one or two small sections of Mara, I haven’t written in months.  Months.  To continue the metaphor, this seems a little bit like a runner taking the summer off and then deciding to start running again by completing a marathon.  While the goal of using competition and pressure to coerce the activity seems reasonable, it’s maybe not a good idea to go in completely out of shape.

With that in mind, I am now planning to utilize the next three weeks for some training and warm-ups.  Some of my writing exercises will stay scribbled in the notebook next to my bed, while others will likely end up as writing practice blog posts.  Either way, it will be nice to stretch my creative muscles a bit and limber up for the big challenge to come.

How are you getting ready for NaNo?

**Tiny query update!  I got another rejection today, putting Query Count 2013 at Rejections: 9, Pending: 2, Still to Send: 0.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Bewildered 20-Something Writer
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 20:50:09

    I went into more detail about my prep work in the post I’ve linked at the bottom of this, but basically how I’m prepping is doing a lot of book research and character journaling to get myself into my characters’ heads (they’re both psychopaths), as well as going over the chapters I’ve already written. I haven’t done any actual writing exercises apart from the character diaries, though, are there any you’ve had particular success with?


    • Leigh Townsend
      Oct 11, 2013 @ 23:42:25

      Wow, trying to get comfortable inside not one, but two psychopaths’ minds – talk about a challenge. Good luck with that!
      I do two major things for practice. One of my areas of weakness is physical descriptions, so I typically do scene studies as my writing practice. I have also discovered a game called Storymatic, which is really good for getting the creative juices flowing.


  2. CMSikora
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 21:00:54

    I found out through Twitter that a bunch of writers are doing an unofficial NaNoWarmUp by writing 25k words in October. I started on the first, which is helpful. By writing 800 words everyday in preparation for NaNo, I’ve found out how to avoid certain pitfalls that would have screwed me over, had they happened during November.
    Good luck with NaNo and to your querying!


  3. Arphaxad
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 06:50:32

    I decided that if I let myself, I could continue to plot and plan my NaNo novel for the entire month of October, but then would be sick of it before the first week of November was done. So I started another story and hope to be near done before November starts.

    I am also using that story to test things like where and when to write, what software to use (scrivener!) and I am working on my Spotify playlist. Even though I have had some unproductive days and/or nights with this story, I am hoping to learn how to avoid that come November.


    • Leigh Townsend
      Oct 11, 2013 @ 23:38:41

      That sounds like an excellent plan! I suspect that most of my practice leading up to NaNo won’t be story-related; a lot of it will be one-off scenes and descriptions.
      Is this your first time with NaNo, or have you participated before?


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