Nano Challenge Prep

It’s only 20 hours now before this challenge starts, and I’m beginning to get a little nervous. I still haven’t finalized my scene outline, though I do have a strong sense of all the major plot points that will be occurring throughout the story. At the very least, that will help me free write a lot faster than normal.

I wanted to take a moment and share the tools that I’ll be using to complete this. The number one tool I’ve discovered since becoming a full-time writer is Scrivener. In short, Scrivener is amazing. I highly recommend it to anyone who does any writing. Blogging, research papers, class projects, fiction, nonfiction, journals, anything. The only other tool I’ll be heavily utilizing is an app called Write or Die. This tool allows me to set how two different criteria for my writing sessions–word count and time limit–and forces me to keep writing until one of the two criteria is met. This is the tool responsible for some of my more insane hourly word counts (I’ve hit as high as 4k in one hour, I believe–though that is very abnormal).

Here’s a screenshot of Scrivener in action for the project I’m working on. This is the cork board mode that I use when putting together my scene outline–it’s quite nifty!

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Here’s a screenshot of Write or Die’s setup screen (along with my typical settings–I’ll probably modify these tomorrow). If you want to see it in action, just punch it into YouTube and you’ll find some videos–it’s pretty awesome if you need a little encouragement to get some writing done!

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Well that about sums it up for this quick blog post. I’ll be recording my progress every 2 hours, and will likely be tweeting some pictures of the progress.

Be sure to follow along (@mattabooks) and #50KDayOne.


NaNoWriMo Challenge!

It’s that time of the year again–November! For those of you not in the know, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It’s the one month of the year when people from all around the world (we’re all one “nation” under some higher authority, right?) huddle together in every nook and cranny of every Starbucks they can find in an attempt to write a novel. More specifically, they’re trying to write 50,000 words of a novel within the month–and then they’ll be winners, and then there will be rejoicing, and then there will be women. And that’s what we’re all after, isn’t it?

For those of you who HAVEN’T written a novel (I’m guessing most of you fall under this category…), 50,000 words is about 250 pages of a printed book. Now, those pages aren’t your piddly little double spaced, 5-inch margin joints that you handed to your professor after an all-night cram session the night before your term paper was due. Those pages are 250 leaflets of blood, sweat, and tears. And then more tears.

Think back on high school when you groaned and balked because of your 500-word homework assignment. Now multiply that by 100. Now cry. Now rock back and forth… and cry some more.

For the average writer, 50,000 words in a single month is a monumental task, reserved for the most dedicated of dedicated souls. Successful completion means cars, women, booze, blow, and women. There are no delusions of grandeur here. Last year, I was among the most dedicated of dedicated. I climbed to the top of No Life Mountain and declared myself Victorious. I would never make this shit up.

So why am I taking the time to explain what NaNoWriMo is all about?

Because I’m about to take it to the next level.

What’s so special about writing 50,000 words in one month? Been there, done that, and the t-shirt was lame. This year I want to climb No Life Mountain and I want to build my castle on top, like Emperor Kuzko with his charming summer retreat.

This year I’m going to write 50,000 words in one day.

November 1st.

Yep… you read that right.

November the First.

Screw National Novel Writing Month, I’ll be dining on NaNoWriDa, this year. Thank you very much.

By the 2nd of November, I will have completed 50,000 words of my next novel.

How insane is this? Well, let’s break it down…

To write 50,000 words in 24 hours, I’ll need to be writing at a pace of 2,084 words an hour. That little gem of a number breaks down to roughly 35 words per minute.

35 words per minute.

All Day.

I know people who would be happy to maintain a pace of 35 words per minute for 60 minutes a day. Forget about 1,440 minutes in a row.

In short, I’m writing this to let you know that I’m a certified crazy person. Come the 2nd, my fingers may only exist as piles of fleshy mess caked to the top of my keyboard, my mouth may only speak in tongues understandable by the imaginary people floating in my head, and I will most assuredly be in desperate need of a shower.

But I will be victorious.

I’m not going to lie… I’m scared. But I’m also excited. Life gets exciting when you push yourself, when you really find out what you’re capable of doing.

I hope you will be there to cheer me on. I’m going to need your words of encouragement to carry me through.

Now I’m off to get my mountain climbing gear ready. It’s going to be a long day.

PS–the above post was 603 words long… WTF am I thinking?! )