Posted in Creative WRiting, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo prep, nanowrimo tips, nanowrimo trick, National Novel Writing Month

NaNo Preps, Tips, and Tricks!

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It’s time for another tip blog for NaNo, and I do realize that I’m going to end up posting some of the same tips that I posted last year… but that was last year, and this is this year… and honestly, I go through the same prep process with new things added to it every year. So.

For today’s tip, I’m going to tell you something that I know I’ve told you before, but I find it so important that I don’t mind telling you again. The National Novel Writing Month website actually tells you this as well.

Make yourself a cover!

I don’t care if it’s really good, if you go into the Artisan forums and ask someone to make it for you, or if you just go to a free domain photo site and make something in paint. The point is, people who have covers have a might higher percentage of winning than people who don’t. I don’t get the exact science behind it, or the reason… but I really do find it to be true.

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(Above is a cover that I made myself for my novel in 2014)

A Cover, at least for me, means that I have a vision of my project. It means that when I’m looking at it, I can imagine what it will look like when it’s put into an actual novel format. I’m not saying that the cover that you make is going to be the cover that you keep – if you’re pursuing traditional publishing, I’m pretty sure that you won’t even get a say in what that cover is when you first publish. But for now, and for your mind? It’s going to be there for you. You’re going to see it as a book, not just as that thing that you’re trying to throw together in a month as best you can.

For me, I try to always use public domain photos, or something that is free to use. I don’t like using people’s pictures without their permission. The place where I made my covers (yes, you heard me right, plural) for this year is publicdomainpictures.net. Everything there is public domain, so it’s been pretty fun. I wouldn’t, of course, self-publish anything without doing further research… but for the intents and purposes of making a cover that I can use for NaNoWriMo? It’s a great site. There are quite a few places where you can get free to use photos if you do a google search – any one of those is a wonderful place to start, if you’re going to make your cover yourself!

Once you’ve found a picture that you like, it’s extremely easy to take it to a place like Lunapic, or even your own windows programs if you prefer. Add some text, including your name and a title. The great thing about it is this – you don’t have to feel like you’re tied in to the title that you choose. If you decide to change it later, this isn’t a professional cover. This isn’t something that you paid a ton fo money for… this is a cover that you made. This is just something that you did to give your mind a visual of what your book coudl look like.

Nothing is set in stone, except for the fact that you have the determination to turn your story into a novel!

So, that’s all that I have for tips today. If you guys want, i can do a blog on how I made my book covers! I’d love to share. Other than that, keep in mind that NaNo is in about 2 weeks now. Get your outline pounded out, get your prep-prepped! It’s going to be time to go on a pretty rad adventure soon!

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

Posted in Creative WRiting, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo prep, nanowrimo tips, nanowrimo trick, National Novel Writing Month

Prep, Tips and NaNo Tricks!

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I want to apologize for missing my post on Tuesday. I had a bit of a busy week, so finishing up my prompts and getting them out was about all that I could handle. That is okay though, because I’m here today!

I figured I’d go ahead and take this one to a list of things that find to be super important to NaNoWriMo being kicked off properly. Of course, this is just my list… but I think it’s a pretty good list!

  • Notebooks – I love notebooks. I definitely need them in my life when I’m doing NaNo (who am I kidding, I need them in my life all of the time.) Even though I do a lot of plotting in Scrivener (I will get to that in a moment), there’s still a part of me that remembers the time before I could carry around a computer everywhere. That part of me wants a notebook. Use it to write ideas, to jot down dialogue that you hear people say throughout the day. As a writer, I guarantee you’re going to need it.
  • Scrivener – This is my personal preference. I really adore this writing program, so much so that I’ve done entire blogs on it before. I’m thinking of doing an update Scrivner blog, actually… because it really does change the way that I write. It gives you an organized place to write, to store your thoughts, and to make sure that you can get your words out come November.
  • Pens, markers, etc – In vein with the whole notebook business, make sure that you have things to write with. I use mine more for sticky notes and writing down my daily word counts after I get the initial notebook planning out of the way… but they’re honestly really important.
  • I know it’s silly, but Snacks. Snacks, and coffee and discounted Halloween candy. Having something to munch on while you’re writing is kind of imperative when you’re going to be so busy writing that you sometimes forget to eat to begin with. At least, that’s how it happens with me a lot.
  • Your outline. I know a lot of people are pantsers, but at least have a general idea of what you’re doing if you can. Just something vague, something that you can at least know what you’re going for. It will make a huge difference, I promise you.
  • A playlist! I know it’s silly, but having a specific playlist for your project can really help. Your mind associates those songs with your novel, and it actually helps you to get into gear and into the mood that you were in when you were writing before. This year, I’m going to try to have chapter playlists, because I think it could be a lot of fun.
  • Maybe most important – your writing group. Your writing buddies… just someone to participate with. Having someone who can hold you accountable, and someone that you can challenge, that you can write with? So important. I really do find a huge difference in my writing from when I had my writing group and when I didn’t. There’s a link to my Discord group in my signature, feel free to drop in and get an idea of what we’re all about. I promise, writing groups do make a huge difference.
  • Your writing space – make sure that you have it ready. If you’re someone who writes on the go, make sure that you have your laptop prepared then. Personally, I made a corner in my living room, and I have my desk prepared. I’m going to be cleaning up a few things for when I invite friends over. Just make sure that wherever you’re going to work, you have it cleaned, you have it ready to go…

So yeah, I might actually make a list v.2 if I think of more things. These are just a few tips and tricks that I know I use personally. I’d love to hear about what you do in order to get ready for NaNoWriMo! If you write a list, tag me in it! Maybe we can all make one big master list of our NaNo prep lists, so that anyone new to NaNo has a great resource!

I will see you guys a little later on in the day for my Horror Writing Prompt reply!

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!

 

Posted in Creative WRiting, Nano, nano advice, nano tips, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo prep, nanowrimo tips, nanowrimo trick

Nano Preps and Tips!

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It’s the time of year again, where I’m off to give you guys tips for a successful NaNoWriMo. I guess I’m going to start with the one tip that I find to be the most helpful. You may have heard these tips and tricks from me before, but they’re making a comeback in October for the purpose of NaNo Preparation!

Find a Writing Group.

Seriously. The only year that I didn’t win NaNo (2012), I didn’t have a writing group. I’d heard about it from someone on youtube. I thought it would be fun. I signed up – I didn’t have any friends who were participating. I wrote for the first day, completely forgot about it, and just went on about my life.

The thing is, a writing group and writing friends will hold you accountable. It’s not just that accountability that you need though. The excitement and air in a writing group really makes the difference between you going through those first week blues and stopping… and having an entire group of people who are experiencing the same thing as you are, but htey keep cheering you on. It’s the atmosphere, it’s the sense of community.

It’s honestly what I think NaNoWriMo is all about.


My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!


I’m actually going to give out the link to my Discord writing group on here. I’ve had the group going since 2013, and I’ve won NaNo Every year since then. It’s just something that can honestly really help.

If you aren’t into the chat room scene, I really implore you to go and visit the NaNoWriMo Forums. There are so many helpful, friendly people there.

With a group, you can run sprints, you can challenge each other – you can share in your excitement and your days of defeat… and you can know that you aren’t on this crazy journey alone. There is always another person online at the very second that you’re feeling your emotions… and they’re feeling them, too. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to seek those people out – be a part of the writing community.

Trust me, you’ll thank me for it!

More tips to come every Tuesday and Thursday of October!

Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Posted in NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo tips, nanowrimo trick, National Novel Writing Month, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

NaNoWriMo Tip #5 – Get Hyped!

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This is something else that I talked about on my NaNoWriMo prep list. This is just something that I do for myself personally… but I certainly think that it helps me out. Get yourself hyped! I do this in a number of ways. I’m sure that everyone has different ways of getting excited for November… I’m just going to tell you guys a few of mine!

  • Watch NaNo videos! – This is something that really helps to get the creative excitement going for me. I am a big fan of Katytastic, personally. Whatever gets you excited though, you should start watching now! Get excited! Get ready!
  • Plan your novel – This is something that I’ve talked about before, but I’m going to talk about it again. Plan your novel. Whether you do it in scrivener, or a notebook, or in your head. Get yourself excited. If you wait until the first day to do it, you’re not going to have that excitement to propel you ahead!
  • Look up character references – This is something that I do personally to both help me plan and to get excited. I like to look up faces for my characters. Since I can’t draw, I look up actors/models. If you can draw, draw your characters. Either way, give them a face! I save 10 or so pictures of each person with different facial expressions. It helps me to get excited because I have a real image of them in my head!
  • Change your desktop background! – Whether you change it to inspirational pictures related to your novel or a NaNoWriMo calendar, change your pictures! Every time you turn on your computer, you’ll get a little more excited about NaNo. By November 1st, you’ll be so ready to write!
  • Talk to friends and family – Both in your real life and on the internet. Tell your friends, tell your significant others, tell your family. Get excited about it! Also, one of the best places that you can go to is the NaNo Forums ! There are so many people there ready to be excited, just like you! Make friends. Join chats, join threads. Just get excited!

I know these are just a few ways to get amped up, but they really help me out. I’m so excited for NaNo that it’s hard for me to wait until November. That will help you out a lot in that first week. Your first week of writing is your chance to get way ahead while the newness of the month is giving you extra energy. Amp up and get ready! NaNo is coming soon!

I’d love to hear how you get ready for NaNo! Let me know!

Until Next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page