Monday, July 25, 2016

Handwriting NaNoWriMo

Hello everyone! I was hoping to post more this month but decided to focus on writing. This NaNoWriMo I decided to participate by handwriting my story. It's the first time in eight years I've written out an extended story. Because I've enjoyed my experience so much, I decided to write a blog post on how I did it and what things I would do differently in the future.

How I got started:
Step one: Locate a journal/notebook/pad of paper that has at least 200 pages (unless you have really tiny handwriting) for optimal writing. If you don't horde pretty notebooks that you never use, then I would suggest going to Ross or the dollar store. At Ross's they usually have pretty notebooks that are cheaper than Walmart but, when I've recently visited, it was primarily religious related covers on the notebooks. If you do go to your local dollar store, make sure to sniff the pages (yes, it sounds and will look weird) but it's better than purchasing one that stinks of chemicals. 

Step two: Pens. Now, I'm the kind of person that prefers writing in pencil, but I decided to go with pens for two reasons. First, I know I wouldn't stop editing every two seconds and I don't like the look of constant crossing out on my pages. Second, I knew I would probably smudge it every five seconds so the pen had minimal smudges. Now you have to decide what color pen you want to write with. I personally chose blue because it was relaxing but, if you're visiting local places that have free pens available, it may be a good choice to just go with those. I bought the cheap pack of blue pens at Walmart for less than a dollar. But, unless you're just writing for 10 minutes, it will hurt. Otherwise you'll need to find one of the cushions to go on the pen.

Step three: Find your plot. Now, you can always go the non-traditional route of NaNoWriMo by having multiple short stories. Or this may be a great way for you to follow some writing prompts and improve your skills. Another great way, if you're stuck and need an idea, is to check out the NaNoWriMo adoption thread on plots. They do take down the threads (I believe once a year) so you will have to check back and see. But I definitely recommend being flexible with your story because I decided to take a completely different route with my story because of a great idea I had while writing. Whatever your topic, make sure you're passionate and ready to go!

Step four: Finding spot(s) and what works for you. I personally like writing alone so it helps that I have a separate room to go over to and just relax on the couch. But, some common spots to go write are in a cafe, at a library, or at a park! It may take a while but find an area that helps and don't be afraid to move around. I also recommend finding a playlist of music that works for you. I have Amazon Prime so I've been focused on listening to different movie soundtracks (mainly by Hans Zimmer) but I also enjoy using YouTube to listen to MixHound and Versus Music Official. There is a ton of other YouTube artist similar to them so I recommend looking in the side bar for other recommended music.

What I would do differently:
First, I would go with a normal notebook or spiral notebook. Another great idea would be to have a binder and just keep adding pages to it. While I like the convenience of the small journal, they do cost a lot more, and I only got half way through my story with one of those journals. 

Second, I would get all of my ideas in one place. I enjoy using Pinterest, follow me via the pin below, and I realized how many great resources are available to writers! I've found that it had a lot of great inspiration and I've also picked up some great tips from various websites. I would also gather a list of character names I would want to use and keep them on hand in case a great idea for a character came up.

Finally, I would make it a point to have a prompt/short story journal nearby. While it's great to just sit and let your muse run wild, it can make things difficult when you hit a roadblock, and I feel like it could be a good way to get over writers block. I haven't tried this method yet, but when I do, I'll try to  write a blog post saying if it worked for me.

Alright, that's my two cents on handwriting for a Camp NaNoWriMo! I do plan on continuing to hand write my stories first since it has worked well for me so far. However, you may try it and realize that it isn't the best approach, so find what fits YOU the best and run with it! Good luck writers!

PS - I plan on making some big changes to how to run my blog in August for my 2 year anniversary. Make sure to follow/sign up for email notifications to see what will be new!

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