NaNoWriMo: Are You Lady?

NaNoWriMo at her computer.

NaNoWriMo is only four days away. Baka Laureate’s one-year anniversary is the day after. The schedule is really hectic starting next week, and there’s a lot of things that need to be covered. I haven’t done any formal planning for the novel itself, but that’s fine. This is NaNoWriMo, and literary abandon is the norm, not the exception. Nisio Isin wrote all of Katanagatari in a single NaNoWriYe(ar); it’s very much possible to jump into it head-first.

Outside of the planning and plot preparation itself, however, there are always things that I prepare for myself such that the experience of writing during NaNoWriMo is a lot smoother. This isn’t a walk in the park. It gets tough, and I wouldn’t be surprised if first-timers aren’t frothing at the mouth by the second week.

Watching Even More Anime

In NaNoWriMos past, I’ve taken time in between writing sessions to watch anime, paying special attention to writing elements rather than for entertainment. My first NaNoWriMo victory was for a novel that took place in an anachronistic steampunk Japan, and as a supplement to my writing, I took two days off just to (re)watch the entirety of Samurai Champloo. This year is a bit different, as I didn’t watch anime as much as I did when I started Baka Laureate. I’ve already picked out several series to watch throughout the month of November to help stir my magical cybergirl juices:

– Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
– Dennou Coil
– Persona 4: the Animation
– Puella Magi Madoka Magica
– Suite Precure
– Serial Experiments Lain

5+ cours worth of shows in this lineup, including two series that are currently airing. It means that everything that I’m watching for non-blogging purposes will be put on hold. That means other than Last Exile, Chihayafuru, Persona, and Suite Precure, everything else is dropped, unfortunately including Ika Musume (squidding great), Kimi to Boku (BROtastic), Ben-to (totally awesome), and Mawaru Penguindrum (FFFFUUU- WHY.JPG).

Unlike last year, I’ll try to keep up with blogging Last Exile and Chihayafuru, so that’s about 4 weeks times two posts per week times a thousand words. That’s eight thousand words that could have gone into my novel.

Challenge fucking accepted.

Taking Time Off

Instead of using my paid vacation days to visit Japan like the true weaboo that I am, I opted to go full-recluse instead and take 2 weeks off in November to help with NaNoWriMo. I’ll be living like a Hikikomori, except productive (unless you count Satou and Kaoru making a doujin eroge as productive); I’ve got microwave meals stocked up, as well as all the instant coffee at my disposal.

Come at me, bros. I’m not leaving the house, unless if it’s related to novel writing.

Big Shiny Tunes

I’ve created the ultimate magical cybergirl playlist. And by that, I mean I have the OSTs for Madoka, Steins;Gate, Serial Experiments Lain, and Suite/Heartcatch/Fresh Precure mixed into one playlist, set to repeat and shuffle. Your mileage may vary, but the writing environment has an effect on the writing mindset. By having the right songs playing in the background, the mood established by the resulting ambience can greatly influence writing output, not just in terms of quantity, but quality as well. Writing my steampanku novel last year, I listened to a combination of the Samurai Champloo OST and the Rage Against the Machine discography. This year will be pretty awesome, and I can’t wait to see what my ears dictate me to write.

Goodbye, Mr. Critic

As an anime blogger, being critical of story details and the tiniest of minutiae in anime lends to being naturally critical of media in general, even when one doesn’t mean to. This does not bode well for writing first drafts, since there’s always going to be a nagging voice that says to you “this is utterly cliched tripe” or “this character is written as if it were voiced by Rie Kugimiya.”

In the month of November, it’s our duty as verbal diarrhea dispensers to shut out that judging voice. We keep true to Sturgeon and write at a 90% shit rate, but praise ourselves at the end of the month because the 10% that we accidentally wrote will be spread out to the rest of the novel in its re-write, thanks to the same critical knowledge that we disregarded at the beginning.

My inner-critic helped me get to where I am here with the blog, but there’s a mutual relationship of trust that I can count on him to polish my turd when I’m done. At least at the end of all this, i’ll have a turd to polish at all, which is more than anyone else can say.

“If you think you know everything, why don’t you try writing a good story yourself?”

Fool! Why do you think I do NaNoWriMo in the first place? For the money and women?

4 days remain. My house, my laptop, and my body is ready. Are you?

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11 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo: Are You Lady?”

  1. Best wishes for Nanowrimo. I’ve always watched on the side-lines. Truth be told, I always forget about it until part way through the month. There are usually places around here where people gather to pound out some pages during November, so I have stopped in to check out the vibe (and sip some coffee) without directly participating myself. This year I have been thinking about participating for more than a month, but since it would be my first time, I haven’t completely worked up the courage yet. Again, best of luck for a successful NNWM!

    1. One day you’ll be able to join! There’s really no pressure here. Hitting the end goal is fine and dandy, but the real reward is having an opportunity to write at all, whether it be 50,000 or even just 50 words. That’s the spirit of the whole thing, and I honestly believe anyone who is anything remotely close to interested in writing should just do it anyway for the experience, even if he or she has to set a more reasonable personal goal. There’s a power that lies in people who are motivated by each other; the more, the merrier, as they always say!

    1. Short for National Novel Writing Month!

      One Month: 50,000 words of a new novel. That’s all you really need to know 🙂

  2. How are you able to turn off your inner critic? It’s nigh-impossible for me, that’s why I never get far into writing anything.

    I tried around 3 years ago and got up to 5000 words before quitting.

    1. The easiest way to lower the impact that the inner critic has on you is to have reasonable expectations coming into the event itself. Firstly, accept that the story is going to be bad. There’s going to be plotholes, horrid prose, and a mix of passages that don’t have enough detail and those that are overdescribed. Knowing this ahead of time will lessen the demoralizing effect of the inner critic when he or she pops up and tells you that you’re bad; you already know that you’re bad. You only care about wordcount.

      Also, as much as they say that there’s no such thing as a muse, I believe that there exists in everyone a voice that is the antithesis of the inner-critic. The voice in your head that impulsively tells you to kill that character, or to throw in a macguffin because it’s cool. It doesn’t make sense, but he lives on rule of cool, and if he likes it, then most likely, you’ll like it too. So just throw it in there and let the words come from that. You have to let your brain go, and let your fingers and let the depths of your subconscious take over. I’ve spoken about free-writing before; NaNoWriMo is just a month-long freewriting session, to be honest!

  3. Whoooooa good luck Krizz! Sounds like you are going to have a interesting few days hahaha and all those great OSTS! Woooo Hoooo!! Well best of luck on your amazing writing don’t work to hard xD

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