Now that I've moved into my new apartment (for the most part, there are a few boxes still left to unpack) and I'm done being a bridesmaid in Michigan, I can now dedicate October to what is really important.
Preparation for National Novel Writing Month.
The last few days I've been drowning in the forums and researching steampunk and creating characters like a fiend. It's glorious. Welcome to the world of nerd-dom. We'll have a Firefly marathon later. (Seriously, can we have a Firefly marathon? I haven't done one in awhile and I need to hang out with some browncoats.) If I'm not working I'm planning my NaNoWriMo novel. Yesterday, I hung out with Leah and we helped each other plan. I'm so excited.
To help you in your own NaNoWriMo planning adventures, I wanted to share with you the top four resources that I have been using for my fifth year of crazy novel writing.
iPad and I are basically inseparable. I take it with me everywhere. Naturally, I've decided to use it in my NaNo planning.
Usually I buy myself a brand new shiny notebook and some wonderful pens at the beginning of October. I fill the pages with notes, ideas, names, character maps, and about a million versions of an outline for my story. This year, I am using Penultimate.
It's the best app ever. I use it all of the time, even when it's not for a novel. I hate typing for notes. When you type it is far too organize and that's simply not how my brain works. Writing is much better for note taking for me. You can do "regular" note taking with Penultimate, but it's on a screen. You can make as many notebooks as you want. No more having to wonder where a random piece of paper went or worrying if you forgot a notebook at home. It's all right there on your iPad (or phone, or droid, or tablet, whatever). Just grab a stylist (or your finger) and write away!
Another thing that's awesome is that you can put pictures in it. Yeah, you can tape pictures into a notebook, but this way there is a lot less tape, cutting paper, printing, and glue involved.
Here's an example of the first character page for my main character:
The only downfall is that your writing is a lot messier than usual and it takes awhile to get used to writing on a screen and not a piece of paper.
Another iPad app - but you can use it on basically anything! I have Dropbox on my iPad, my personal laptop, my desktop at work, and my Android phone. I take something, drop it in the Dropbox, and it syncs to all of my devices. And it's free! (Yes, you can pay to get more space, but the more you use it and the more you get your friends to use it, the more space you get for free. Yay!) It's another app that I use all of the time, even when it's not NaNoWriMo season. Whenever I upload photos it goes to my Dropbox and it's simply amazing.
Whenever I've found pictures to help inspire my story I stick it in Dropbox. When it's time to start writing I'm going to save it in Dropbox so I can work on my novel no matter where I am.
I also can connect my Dropbox with Penultimate so pictures can be copied and pasted to each other.
This should be a "duh" but I love Pinterest. I have a board called "Ever After" and that is where I pin all of my things which inspire my re-tellings of fairy tales. It's so handy. And fun.
Yet another, "duh", but seriously. If you aren't scouring the forums on the NaNoWriMo website yet then you are behind! You don't have to contribute to the forums if you don't want to. I know that's a "bad" thing... but seriously. Why would I be checking out the "Adopt a Name" forum if I could think of names to give to people? The forums are one of my favorite parts of NaNoWriMo because I can get great advice and inspiration. Half of the names in my stories come from the forums. I also get some great quotes as well. Simply stalk the sites, and if you have something to contribute you can. If not - no one will know. ;)
So there you go- and what's awesome is that these are great resources even if you aren't doing NaNoWriMo.
What are you all doing to prepare for November? What would help you to prepare better? Any advice that you need before the big month?