As NaNoWriMo 2016 looms ahead, I feel compelled to warn, er, ENCOURAGE first-time NaNos to mentally prepare for the whirlwind that is National Novel Writing Month.
NaNoWriMo will not feel like those relaxing couple of days you spent at that writer’s conference in Martha’s Vineyard. Oh, no. Absolutely nothing like that.
It’s like... imagine me kidnapping you from your bed tonight and flying you to Las Vegas for a weekend of doing all the stuff that people do in Vegas. How are you feeling? Thrilled? Terrified? Pissed off? Well, you’ll feel all that and more during a typical NaNoWriMo.
That’s right. I said it. NaNoWriMo is like a wild and crazy weekend in Vegas. Why?
Oh, I thought you’d never ask.
6 Ways NaNoWriMo is like a Weekend in Vegas
(And why that’s a good thing)
1. You bond with other awesome weirdos. In Vegas, you often rub elbows with people from other countries, other religions and other professions. Yeah, sure maybe you have nothing in common with them. For example, you’re here because I kidnapped you from your bed, and that random stranger over there is here because he’s waiting for the Backstreet Boys concert. But no matter what, you both have one thing in common. You’re in Vegas, baby.
Same with NaNoWriMo, you actually get the opportunity to mingle with real live writers. Finally, people who understand you! So take the time to go to the regional NaNo meet-ups, read the forums, tweet your word count along with the other 300,000+ novelists around the world. If you really hit it off with someone, you can get hitched! By Elvis!
2. What happens in NaNo Stays in NaNo. Or so the saying goes. Did your main character make some questionable decisions? Did she say something embarrassing? Maybe she dressed up in a feather boa and sang "Don’t Stop Believing" (the glee version) at that seedy bar?
Yes, she certainly did. And that’s ok. That’s how great stories are made. Let it all hang out during NaNoWriMo. Let your characters be their crazy selves. You can always deal with their bad behavior in December when you reacquaint yourself with the delete key. Mwahahaha!
3. You eat weird food. In Vegas, you eat a lot of lo mein from buffets, or you order tacos from that sketchy truck across from your hotel. Maybe if you're really desperate, you raid the vending machines for Funyuns. Basically in Vegas, you eat whatever is fast, easy and open late.
During nano, same rules apply. You’ll find yourself eating lots weird stuff—leftover Halloween candy, cold turkey sandwiches from Thanksgiving, and whatever else you manage to absently shove in your mouth while tap-tap-tapping on your laptop.
4. You will drink a lot of adult beverages. COFFEE! I’m talking about coffee. Why? What were you thinking about?
5. You’ll feel hungover, er, TIRED all the time. Um, how do I put this delicately? You don’t look so good. Your face is the color of a blank Microsoft word document. The squiggly red lines in your eyes look like a map to Mordor, and, I'm really sorry to tell you this, but you’ve been wearing that same shirt since November 1st.
6. You’ll win big. I’m sorry, what? You wrote a novel? In a month? Let me shake your hand, Sir/Madam! And if that’s not enough for you, when you roll lucky number 50,000, you get some awesome NaNo Swag. (Discounted Scrivener, anyone? Free CreateSpace paperback?)
Even if you don’t get dealt a winning hand this year, who cares? The idea behind Nano is not to create something perfect, not even to create something 50,000 words long, but simply to create.
You've just created something that wasn’t there before, and you had fun, didn’t you?
Now, come on! The Backstreet Boys are about to come on stage, and I scored an extra ticket. #NaNoWriMo16 or Bust!
Thanks for reading!
Indie Book Cover Design will be giving away free custom covers to 3 NaNoWriMo participants. Sign up by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And while you’re at it, check out my website, www.indiebookcoverdesign.com Also, follow me on twitter @bookdesignbuzz.