Sunday, September 30, 2012

Crunchtober: The Ultimate NaNoWriMo Prep

Here we are again, at the start of a new NaNoWriMo noveling season!  Already, I can feel the buzz of wordflies in the air and the quiet growth of plot bunny families.

Last year, my writing group embarked on a 'NaNoWriMo Preparation Quest'.  We were going to be ready, we were going to write those novels.  We weren't just going to meet the 50k and stop, we were going to take it and Hulk SMASH that 50k all over the ground.  So, Crunchtober happened.

Crunchtober is pre-writing writing.  From October 1st to October 31st, you write 500 words a day based off a prompt that I provide.  Crunchtober serves many purposes:

Writing Daily
Not writing daily, or not being prepared to write daily is what does in a lot of people for NaNoWriMo.  If you have a month's head start on daily writing, jumping into NaNoWriMo in November shouldn't be as difficult.

Word Count Goal
Sure, 500 words isn't as much as 1,667, but it's a start.  With a specific goal in mind, and the aim to achieve it, sliding into a routine is less stressful.

Familiarity with Characters and Story 
One option for Crunchtober is to write the prompts from your characters' perspectives in your NaNoWriMo novel.  Last year, I knew my characters pretty well before NaNo started, and it really allowed me to deepen their relationships and motivations, because I already knew who they were.

Comfort Zone
Some of the prompts are designed to be funny.  Some of them are geared towards action.  Others are meant to inspire sadness.  With a wide variety of subjects to write about, you're flexing all of your mental muscles, some of which may need the exercise.  Step out of that comfort zone and tackle the issue.

Part of the purpose of Crunchtober is to get your brain into the right gear.  With one writing prompt a day, thinking about the long term goal - writing a novel - is inevitable, especially if you're using the characters from your upcoming novel.  Crunchtober raises the excitement in your brain as the prompts tick up to Halloween.  Plus, they're fun.  Who doesn't want to have writing fun?

I'll be providing one prompt daily on Twitter under the hashtag #Crunchtober, so search for it!  And remember, the more the merrier!