Tammie’s NaNoWriMo Box

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This November we leap into National Novel Writing Month. To help you get excited and organised, throughout October we’re posting some interviews/guest blogs from people who have been through NaNoWriMo before, and what they’re doing this year to be prepared. First up we have CWG member Tammie, who has been searching for index cards. We wanted to know what for…

Tammie Banks

It’s nearing October which means Nano is just around the corner. Usually I wait until the last minute and hope like hell I can write 50,000 words in a month. This year though, I’m prepared. I’m sure I’ve had a few of you wondering why the heck do I need index cards for Nano? Well, I’m here to tell you. But first, I’m going to let you in on secrets in my nano prep. I’ve found these things invaluable in the past and I’m going to get my Nano kit ready in advance this year.

So here is must-haves for any person facing Nano, whether it be a first time or a repeat offender.

  • Ring binders – for those pesky printed out pages and stuffs to keep them handy. Mine are covered this year with word finds. Handy for brain freeze, writers block and procrastination. They are covered with clear durasel and I have a whiteboard marker…
  • A lolly container – Mine is a big one. I like sugar, it helps me think. Or something like that anyway. I frequent Kmart for their $1.50 bags or I grab them on special. Wrapped ones are best because you get an extra few minutes out of every lolly when you try and concoct something with the wrapper.
  • Refil/Lined paper/Notebook – I don’t cart my laptop/netbook around everywhere with me, so I find having these in my bag handy for those on the spur thinking sessions. I also like hand writing stuff out so that’s another bonus (and another use for those ring binders!!)
  • Index Cards – Ahh, now I’m getting down to why I need them. Every character/place/point of interest is assigned an index card. If it’s a character card I have as many details as I can possibly think of written down – everything from their description to their favourite thing to do to whether they fold or scrunch their toilet paper. For places I have written descriptions and sometimes a picture reference.
  • Printer – It’s handy… To print out things. I print out everything I write. I find it easier to go through and edit, especially on the go.
  • Pens – I have HUNDREDS of pens. I have red pens, black pens, highlighters, gel pens, pencils… basically I have a 10 litre container full of pens & writing instruments. And even though I have that, I still can never find a pen when I need one.
  • Inspiration – I randomly write down quotes, whether they are from something online, something someone has said or something I’ve over heard and it goes into my ringbinders. If I find a cute picture online, I have an “inspiration” folder in my nano folder that it goes into there.
  • Something to squeeze – I’m lucky enough (or should that be unlucky enough) to have gotten a black crocheted cat from last years Nano and it’s in my box for this year. I give it a squeeze or a cuddle for inspiration when I’m writing.
  • Junk food / Caffeine – This basically falls along the same line as the lolly box 🙂 see above for more details.
  • An idea – let’s be honest. You can’t write without something first to write about. An idea, a quote, a song lyric – anything to keep you going.
  • Music/Tv Shows/Movies – These, while perfect distractions, are also great company during long writing sessions. I tend to watch tv series that I’ve seen before while I’m writing. The white noise in the background helps me think and write.
  • Friends & Supporters – Join a Nano group, find someone else that’s doing it, anything to keep your spirits high. I had a rough year last year during Nano and if it wasn’t for the friends I made with the Nano group it might have been a lot lot worse.

I think that’s about all I have in my Nano box. It’s more like an open container that is continually added to, but keep an open mind. Let me know what you would add to yours too.

Thank you Tammie for your time and suggestions. If you want to post a guest post, or wouldn’t mind being interviewed about NaNo, just get in contact with a CWG admin member.

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