Ten Things To Do Before NaNoWriMo

Ten more days to NaNoWriMo! How do you feel? Excited? Overwhelmed? I haven’t YET thought about NaNoWriMo. My University exams go on until the 14th of November and I am half sure of pulling off this year. For now. he he he!
So I brainstormed ten things to do before tackling November:

  1. Consider your story:

    Even before considering the novel itself, you may need to think a little about the story. You need something that can be written easily in 50,000 within thirty days. You do not want to complicate your choices by mixing too many story arcs or having very few of them. When I was considering my novel last year, I considered writing a rom-fantasy novel, agreeing that it was easier to flesh out a story arc, that is the beginning middle and end, for a romantic plot.

  2. Have a Story:

    This is where you initially plan your story. Consider the plot, what point of view do you want it in. Write down a basic summary of your story.

  3. Break Down your Story into Respective Chapters:

    Once you have a story and a list of characters in mind, break down the plot into chapters. Ideally, one would consider having about twenty-five chapters, allotting two thousand words to each of them.

  4. Setting up a schedule:

    Possibly the hardest part of all. You need to write a date against each chapter, and try to stick to the schedule as much as possible!

  5. Inform your friends and family:

    Yep, announce to the world that you will be unavailable for a month. There is a novel to conspire!

  6. Stock up on Coffee:

    Goes without saying why.

  7. Tweet Tweet Tweet:

    Twitter was my best support system last year! There are people all over the world who are writing and will relate to any of the pickles you may be stuck in. Don’t hesitate to say a hi to anyone who is writing, both need the company. Also, the best part about twitter can be that it isn’t like a chat box. You can respond and ignore someone’s tweet when you wish.

  8. Do your Research:

    Because the novel needs to be conspiring in a month, you may not find the time to do hard-core research upon the various elements of your story. It is best to do that before hand. Make points, create your own literary bible, that can come handy and be referred to anytime.

  9. Read Books and Watch as much as TV as you can:

    Writing a novel in a month can be similar to being pushed onto the stage in front of an expecting audience. There may be times when you go blank. When you will have no clue about what a character would say, or how you can describe clouds in the sky differently. Hence, it is important that you are exposed to as much content as possible, so that you may have some source to back up on. Be exposed.

  10. Learn to Relax:

    Writing is a skill. If you feel it doesn’t come naturally to you, then it will eventually. The most important and the significant part of NaNoWriMo is to have fun, gain experience and build on inspiration. You need to learn to accept whatever that may come your way during November as it may get tricky along the way. The pressure you feel is not worth the stress you maybe putting yourself under.

Those are my ten preparatory steps before a WriMo. Have you got some more? Do share. And let’s give the world the pleasure of your novel.

– Shaun D’souza
(I study forensics, play beats with my fingers
and sometimes take a nap.)

Say hi to me @hunchbakdsouza

Let’s NaNoWriMo

The month of November is hailed worldwide for two particular reasons. First and primarily it is known as Mustache growing month, to raise an awareness of Men’s health and against prostate cancer (also known as Movember)

The other big reason, and this is exciting, is that November is also known as the National Novel Writing Month (in short, NaNoWriMo). The deal is simple – write a novel within the month of September. Minimum length limit – 50,000 Words.

I was introduced to this amazing mayhem last year by my mentor as a challenge. And I obviously got worried. How does one write those many words in such a short period? Before last November, my only other writing assignment had taken me three months to complete, and that amounted to 30,000 words only. So this, in comparison seemed impossible.

Then I explored a bit, and looked up at what people over Twitter had to say. I met the amazingly talented and beautiful (not very handsome) minded William Louison who had participated and won NaNoWrimo for the past six years. And that is when I discovered the greatest part about this event – the awe of participating in a world wide race, but with other (so many others!) like minded individuals, who are there to write to you and support you win it. It truly is amazing!

The NaNoWriMo marathon is definitely worth the experience, I realized. And hence participated. I fortunately managed to have most of November to myself as my University semester holidays had just begun. I planned my novel, and, wait for it, managed to finish it in fourteen days. Not that I like showing off, but yea, I kinda love it. The feeling, dear reader, is fulfilling. It is as if you are meditating for a whole month, you feel truly rejuvenated.

The NaNoWriMo website allows you other features like getting your writing reviewed, publishing deals, etc. There are a ton of other surprises and privileges you can also enjoy just by being a part of this. And what happens once you win (which means completing a 50,000 worded novel within 30 days)? You receive an internationally renowned NaNoWriMo certificate. Yaye!

So, com’on, people! Be a part of this global frenzy! Invite your friends, plan a novel and write write write! Please say hi to me over twitter too! I would love to discuss our month together.

Got a story? Come join the moment. The world needs your words. The world needs your novel.

– Shaun D’souza
(I study forensics, play beats with my fingers
and sometimes take a nap.)
Say hi to me @hunchbakdsouza

Writers and his Conflicts

Writers tend to suffer the most from conflicts arising from in and around them. As their works is expected to reflect interesting conflicts, focusing on deep dynamics of human emotion and pain, they have little or no option to understand their own situation better than others.

We as writers often come up with characters who are stuck in major situations, life threatening at the most. We toggle with their lives, often making them do things, they themselves if human, would’ve never attempted. And then there comes a time when we ourselves get stuck in such a situation where our live reflects that of a character in a book (or a movie) and then we realize exactly the predicament our characters are undergoing.

I am a sucker for murder and psychological thriller and should be thankful to the heavens for not putting me in spot of my character. But often I have seen my other writer buddies who complain about a break up in a relationship they’ve written. It is uncanny and amusing because most times it is down to the very last detail and the writer ends up much remorseful about writing the break-up more than the breach in the relationship itself.

I mean, it is funny, right?

However, it get’s much worse when a writer is obsessed with his characters and puts them under pain staking situations. In such cases, every conflict that the writer faces in real life becomes a thing to be analysed under various levels, which can go on harm ones mental stability.

Stephen King wrote a very interesting and scary (of course!) novel called The Dark Half, where the lead character Thad Beaumont suffers from the existence of an alter ego called George Stark, who one fine day comes to life as another physical entity to murder


The most striking part about this tale is example is that Stephen King now also wrote as his alter ego Richard Bachman, who the author described to have then died of ‘cancer of the pseudonym’.Thad’s family.

It is very fitting how a conflict can personally cause a revolting reaction inside the mind of a writer and go on to intrigue him or her beyond the norms of reality. And then go on to do what? Make the writer crazy? Perhaps.

– Shaun D’souza