Eyeing November

November is a month and a half away, but I'm already thinking about National Novel Writing Month and whether or not I will participate. I am thinking that maybe this will be the year I do it. Not that I remotely have time, but the whole point is to make a goal regardless of your commitments and find the time in the cracks and crannies of the usual crazy world. It helps, of course, if you know what you want to write about beforehand, and there are some significant things you can do to help yourself prepare without officially jumping the gun.

For example, an outline, drafting character sketches, writing sample dialogues, reading similar works, collecting first and last names so you don't leave a bunch of these ___ scattered through the manuscript... that sort of thing. Figuring out the very mechanics of how you will write the thing (pen and paper? trusty laptop? occasional twitter posts?) may seem overly specific, but may be just the sort of initial decision-making that will set you up for success.

Though it's worth it to note that success is not necessarily the completion of a novel. It may be that the best preparation is deciding what you really want to take away from the project. A stronger grasp on grammar, the sensation of having completed something from start to finish, or the exploration of a certain subject to the exclusion of all else for thirty solid days. It could be any number of things. The choice is yours.

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