My NaNo Survival Kit

I figured with NaNoWriMo drawing ever closer, I’d share my own list of items that I’m collecting for my November survival kit. Some are ready to go, some I still need to get ready.

1. Laptop – Though this one seems easy, I’ve been using a temporary replacement for my good laptop, because the good one needed a new keyboard. It’s been fixed and ready for a week now, but I haven’t taken the time to swap out the temp one yet. The keyboard was down for a month or so, so I need to set up the good laptop and make sure it’s ready to go for November.

2. Outline – I haven’t even started on this yet. I’ve got a partial timeline done, some character work done, and a decent synopsis. Plus lots of notes on dialog and minor events that will shape the setting. I plan to do nothing but outline during my writing time until either the outline is done or November starts.

3. Notebook, pencil, & eraser
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Though I prefer to write longhand, I learned years ago that there was no time for that during NaNoWriMo. In fact, I rarely write anything longer than writing practice by hand anymore, even outside of NaNo. Still, having a notebook or two available during NaNo is only smart. For those times when I’m out and can’t bring my laptop, but still have a little time to write (Thanksgiving events being the most prominent example). Or for the possibility, however unlikely, that my laptop crashes.

4. Soft, fuzzy robe & slippers – November gets cold where I live, and we keep our thermostat a little low to save money. So we tend to wear sweaters, socks, and slippers around here to stay warm. It’s nice and cozy for settling in and writing, especially since I recently got a long, super soft robe to wear.

5. Leftover Halloween candy & other snacks – This is still on the horizon, obviously, because Halloween is still ahead of us. My husband and I have grand plans to go out on Sunday afternoon and see what we can find. I learned recently that (in my town, at least) Walgreens and CVS are more likely to have good, name-brand candy in after-holiday sales than the area grocery stores, so we’re heading there first. I’ll be getting others snacks here and there, like fruit or chips, but I’m mostly a chocolate girl.

6. Full stock of coffee
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This is the first year this particular item has been on my list. I despise coffee normally. I like powdered cappuccino drinks, but couldn’t ever enjoy coffee. However, my husband got me a k-cup machine for my last birthday, and I quickly discovered that I like flavored coffee (with cream in it). In fact, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with coffee now (but again, only flavored). I discovered that one can buy variety packs of flavored coffee on Amazon, and tried it out months ago. It worked out well enough that I ordered a new box for November. I also pick up regular boxes of various flavors that strike my fancy now and then, and have some I’m looking forward to opening throughout the month. So this NaNo, I will join the majority of Wrimos who drink copious amounts of coffee.

(I’ll probably drink a lot of pop too, but it’s not as fun to stock up on in advance as the coffee.)

7. Free trial of Scrivener that will last until the end of NaNo – I’ve been trying Scrivener since May. With a 30-day trial that only takes a day away for days you actually open the program, I still have half the month left. I’ve yet to decide if it’s worth buying, but I’m going to try out using it for both outlining, and writing from said outline, this month. The time I have left on my trial wouldn’t have lasted through NaNo, since I’d be using it every day. Fortunately, there is a trial version that lasts until December 7th, specifically for Wrimos. I downloaded that, and will be using it to make the aforementioned outline the rest of this week.

8. Thumb drive – This one I still have to get. I have several thumb drives, but right now, I can only seem to find one. And it’s completely full with backed-up files. I’ll keep looking for the others (most of which are still in the original packaging and must be floating around together somewhere), but if I can’t find one, I guess I’ll borrow one. I can back up my novel to Google drive, but I want to have it on a thumb drive so it’s more easily accessible between my laptop and desktop.

9. Coloring books & colored pencils
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I was never much for coloring when I was younger, not like my sisters. A few years ago, I read advice along the lines of having something on hand to do during NaNo’s dreaded week two (or any other time during the month), when inspiration and motivation were low. Something creative, but in a different way. Painting, drawing, singing, dancing, etc. I planned to work on some scrapbooking if the need arose, though it never did. I still have scrapbooking material and could do that, but frankly, it takes a lot of time and effort to do much in that vein (and I’m not even the type to be super fancy with a scrapbook page, or to decorate a whole page just for one or two pics…I usually fit as many pics on the page as I can and do a little decorating around or between them).

A week or two ago, though, I read a blog post that mentioned coloring in adult coloring books during NaNo. I latched on to that idea pretty quickly. The idea of making colorful pictures with no real plan, no goal, just…coloring, when the stress of word counts started to get a little overwhelming really appealed to me. Or even just as a way to unwind after I was done writing for the day.

I’m not an artist, and I don’t care about blending or matching colors or making the page fancy at all. I just want to color. I bought one coloring book on Amazon, with another on its way (the tracking says it will arrive anywhere from Oct 30-Nov 17, so it’s good the other one came quickly). My husband, who never for a moment thought I was silly when I told him I wanted to get some coloring books for me (even I thought I was silly), bought me a brand new pack of 36 colored pencils, so I don’t have to use my daughter’s, which are mixed and matched from 4 different packs.

Anyway, that last item on the list got a little lengthy with its explanation. Sorry about that. I’m pretty sure this is everything, but it wouldn’t be the first time I forgot something until after I posted.

What’s in your NaNoWriMo survival kit? Are you prepared for November 1st?

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14 thoughts on “My NaNo Survival Kit

    • I’ve liked the idea of it so far. It basically allows you to organize scenes, chapters, even ideas, and move them around as you need. You can use it to outline key plot points, and then during the writing, write the text for each plot point in the window where that plot point had been. It’s kind of hard to explain, and I haven’t even used it to its full potential yet.

      If you use a template, there are also character sheets you can fill out, a place to store all of your research, and all sorts of other things, both text and files. It does seem like it could be a single place to store everything related to one story without having to open different programs and different files.

      I’m a little disappointed that one of the main features I was looking forward to when watching tutorial videos isn’t available on the PC version, but it still seems to be a helpful program. I’m using it to separate out scenes in another novel, in the hopes of figuring out where chapter breaks should be.

      Overall, if using it to make an outline, and then writing scenes from that outline, all with Scrivener, works out for me this coming month, I will probably use my NaNo discount to buy it. I haven’t jumped too quickly on the bandwagon yet, though, because I’ve never needed as much help to organize my stories as others seem to (I don’t really ever write scenes out of order). I can see how it would come in handy though.

      Oh, and I never had a clear understanding of it either, until I watched some of the tutorial videos on the site, and then downloaded the free trial and played with it for myself.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I absolutely ā¤ your kit! I doubt hubby will condone my need for candy, but he doesn't really understand NaNo either. As long as I have my hot chocolate stuff, I'll be good. I find the coloring idea fascinating. I might do that as well when I don't want to write or can't find the oomph to do so. It might help my creative juices flow. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard of yWriter, but never looked into it. Just checked it out, and it does seem to do the same basic thing as Scrivener. I have no idea if it has the areas outside of the manuscript like Scrivener has, but I’m not sure I’ll use those much anyway. yWriter is free, too, so it might have the leg up on Scrivener, at least for Windows users.

      Like

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