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The Weekly Fun Not Fear! Mashup: October 28th

28 Oct

All right, Wrimos! We have less than four days before the exciting adventure of NaNoWriMo 2011 begins. We’ve put together another handy mashup of our favorite NaNo-writing links to help you as you embark on this weekend’s last-minute flurry of planning and plotting. At the moment, Em’s putting all her scenes in order and planning her writing schedule for November.  Lena’s in the midst of picking names for locations and her ridiculous horde of characters, and will hopefully have a functioning “cheat-sheet” by the time Tuesday rolls around.

Good luck as you enter the final stretch! Above all, have fun, and don’t get too caught up in last-minute planning like this poor little wrimo toon…

So enjoy the weekend, all! For those of you who celebrate Halloween, have a blast and be safe.  We’ll see you all next Friday for our first check-in!

– Em and Lena

This Week in NaNoWriMo Links…

Here at Fun Not Fear!, we’re all about standing up to those things that scare us the most, whether it’s the seeming impossibility of writing 50k in 30 days, or anything else that holds us back from doing what we love.  In that vein, the wonderful ladies at Writers in the Storm published an excellent and inspirational series on fear that we highly recommend. You’ll find the series wrap-up here, with links to the original posts.

At the moment, the writing buddies section of the official NaNo site still isn’t up, but forums are functioning.  If you’re trying to figure out how to jump in, check out this guide to the forums from WriMos FTW!

Everyone should read the NaNoWriMo checklist by Leif G.S. Notae, also at WriMos FTW!

Allison Wells has compiled a list of incredibly helpful hints on how to find time to participate in NaNo.

Becky, also known as Stupid Girl, has a few suggestions of her own for how to approach NaNo. Tip #2 is one of our favorites: Have fun!

Glitterlady has written “The Pantsers’ Guide to NaNoWriMo,” sure to resonate with everyone who eschews the plotting route.

Webgrrl talks about writing tools (including Scrivener), a brief history of NaNo, and some tips for making it through the month.

Speaking of writing tools, Scrivener is providing special offers for Nano participants, including an extended trial period and some awesome discounts.

Elizabeth Spann Craig over at Mystery Writing is Murder provides some great suggestions for moving quickly through a first draft, which is applicable to all projects, not just NaNo.

For the rest of October, Janice Hardy is writing about planning the NaNo novel. So far she’s posted a rough overview of how to plan the novel, as well as tips for brainstorming your novel’s beginning.

Finally, Smashwords is offering a special promotion for all NaNo writers. According to the official announcement,

Smashwords is opening up the Smashwords platform to allow all NaNoWriMo participants to publish, share, track and promote their works-in-progress.

For those of you who want to offer your readers the opportunity to download your works-in-progress, this will be right up your alley.

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The Weekly Fun Not Fear! Mashup

21 Oct

With less than two weeks to go until NaNo begins, we are all knee deep in research, plotting, character development and the other preparation that a big challenge like NaNo requires. Most of us are also frantically looking around for hints, tips and insights into how to succeed and ultimately win NaNo! We have compiled a mini list of posts we have enjoyed reading this week and we hope that they in some way inspire and encourage you.

Reflections on NaNoWriMo

Cameron over at Write on Edge provides an excellent overview of NaNoWriMo, including tips, thoughts, and suggestions from past participants.

Chuck Wendig has written a list of “25 Things You Should Know about NaNoWriMo.” As always, Chuck’s work is heavy on profanity and acerbic wit, but he raises some important points to keep in mind as we approach November 1st, especially #9: “Beware ‘Win’ Conditions”. His follow-up post, “25 Questions to Ask As You Write,” is also worth a read.

Sarah Ketley considers her “7 Deadly Writing Sins” as she gears up for NaNoWriMo.

Mark David Gerson provides a handy list of writing do’s and don’ts, many of which will be sure to resonate with WriMos.

Over at Music and Words, Stephanie Bowyer writes about her decision to tackle NaNoWriMo, and her concept of what it means to “win.”

On Planning, Structure, Plotting, and Craft

While there’s a link for Larry Brooks’ NaNoWriMo planning series, we wanted to flag it once more, as it’s an excellent resource about plot and structure.

Ruth Long has an amazing collection of links about structure and craft that we highly recommend.

Matthew Wright has been writing a series of posts on prepping for NaNoWriMo, including his recent mashup of writing tips.

In addition to being the social media maven, Kristen Lamb has written a number of great posts on the “Anatomy of a Best-Selling Novel.” You can find Part 1 here.

Over at Jenny Hansen’s More Cowbell blog, Jody Hedlund provides “4 Steps for Organizing Plot Ideas Into a Novel.”  Jody has also written a fantastic post on how she approaches her “plantsing” process (that’s pantser + plotter), which is highly useful for anyone straddling the line between the two techniques.

Jenny Hansen has also written a great post on Stephen J. Cannell and the 3-Act Structure, using When Harry Met Sally as an awesome illustration.

Perhaps you’re solid on structure and plotting? Don’t forget one of the most important elements of your story: your characters’ names. Over at Roni Loren’s blog, Suzanne Johnson offers “5 Tips for Not Screwing Up Your Characters’ Names.”

Finally, K.M. Weiland offers some tips on “Fun and Easy Ways to Lengthen Word Count,” which are sure to come in handy as we’re trying to stretch our tales out to 50k.

For the Pantsers and Rebels in the Bunch

Lena will be proudly waving the NaNo Rebel flag this year. and highly recommends James Tallett’s post over at WriMos FTW!, “The Makings of a NaNo Rebel.”

Amber West gives us “A Guide to Preparing for NaNoWriMo the Pantsless Way,” excellent for anyone who chooses to eschew the route of extreme plotting.

Any useful tips, suggestions, or posts that you’ve run across during the lead-up to NaNoWriMo?