As NaNoWriMo approaches, I am gathering my novel-writing tools. There are just certain things that I feel are necessities for this momentous task.
First and foremost, I could never complete NaNo without my computer. I can type way faster than I can write by hand (and there is no problem reading it later). Speed is a huge factor when trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I also choose to write my novel on my Netbook. I choose this because it is portable and I can attach it to my hip, er I mean shoulder, during the NaNo season if I ever have to leave the house.
The next thing is my dictionary and thesaurus. While you can google words and find both of these things online, sometimes it’s easier and quicker to have a hard copy. No waiting for the internet to boot up, no waiting for pages to load, it’s just there. I will use both the physical books, and internet searches over the next month.
My Bible. Because I am writing a modern-day version of the biblical story of Ruth, I need the original story for referencing. Most writers prepare an outline, make some notes, and those kinds of things, my Bible will replace the outline for me. I do also have some note for my version of the story that I will print off and keep available once they are complete.
I have already mentioned the internet. That is a key tool that you need to successfully complete research for a novel. Already this NaNo season I have googled some possible character names. Character names need to be local to the region in which your character was born, and two of my characters were born in Malaysia. I have also used the internet to learn a little bit about the culture in Malaysia, and a bit about the Islam beliefs, as the MC converted to Christianity from Islam before the story started, and surely there are somethings that will come up about her prior beliefs. Speaking of religion, I have a few books that reference Islam that I will be using to make sure I don’t get any facts wrong.
Paper and a writing utensil are also important when novel-writing. I often need to make notes and it’s easier just to scribble them down then open a new word document.
While not technically a tool, I do plan on cleaning my office before NaNo starts. A clean work space is extremely important. I get distracted by clutter, and it gets in the way of spreading out the tools that I really need to finish my novel.
The last tool that has become essential to me, is my massage chair seat cover that fits in my desk chair. After being at my desk for hours, my back gets really sore. It’s amazing what flipping it on for a few minutes can do 😀 (I know, my husband spoils me).
That pretty much covers the tools I need to get started and during the writing process. During NaNo I write in a plain Microsoft Word document, after NaNo is over, then I will insert my novel into a template that is more organized. While formatting is one of my least favorite parts of writing, I don’t do this before hand because then I get caught up with perfect formatting instead of actual writing. NaNoWriMo is about the writing, the formatting, editing and perfecting comes after November is over.
After NaNo I will post about tools to perfect your novel, but there’s no need for that yet.
What about you? What tools do you think are essential when writing a novel (NaNo or no NaNo)?