It’s October 31, less than five hours ’til the clock ticks over into November 1, and my NaNo prep is almost complete!
The photo you can see up there is of my desks ready for me to start writing. The only thing that isn’t there normally is my story bible – that would be the little black Filofax with the blue pen you can hardly see. Oh, and the Lindt chocolates, aka the things I get one of for every five pages written.
The books are:
The Baby Name Wizard by Laura Wattenberg. This goes a step further from listing names and comments, and groups them together under categories like Surfer 60’s, African-American, Bell Tones, New Classics. My favourite naming resource, which is why I broke down in paranoia over my first edition’s scruffy and very well-used look and bought a fat new updated third edition copy.
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation, by Sally Hogshead. This is an interesting book in its own right, but I keep it on the shelf as a quick reminder not to get too carried away with abstract stuff – one of my worst habits. The seven triggers (trust, alarm, mystique, power, vice, lust, prestige) basically bounce off the ‘keep it simple’ and ‘keep it primal’ writing advices I’ve seen so often, and the idea of being able to reach into a reader’s head and tap into something integral to the human experience is a powerful one for me.
The New Baby Name Survey, by Bruce Lansky. An interesting new take on the usual baby name book – this is the end result of research into what people think of different names… so if you’re ever curious about what people might think of your Cara or Oliver, this is one book to check out. But! As an added bonus, the impressions listed for the name are pretty much little character profiles. I admit I’ve raided this for a minor character or two…
Writer’s Guide to Character Traits by Dr Linda Edelstein. You can pull this out for info on the stages of childhood, the different kinds of families, the common personality traits shared by people in the same profession, mental disorders, listing of different crimes and traits associated with them, character types, etc. It’s not perfect, but it can really help when you’re trying to figure out why your SMC decided to forge new identities and other un-fun papers for a living.
The other two books are an unusually descriptive thesaurus which is worth way more than the $5 I bought it for, and a Lonely Planet Czech phrasebook and dictionary… you wouldn’t believe how useful that thing is.
As for my computer, I’ve installed f.lux, a program which adjusts the lighting of your computer screen to make it easier on your eyes and brain (great for any purpose, not just late night/early morning typing). I’ll also be using OpenOffice for my writing – as awesome as other programs (yWriter, Scrivener) are, this is the one I end up going back to. It’s basically a Word clone, but no one price-gouges you for it (I miss Word, but the last time I bought it, it cost $160… and it could only be installed three times. How does that even make sense?!).
My NaNo playlist is a
weird nice mash of Lindsey Stirling, Velcra, Serge Gainsbourg, Gods of the Underworld, Ice Ages, and A Perfect Circle, with Igorrr and Natalia Kills thrown in for good measure. And if that wasn’t enough (it totals 43 songs), I’ve also installed the Coffitivity app on my iPod. Productive noise! I wish Paris Paradise was available on the app, though…
Tonight’s perfume will be BPAL‘s Black Moon: a nice perfume with pungent florals and gentle background notes… oh, and most importantly, I cleaned and revamped my room. Not exactly thrilling, but it beats having it bug me all November.
And that’s my stuff for NaNo. The story bible gets its own post, because I have things to say about paring back a world, and the unsuitability of using 11″ ring binders for it. (Other things 11″ binders are not good at: KEEPING FINGERTIPS INTACT).
So, if you’ve actually managed to make it through my pre-NaNo ramblings, is there anything special you do or use for NaNo – a new pen, writing playlist, sleeping pills to keep the husband and kids out while you write (okay, maybe not the last one)…
GOOD LUCK FOR NOVEMBER, EVERYONE 🙂