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Getting ready to write

nano_09_blk_participant_120x240.pngI’m actually getting ready to do a lot of things in the next couple of weeks. Right now I’m taking a break from working on a true redesign of this very blog to be unveiled in the coming days to prepare for this year’s National Novel Writing Month project (NaNoWriMo to those of us who’ve participated previously).

My first attempt was tied to one of my original 101 in 1001 items – writing my first novel. Incidentally, the new 101 in 1001 list – after several failed attempts at completion – will make its debut (one year into it) sometime before tomorrow morning’s hike at Ruffner Mountain. For those looking for more information about the history of 101 in 1001 lists in general, visit Day Zero and follow them on Twitter.

The goal is quite simple; write a 50,000 word novel by November 30. While that translates to a rather short piece, I look at it as a great way to jump start the effort. Unlike last time, I’m looking at a few tools to help making the experience a lot more fun.

StorYBook is open-source software that helps you organize your novel and keep track of your characters, scenes, locations, etc. I’ll admit that I’ve still got a lot to learn about just how powerful this tool will be for me, but I’m thinking it’ll help me organize the type of novel I’ll be working on (hint, I’m a huge fan of David Schickler’s Kissing in Manhattan ).

FreeMind is mind-mapping software that I’m starting to use again on a regular basis to organize thoughts in a logical path. It’s also been helpful in figuring out the infamous question “What’s next?” that often permeates our lives. I tend to work better when I dump my ideas down on paper, whether it’s virtual or physical. Evernote is also looking like a very helpful tool this year, allowing me to keep track of photos, phrases and quotes that I’m hoping will help frame what I’m working on.

My digital recorder will be extremely helpful during the parts of the month when I’m traveling as well as my camera. The ability to dictate thoughts as they come to me should be helpful as well, reducing the “I just had a great idea but now I can’t remember what it is” moments that seem to plague me more now than they used to. Photos should help define scenes so I can do a better job of describing.

This blog will play a major role too. One of the reasons for the pending redesign is the chance to do more short stories and to make it easier to give a broader picture of what I’m actually doing, kind of going back to its original purpose.

Well, wish me luck. The fun starts tonight with a meetup (though that may depend on the weather) and the writing starts on Sunday!

I’m thinking this time I’ll finish what I started. Anything else I’m forgetting?

Published in101 in 1001