Thursday, October 29, 2009

NaNoWriMo Resources

NaNo begins at Midnight Saturday evening. That means if you haven't gotten geared up yet, it's time to get your trackers together! In this post I've collected a handful of my most common favorite resources for NaNo, as well as a handful of 2009-specific resources.

The 2009 Report Card
My favorite goodie is this modded spreadsheet by Cameron Matthews (based on the report card by Eric Benson). It features space for you to enter your word count and helps you calculate all kinds of statistics about your noveling experience such as your overall mood, best writing location, and how long it'll take you to meet your goal based on how many words per hour you've put in so far. Handy graphs, too! This version is for Office 2007 but you can run it in compatibility mode with 2003 with no problem.

I was also able to track down two new Open Office versions of this spreadsheet here courtesy of NaNoWriMo participant laebrye and here courtesy of NaNoWriMo participant Atalanta. Keep in mind that's available through the NaNoWriMo forum.

(And if you use these, folks, don't forget to say thank you!!)

The Novel Worksheet
New this year from Cameron Matthews, this workbook takes you through the whole process to publication: From NaNo draft to Final draft. The spreadsheet workbook is configured to allow you to set your own deadlines and anticipated page counts for each phase of your process. Everyone's process is different so it won't work for all, but I can tell you one thing: it will work for me!

(Note: This is only for Office 2007. You can use it in compatibility mode with Office 2003 - but it's looks like some things won't reference correctly.)

Official NaNoWriMo Workbooks
Available in PDF downloads from the Young Writer's Program website, the geniuses over at NaNoWriMo have put together awesome workbooks for elementary, middle, and high school students. But you know what? They're terrific for adults too! So share with your favorite creative young person or use them yourself. Each workbook talks about storytelling elements and provides exercises to stoke your brain engine.

Word Count Widgets and Meters
Aside from the official NaNoWriMo widgets designed for your blogs and other webpages, you can customize status bars at these fine sites:
HTML Meters
Language is a Virus NaNoWriMo Word Meters

There are probably others, but since servers get so slammed during November, I try to steer away from anything offering updated images with hosting. A simple coded slider works wonders.

Write or Die
Yes, I know that I've already talked about this wonderful tool of reckoning. But Dr. Wicked has recently released a new DESKTOP version. It's $10. Go buy it and crank your productivity!

(self-quoted endorsement: You can achieve similar results without Write or Die by procuring a monkey/little sibling/ever-supportive significant other, setting an egg timer offline and scribbling in a frenzied haze of glory. When you get stuck during your time limit, your previously procured moral support device/person/creature must mock you until you begin writing again. Kamikaze mode for the pen and paper edition should also involve a cattle prod. A little electroshock encouragement never hurt anyone. Right? Beuller?)

Seventh Sanctum
THIS is the place to go when you're stuck. I don't recommend it for figuring out the nitty gritty of your novel, but I highly recommend it for a brain boost (and a good chuckle). Find a generator that suits you (Mecha Namer? CatGirl Generator?) and click the button to douse your brain in a bizarre idea that just might point you in the right direction. Just looking at all the generator names is enough to get my fingers moving sometimes.

Happy writing, everyone! And for the Daylight Savings Time crowd: Go ahead, rejoice that November 1st has an extra hour of writing time. Use those precious minutes wisely, and aim high! You can do it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the novel worksheet sounds good thing to use...where can I like get it?