Monday, September 29, 2008


And so it begins. The pre-event frenzy has hit the internet and writers everywhere are preparing for a month of craziness. Insanity, thy name is NaNoWriMo! Forums are up, swag is on sale, and the plot bunnies have started breeding.

It doesn't actually start until November 1, but many of us get overly-excited thinking about what to write, including me. The rules state that you don't need to plan anything ahead of time. It's encouraged, in fact. But for those of you that like to plan you are allowed to sketch some things in advance as long as you don't actually write any prose.

So, how do we get this ball rolling? You need a character, right? But you can't think of a name. How sad for you. Isn't it great that so many web gurus have set up some name generators just for this purpose?

Seventh Sanctum was built with writers in mind, and they have a full page of name generators that include things like Evil Names, Tavern Names, and Elf Names. Want something more traditional? Try here or here. Maybe you want a Pirate name or a pr0n name or a Mafia name. The list goes on and on... do a google search. You'll get a few million results (and I only wish I was kidding).

So, now you have a name... but you need more than just a name to bring a character to life. Seventh Sanctum once again contains many fun generators for writers. There are random generators for Characters, Quick Story Ideas, a What-if-inator, Villainous Plots, and much more. But what if you're in the middle of your story and you feel there needs to be some sort of plot twist to throw your readers off track? What happens if you start to lose interest in your story? You might want to consider a plot twist generator. Need some advice for your characters? Try this. And be sure to give some love to your Evil Overlord! He needs to be interesting too, you know.

After all of that you can do one of two things: organize, or wing it. I like to wing it, but those of you who prefer a little organization can rest at ease knowing there are plenty of free ideas and programs for you to use. If you like progressively detailed linear outlines try the snowflake method, though it's a paper and pen sort of thing instead of a computer program. If you'd rather have a program, try Spacejock's yWriter. Excellent way to organize and lets you get pretty detailed. Can't stand to be that structured? Try a mind-mapping program instead -- Free Mind. Want to write by the seat of your pants? Sit back and do nothing until November 1! It's that easy!

Also, don't forget to go pick up the official NaNo book, No Plot No Problem. I very highly recommend this book. Each section talks about the different stages of NaNo, and you aren't supposed to read it until you get to that stage (for instance, don't read the part about week 3 during week 1). Excellent book. I'll have to dig it out of a box and have it ready to go for November.

Anyway, I have school work and office work to do, so I gotta go, but I hope some of those links were useful to you (or at least gave you a good laugh!) Ta-ta for now, dah'lings.

Quote of the Day:

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.” -- Richard Bach


1 comment:

Kim said...

I'll have you know I spent half an hour generating name and giggling my ass off at them! =)