Sonntag, 31. Oktober 2010

.why nanowrimo is like a zombie apocalypse

Jede Woche schreibe ich für die Schreibwerkstatt WordWar 2010 Mitglieder eine kleine Motiovationsmail mit Tips und Tricks, was sie diese Woche beachten sollen, wie man den Wordcount pusht,...
Diese Nachricht wird SWS intern verschickt, drei Tage später werde ich sie öffentlich im NaNo-Forum posten und hier eine englische Übersetzung posten. Wenn ihr die Nachricht pünktlich mit allen Mitgliedern des größten Deutschen Word War bekommen möchtet, meldet euch einfach bei der Schreibwerkstatt an und genießt mit uns den Wahnsinn :)

Hier nun die erste Motivations-PN: Zwischen Worten und Zombies
Viel Spaß!

Every week I write a motivation mail for the German writer's forum with tips and tricks how to survive NaNoWriMo and how to increase your wordcount.
Since the forum is German and so is my original message to the members, I decided to translate it for my blog and all the international Wrimos.
You'll have a three day delay to the Schreibwerkstatt members but hey, better than nothing (at least I hope so).
Please be patient and remember that English is not my first language and also that I'm obviously on too much caffein to be allowed near any keyboard. So here, we go: Why NaNoWriMo is a bit like a zombie apocalypse

Let's be honest: NaNoWriMo is a bit like a zombie apocalypse. All involved tend to look a bit unhealthy and are not acting any way you'd call "normal".
One is on the hunt for fresh brains, the other one wants words.
In November you can confuse those two species, the Wrimo and the zombie, very easily.
Another similarity between NaNo and the apocalypse is the preparation.
Preparation is everything if you want to survive the next month without losing your mind (or body party).
To help you survive the madness I have some tips you should take to heart before November begins:

1. Hideout
The first very importand point is the choice of a fitting hideout. Sometimes you're forced to shift on short notice like your favorite coffeeshop is closing or the zombies, beg your parden, the family members are a big distraction.
This is why it's never wrong to have an alternative plan of action if everything's going down...
Water on your writing desk because your neighbors above flodded their flat? Off to the kitchen. No more coffee and the next supermarket is flodded with zombies/ hungover partygoers? Have a big cup at your favorite coffeeshop.
Your little brother won't stop screaming because you destroyed his favorite Pokemon CD in an act of agression and desperation for silence? No problem, go to your gran's attic which entrance is way too high for your sibilings.
Search for a place you know you can stay for a while and think of some alternatives.

2. Allies
Even if the fight itself is a lonesome buisness there are enough people fighting the same fight. No matter if you look in the NaNo forum or ask your best friend, have some allies for November you can talk to and who help you stay sane and keep on fighting against the words/zombies.
A brave comrade can be the difference between live and death or in this case 50K and not 50K.
There'll always be moments of despair in which everything seems to be pointless. 
Prepare to have a safty net of people helping you keeping a clear head. Tell your best friend he should goad you into writing and refuse to go to that movie you've been waiting for if you don't accomplish your task.
Find some people to have word wars with or someone with a higher wordcount to chase.
The fight might be between you and that white sheet of paper but the way there and the scarce breaks don't need to be that lonesome.

3. Weapons
Choose your favorite weapon and get it ready for action. Does your favorite pen have enough ink? Do you have enough paper? Where is your USB keychain? Is your computer ready for action and save of any virus?
Having good prepared weapons is the most importand part of any preparation, no matter if you fight zombies or the blank page.
They are what your survival depends on, so take good care of them. They are your best friends in the chaos that's awaiting you.

4. Provision
Zombieapocalypses as well as writing competitions take a lot of time. You're not always in the mood nor do you have the time to go shopping because sometimes the fight is just to intense to abandon for mundane things like food...
So make sure you have everything you need beforehand. Get coffee or tea, chocolate or carrots, whatever you need to get your energy up again. And get it timely.
There's nothing more unnerving than noticing you don't have any coffee left and can't go shopping for it because everthing is closed but still be tired as hell from the fight the night before.

5. Soundtrack
What would an apocalypse be without the fitting soundtrack? Even movies are more fun if the action sequenzes have the right tunes to go along with. Choose music you can write/ fight to. Prepare several playlist for different kinds of scens because if your write like me, without any clue of what is to come, you don't know what kind of music you might need.
Metal for action scenes? Classic tunes for intelligent dialogs? Kitchy lovesongs for heartbroken characters?
Screaming and moaning for that undercover cop who wants to expose that murderer at the zombie walk?
Think about what may be in store for you and what kind of music you might need for that situation.

A lof of you might think "But I can do that stuff in November! It doesn't take *that* long!"
Sure you can. But those are distractions which might cost you time. A few minutes building a playlist, an hour for a trip to the grocery store,... minutes become hours and in the end maybe that's the hour you would have needed to reach your goal.
Time is precious during the apocalypse because you don't have that much. Every hour can be the difference between victory and defeat.
Also you run into danger of stalling, of searching for distraction, any excuse not to have to write. Maybe you don't even notice but procrastination is one of your biggest enemies. Because *everything* will at some point look like more fun than writing that damn novel.
And when you're finally noticing that you've spent two hours trying to chose which kind of yogurt you're in the mood to buy, it's already to late.
So if you can do stuff before NaNo, do it. You will thank yourself later for it.

So my lovely comrades of the wordocalypse. Pencils ready, put on your fighting outfit and get those zombies, uhm words!
See you soon to the next part of "Why Rae should be kept away from the coffeemakter and blog during NaNo"

Take Care!

Oh and Happy Halloween/ Merry Samhain!

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