Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo?
How many times have you done it and have you won?
Four and four!
What is the best tip you can give to a first-time NaNo'er?
Pre-plan. When you show up at midnight on October 31st, bring your game plan. Doesn’t have to be a fifty page blow-by-blow! But at the very least, have main character sketches, know where you’re going to start, finish and stuff a plot twist or two up your story sleeve! (What? Doesn’t everybody start typing at midnight on opening day?! )
How much preparation do you plan to do before November 1st?
*sheepishly regards her pretty toenail polish* Ahem. I generally start prepping in September by compiling a novel notebook. The purpose of my notebook is to keep me on target. When you take a road trip, you use gps or a map to get to your destination, right? That's what my novel notebook is - my story map. BUT sometimes, the gps signal drops off or your map isn't up to date - and then you just have to wing it. Or sometimes you see a little coffee shop that you simply must stop and enjoy. The reason you can do those things - wing it or take a little detour - is that you have your gps and/or map to get you from Point A to Point B. Navigating the surface streets and meandering down Antique Alley is fun and exciting and secure, because at any point, you can hop back on the highway and resume your intended route. SO (!) before I write a novel, I make sure I have my story map (loose plot outline), there's cash in my wallet (story craft knowledge) and the story car is fueled and ready to go (passion and enthusiasm for my story and characters).
Got anything you'd like to tell us about this year’s project?
My project is an urban fantasy titled “Titanium Heart” that focuses on a small police squad dedicated to salvaging hard cases. I’d share more but I’m still making it up!
Anything else you'd like to share?
NaNo buddies make the journey so much sweeter! They provide terrific encouragement, surprising resources and while they’ll help you tow the line, when you fall behind, they won’t kick your lazy word slacking butt quite as hard as that high school coach you wish you could forget. So what are you waiting for?! Buddy up already!!
Ruth Long is a forty-something administrative professional who enjoys fast-paced stories, vintage cars and southern rock. A reader by birth, paper-pusher by trade and novelist by design, storytelling is her passion. You can read more of her take on the writing life at www.bullishink.com or by following her twitter feed @bullishink.