Fall is in the air. The leaves are turning, the pumpkins are being carved, boots are being dusted off, and people are muttering things like ‘1,600 words’ and ‘plot points’…normally with a slight twitch. Yes, we are almost upon NaNoWriMo season.
If you have ever participated in NaNo, you know what I speak of. If you have not but have friends who are preparing themselves for a month of pouring their heart and soul into a blank word document- read on for 5 tips from an expert* on how to be a good friend for the month of November.
5) This is all your friend will be talking/thinking about for the month of November. If they are still talking to you at all this means they have left their computer screen briefly….this would have been terribly difficult and congratulations you have a good friend! Listen to their ramblings. Even if they are too twitchy and caffeinated at the time to notice, later they will appreciate that you cared enough to listen.
4) Realize your friend will likely turn into a hermit for this month. They will likely only come out of their world long enough to go to school/work…and get a little bit of turkey on Thanksgiving. Do not be offended if they turn down offers to socialize.
3) Provide liquid energy of their choice…mountain dew is a good start. Slipping string cheese under the door is good way to provide protein.
2) Whatever you do- do NOT suggest any edits of said story in the month of November. Just tell them to keep going. There is plenty of time (December) to point out plot holes, inconsistencies, or overuse of the word ‘actually’.
1) Be encouraging. This cannot be said enough. Your friend is attempting to start and finish a 50,000 story in 30 days. Regardless of what he or she is writing about- this is an accomplishment.
*I have personally participated in NaNo once and finished, and watched my sister be a NaNo winner for about 5 years. And this year she is one of the Municipal Liasons for our city.