Counting down to NaNoWriMo 2011

by Jon

It’s almost time. Less than an hour until NaNoWriMo hits the west coast with a flurry of keystrokes.

This year I’m tackling two short stories instead of one full-length novel. I’ve taken about three days to outline them both; a close shave, but I think I’m prepared.

  • Aman
    A short adventure of the Guardmouse Aman, set during the events of Hester and the Kookaburra King.
  • Trump
    A bio-tech adaptation of the John Henry folk legend.

Aman is in keeping with my plan to alternate short story, novel, short story, novel, etc for the Guineawick Tales series. I plan for a lot of character growth: the eager upstart Guardmouse will not have it easy. The challenge will be to write a gritty children’s story without going too far.

Trump is a story I outlined in the months before NaNoWriMo last year, after positive feedback and interest on the first few chapters by my former writing group. This year I’ve torn that outline (and those early drafts) apart and have re-envisioned a much tighter story overall.

As with the last two years, both will be written on Cortana, my veteran ASUS netbook. She’s got a 1.6GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB SSD hard drive, and a 12-cell battery.

In layman’s terms that means an ultra portable little monster with a near instant boot time and a fourteen hour battery life. Eight hours with wifi on.

She runs Ubuntu 10.10 like a champ. As with previous years, I’ll be writing in the ever awesome FocusWriter, now using txt2tags for markup. This year I also add bazaar for version control and to sync my work to my personal server (and into my offsite backup system).

I’ll be using Pomodroido on my phone to schedule my time and improve my productivity. I’ll keep track of my daily progress in a spreadsheet.

I’ve been tweaking the whole system for months now. I intend to hit 50,000 words as soon as possible, so that I can get back to editing my other stories and  getting them into readers’ hands.

Best of luck to my fellow writers. NaNoWriMo 2011!

/jon