NaNoWriMo and How to Survive It: 25 Ways to Get You Prepared for This November

The NaNoWriMo Survival Kit is a classic post in the arsenal of seasoned and would-be Nanoers. I’m not going to lie, half the fun of NaNoWriMo is the excitement, and a lot of that manifests as preparation. That’s where Preptober came from, after all.

And it’s a big undertaking. Writing 50 thousand words in a single month is a lot of work, especially when you have school and work and the holidays are just around the corner (Or on your doorstep if you live in the United States).

Being prepared is just a smart thing to do. And we’re social creatures. NaNoWriMo has become a huge event for writers because it’s community-driven and offers many chances to connect with other writers, and Preptober is much the same! Maybe that’s why it has become ubiquitous to the NaNoWriMo experience.

But I digress. I’m not trying to justify the existence of yet another NaNo Survival kit post, but instead have an actual discussion about what and how you need to prepare. After all, 30 days is a long time, and writing a novel is a big endeavour. There are lots of potential ways to prepare yourself, so I’ve decided to list a few.

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Five Easy and Inexpensive Tricks for Better Flat Lay Photography

Let’s be honest, no matter where you go on the internet, there are going to be pictures. They’re essential at this point for establishing brand, creating content, marketing, etc. And the bread and butter of that is the flat lay because it works great for product photography.

And if you don’t know what that is, it’s pretty simple: a flat lay is a photograph taken from above, with items arranged in a way that looks visually appealing. You’ll see them all over the place on Instagram, and it’s a super-easy way of creating aesthetic or relevant images for your blog or social media feed.

A few examples of my own flat lays. I try to keep the look and colours similar so my Instagram feed looks distinctive and kinda matchy.

It can seem pretty intimidating at first, but I really encourage you to try it. You have nothing to lose by pulling out your camera or phone and snapping a few shots. Eventually, you’ll learn what you like and what works for you. And there are plenty of resources out there to help you sharpen your technique. I’ve done it for a while now, so I have a few suggestions that are easy and inexpensive, and will really help you step up your photography game.

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Why I’m Choosing the Hybrid Publishing Model (& Super Exciting Announcement!)

I mentioned briefly in one of my Writer Diaries a few weeks ago that I had established a pretty intensive publishing plan for the next couple of years. And it wasn’t a decision I came to lightly, but one I ultimately felt worked best for me and the projects I’m writing and I thought I’d explain my plans a little more in case anyone else was firmly undecided.

And if isn’t made clear by the title, I have something I’m really excited to share: I’m publishing my first book!

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Building the Far North: How I Build a Fictional World

When I started this series of blog posts on worldbuilding, I gave a fairly brief introduction of how I defined it, why it was important, and how I go about the process, and then I attempted to create a worksheet based around that.

Of course, up until that point no such worksheet existed. It was a method that existed only in my mind. And the worksheet was an attempt to distill that process into a few simple questions that would hopefully work the same for anyone who happened to use it.

But how did I know it actually worked?

Naturally, the next logical step would be to use it myself. How better to explain my process than with a page by page demonstration using the worksheet I created?

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What is the Difference Between Fantasy and Science Fiction?

In theory, it should seem pretty obvious. Science Fiction is spaceships and aliens, and fantasy is all about magic and wizards and medieval kingdoms. This very limited view has a very recognizable visual.

But then you have something like Star Wars. With futuristic weaponry, space battles and all sorts of unusual species. At first glance, it would appear very science fiction. But is it? You also have the weird woo-woo that is the Force, and an order of powered people protecting the balance between good and evil. And a dark empire to boot. Add to that, there is nothing intrinsically scientific or speculative about any of the movies. They never explore how the Death Star functions. They don’t explore the concept of war in space, at least not on a very deep level. The stormtroopers, while their visual is iconic, fail on a practical level. It has the look of science fiction while borrowing tropes and concepts from fantasy.

And when you get right down to it, the genres have a lot in common. They frequently involve unusual, sometimes impossible elements, whether that be magic or technology. All stories have an implicit ‘what if’ to them, but it’s even more present in fantasy and science fiction, which usually have some hook to their ‘what if’, like what if dragons were real? What if we could download our consciousness onto the internet? This is where the term speculative fiction came from – a way of categorizing those stories that use elements that don’t exist in the real world as part of their set up. The author is speculating about what sort of a world might exist, whether it’s Earth or some fictional world.

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8 Board Ideas to Get You Started on Pinterest

Pinterest is a powerful tool, and whether you know how to use it or not, you need to know what to use it for. I’ve been on Pinterest for years, and I’ve loved every minute of it! If you take a look at my page you’ll notice I have dozens of boards, all with different topics and uses. There are so many different ways you can use Pinterest – it’s a tool in many senses of the word.

Here are just some of the collections I’ve started over on my Pinterest page! If you enjoy it, you can make a board about it.

But let’s face it: it can be intimidating. Pinterest is a big platform, and when you’re just getting started or trying to get back into it, it can be hard to know where to start. As someone who is quite familiar with it at this point, I figured I’d share a few ideas to get you started, whether you’re a freelancer, writer, artist or blogger.

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