Day’s Word Count: 2,358.

Words to Go: 47,642.

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a lecture given by world-renowned Canadian author Margaret Atwood, author of such books like The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake last Wednesday. God, what an excellent woman. I think I want to be her when I’m old: intelligent, independent, talented, sarcastic, dry-humored, and, ultimately, stern enough to make those around me go and discover things for themselves instead of me spoon-feeding it to them. I learned a great deal from her on the subject of being a writer, one of which I put into practice last night around midnight while preparing for my first day of NaNoWriMo.

She advised creating a timeline, for example, and putting all of your characters’ birthdays on it so that you could keep an eye on continuity and making sure it all fit, or researching your time period and making little reminders to yourself of what was in common use and what hadn’t been invented yet. What did she suggest most of all?

Post-It Notes. Lots and lots and LOTS of Post-It Notes.

My wall now has many many many pink, blue, and yellow Post-Its all across it, each filled to the brim with information to keep me going such as my protagonists’ appearances, personalities, family, ages, birthday, name meanings, and clothing preferences. It’s already saved my life at least twice today, and I heartily recommend it for anyone else beginning a work of this magnitude.

I also suggest getting a support group, of sorts. I met with a small group of English majors today (who looked at me, the Commercial Music major, quite strangely, I’m sure) and discussed numerous things such as our reasons for doing this project and a possible reward/punishment system for each word count met or not met (“Okay. If you don’t meet your word count, you have to buy coffee for everyone. If I meet my word count, you have to buy coffee for everyone. Sounds good.”). There’s nothing better than being part of a community all focused on doing something healthy, something that’s purely for the good of yourself and those around you instead of something that’s going to hurt you.

The chance to make new friends isn’t too bad either.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the gloriously awkward story of my plot summary.

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