With so many words to be written this month as part of my first foray into NaNoWriMo, I feared this blog would be a little forgotten over the coming weeks – and no, I had not planned ahead well enough to have written and scheduled posts in advance.
In a rare moment of wisdom, I came to realise my best chance of putting something up on the blog would be to combine the two. That is, participate in NaNoWriMo, and occasionally blog about participating in NaNoWriMo.
I plan to write a few more NaNoWriMo flavoured posts throughout the month, which is of course assuming the weight of expectation that comes with a 50,000 word target doesn’t crush me first.
So, with a tip of the hat to yesterday’s Fountain Pen Day, today I thought I would share some of the analogue tools I have been using to help plan out, and hopefully get written, the 50,000 words that constitute the NaNoWriMo challenge.
Various notebooks, pads, scraps of paper and even the odd dreaded yellow Post-It Note have all played their part here.
Although I have the overall plot and story outlined, my fear of running out of specific ideas to keep filling scenes, has resulted in a litany of places with either paragraphs, a line, or even a single word jotted down to avoid forgetting that great idea. Though I must admit, the more common scenario seems to be noting down why events written two chapters ago no longer make sense given the turn the story has taken.
This whole novel-writing thing is certainly not easy!
The paper I’ve been using:
- Field Notes ‘Arts’ Edition
- Clairefontaine Essentials A5 Lined Notebook
- Rhodia Ice No 16 Lined Notepad
- Delfonics Rollbahn Grid Notebook
- 3M Post-It Notes
- Various office copy paper scraps
Again, this is either dictated by what is closest at hand for immediate idea capture, or what will be most enjoyable to write with for more extensive outlining. The following pens (and pencil) have to date suited either of these scenarios:
- Pelikan M205 EF Fountain Pen
- Lamy Safari M Fountain Pen
- Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique M Fountain Pen
- Palomino Blackwing 602 Pencil
- Retro 51 Tornado Stealth
I have found using inks of varying colours quite helpful when going back through my notes to either check off ideas or plot lines I have implemented into the story, or in highlighting areas that may require more thought or detail. The Montblanc Meisterstuck inked with Burgundy Red has been particularly useful given it’s contrast to the Safari’s blue ink, clearly showing notes made as additions to the originals.
- Montblanc Burgundy Red
- Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite
- Lamy Blue T–10 Cartridge
- Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green
- Retro 51 Blue
The most used of the items outlined above is probably a combination of the Field Notes Arts Edition notebook, the Lamy Safari for note taking, and the Montblanc Meisterstuck for marking up the Safari’s notes.
The Field Notes became the notebook of choice early on as I my initial intention was to keep all of my ‘NaNo’ notes in the one book, and the majority have ended up in here. I found the larger ‘Arts’ edition the ideal size for more extensive notes, yet small and light enough to carry with me.
The Delfonics Rollbahn notebook contains great paper stock for fountain pen use, however the yellow colour is not the best shade to highlight any particularly vibrant inks you may be using. Certainly not a problem for the darker blues and blacks if that is your preference.
The Safari was not necessarily my first choice pen, however is only a fairly recent purchase, and the paper based planning of this project seemed a great chance to test it out. No real complaints here, except it has been a little ’skippy’ occasionally, however I put this down to not having given it a thorough clean before inking it up after purchase.
I am really enjoying the Daniel Defoe Palm Green ink, which is now residing in the Pelikan M205 (EF). Again only a recent purchase, however what a great colour! I am sure it will see quite a bit of use throughout the remainder of November and beyond.
My main (and only minor) grievance has been the extent to which the Safari Blue Ink has faded. Although most likely due to both the ink and Field Notes paper (the same amount of fade was not evident on the Rhodia stock), I would have preferred it to maintain the vibrance it had when first laid down.
With my word count currently just over the 10k mark, I am finding this an extremely interesting challenge. I was falling on the side of “maybe I’ll just do it next year”, right up until a few days before November 1, however would perhaps have continued to say the same thing every year had I not bitten the bullet and entered.
So very glad I did.
Gotta go. There’s an important word count that needs increasing!!Follow @petedenison