April 2015 – Camp NaNoWriMo Planning

Desktop Definitely Dead

As thoughts drift round to this year’s Camp NaNo, I find that I am without my desktop computer. It has finally given up and is now refusing to boot up. It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that I replaced the battery on the motherboard so that it could once again remember the date and boot up successfully without hanging half way through. Now however, it seems that it can’t even get half way, I am therefore assuming this time it is the hard drive that is the problem. Annoyingly everything is installed just right so even if a new hard drive fixes the problem I will have to reinstall all my programs and get the desktop to look how I want it to look. That is going to be a nightmare!

Seeing as the computer itself is now 9 years old (well the main bits of it are, some have been updated since I first put it all together), it is probably time for a new computer altogether, sad thing is I just do not have the finances to get one and probably won’t (unless something pretty amazing happens) for the foreseeable future.



I have however decided on what the replacement system will be, so I have my eyes set on the goal – now I just need to save up nearly £2,000 in order to get it!!! Yes I have seen that there are fairly adequate laptops that I could get for £700 (about a month’s pay for me right now!) they still aren’t quite what I want. I have wanted a MacBook Pro for so long it’s ridiculous so that is what I’m aiming for.

If I can manage to save £200 a month (really not a realistic figure at all for me at present as I never seem to have any money left each month let alone £200!) then it will take me 10 months to save up enough money. That will mean that by the end of 2015 I will be able to buy a MacBook Pro.


Scrivener Unavailable On iOS

Luckily, I have been using my iPad to do the typing already for NaNoWriMo in Apple’s Pages, then combining the documents in Scrivener in my computer using the Cloud version of Pages, but Scrivener isn’t yet available on my iPad (hopefully this year they will release the iOS version but until then…), so can’t plan or compile my writing in Scrivener until I get a new laptop sorted. Plan B needs to be activated.


Paper Planning FTW

I’m already used to planning my life on paper therefore it makes sense to go old school with my novel planning! I have a stash of record cards and some flip chart paper so that’s a start, then for things like character sheets and scene information I can use a Filofax to put them in, they can have sections for different characters or one section for characters, one for scenes and then other sections for ideas and direction notes for events to happen in the later parts of the novel.



The only thing I don’t currently have is a plot! Quite a vital piece of the whole process but I’m sure that will sort itself out before too long!

It’s a shame I don’t have space to use my whiteboards or I could easily have a plotting session across them all! Flip chart paper will have to do instead.

Despite all the issues, I am quite excited to be going old school with this, I find I work better on paper sometimes than I do digitally. The way I tackled assignments when I was at university was to plan and make notes on paper then use voice recognition software that was built into Windows to get my assignments into Word then I could print them off and edit them from there.

It wasn’t always easy going but I got there, I passed all my assignments and gained both my BSc and my PGCE.

I won’t be able to work that way for NaNo until I have my new laptop, so for this year’s Camps (April and July) and the main NaNoWriMo in November, it looks set for me to be using good old fashioned pen and ink. Past that and into 2016, it will be anybody’s guess as to what I’ll be using – maybe somehow I will have been able to get a MacBook Pro and will be able to use Scrivener again, perhaps I will be able to use the Mac dictation software and finally get my novel all together just how I want it and publish it for real.

In the meantime, I really need to work out how to get some extra cash, have a pay rise or even find some other wonderful legitimate way to get my hands on that MacBook Pro I have my eye on.



Do you use traditional methods to plan your writing? Maybe for NaNo, maybe not. Are you a digital all the way writer, from planning, through writing and then editing – do you just do it all on the computer?

How do you get started when a plot hasn’t appeared and you really have to have started already? Word association games, free writing, random plot generator?

If you’re taking part in Camp NaNo this April you could add me as a a buddy on the main NaNoWriMo website (my username is jarfmdotcom) or simply watch my word count from afar!



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