I thought I’d drop in for an update before the 1st of November, as once NaNoWriMo begins it’s not likely I’ll be able to post very often. I’m trying to get everything taken care of before November – including all of my prep work for my novel – so that I can put all of my focus into that story.
Preparing ahead of time, by the way, is highly recommended for anyone who will be writing for NaNo. I’ve never planned an entire novel before from start to finish, and I have to say that seeing it all laid out in chronological order is doing wonders for my confidence. I’m still working on my outline – I’ll have each scene planned out in steps and ready to go. I know what’s going to happen from start to finish, and I’ll know ahead of time that the story makes sense. All the kinks are being worked out now, before I’ve even started the actual writing process. Writing on the fly has its benefits (outside of the NaNo challenge), don’t get me wrong – I’ve used it as a sort of brainstorm to come up with bigger story ideas, and I’ve gotten a few short stories that way that I’m particularly proud of – but it’s nothing compared to the sense of readiness that I feel right now because I spent October planning and creating my outline. I’m going to nail this, and my first published novel will be the end product.
I’ve fallen in love with the story and I can’t wait to tell it. That must mean I’m doing something right, eh? :)
This past week I’ve been devouring as much information as possible on how to properly prepare for NaNoWriMo so that the end product is something worthwhile. I’m not going into this blind – I’m researching story structure and milestones, those important elements that you need to have planned out before you can start writing a story of the novel caliber. Much of my information is coming from here:
If you’ve ever had trouble with story structure, plot points, antagonistic force, etc., go here. It’s helped me out a great deal. The blog has a series of NaNo tips as well that the author started on October 1st – a daily dose of motivation up until the start of November.
I didn’t take the NaNo challenge just to see if I could pump out 50k words in 30 days. I took the challenge so that I would be pressured to write something that will become my first published novel. I don’t just want to come out of this as a NaNo winner with a document that I can’t work with. I want to make it to the end with a well thought out story that I can edit and submit.
About a year ago, I set the goal of writing and completing my first novel before my birthday this year, at the end of December. October came around, and I grudgingly revised my goal to next year, chalking it up to procrastination and laziness. But then NaNo talk started bubbling up and I realized that I have this one last chance to meet that original goal and get this thing written before the end of the year. I had to take up the challenge.
To anyone who has decided to jump into the NaNoWriMo challenge, good luck! I wish you the best. Don’t go into this blind – planning is the key to succeeding. This is your opportunity to write the hell out of that story that has been haunting you day in and day out.
Being a part of an active online writer’s community, there is a lot of conversation and focus on National Novel Writing Month this time of year. For anyone who isn’t sure what NaNoWriMo is, check out this link:
In a nutshell, it’s a yearly writing challenge that forces one to produce a 50k word novel in the month of November. The idea is that writing something that quickly allows your creative stream to flow freely from start to finish, getting out that first draft without getting bogged down with editing and rewriting. You don’t have time to edit or rewrite. Any writer who makes it to the 50k mark, whether or not the novel is finished at this point, is named a winner of NaNoWriMo.
I’ve decided to take the plunge and signed up for the challenge. I made the impulsive decision last night, and I’m rather excited at the prospect of getting most of my planned novel’s first draft out in a single month. It’s a bit nerve-wracking… can I do it? Can I actually write 1700 words a day? I have a full time day job and a family… when am I going to find time to write for NaNo?
The thing is, when you enter a challenge like this, there’s no time to think. You just know that you have to put out that 50k word count within the month, so you make time to write. In most situations, I work extremely well under pressure – a fast-approaching deadline does make me a bit frantic, yes, but it also gives me the necessary focus to get things done without allowing myself to be distracted.
And so, I begin my preparations for NaNo, building my character profiles and setting up my story structure so that on November 1st I can hit the ground running. I’ll be working on an idea that’s come to life and fizzled so many times I’ve lost count. Poor Davin has been screaming at me to just tell his story already.
I can’t wait to get started. :)