So last year, when I popped my NaNoWriMo cherry, it didn’t turn out so well. I fell by the wayside just a week from the end, and it all seemed a big waste of time – apart from the bit that made me get in to writing again … which fell by the wayside earlier this year.
This year, I’m going about it in a different way. This year, I’m planning it in advance (I know! The shock!)
I have a vague idea of a story that I need to plot, and then build it up so that I know what’s happening for every day of NaNoWriMo. I hope this means that I will be able to keep going strong right the way through.
There are 10 days to go before the Big Start.
If you don’t know about NaNoWriMo – here’s the quick lowdown… For the entirety of November (whilst many men are growing moustaches) we writerly folk will be spending our spare time frantically scribing 50,000 words of a novel/novella/epic poem/other (delete as appropriate). No stopping, no editing, no respite. Welcome to the madness of NaNo-heads.
With my laissez-faire attitude of last year, I found that my writing petered out as my creative inspiration did – which seemed to disappear the more time I spent socialising and drinking Kopparberg (curious that). I lost sight of the plot and what I wanted from my characters and let it fizzle. (I am still working on un-fizzling the writing as it’s MEANT to be my novel).
This year, rather than attempting to use NaNoWriMo as a time to write my novel, I am going to use it for a well-rounded* stand-alone piece of work. Something I can use to hone my creative skills on, to remember my Writing Self and bring said Self back to the forefront.
For the last few months, Writing Self has taken a real back seat to Working Self and Socialising Self – both of which, although lovely, are very demanding characters. Aside from the SYP Beyond the Book conference on the 3rd and a birthday visit to Fee, I don’t actually plan on going anywhere during November… if I’m not running, sleeping or working, I will be drinking copious amounts of tea and writing my little wotsit off. One hopes.
I’ve even begun to plan the planning stage (you can’t have enough planning)…
It begins with an earthquake. That’s what I’ve decided. There’s going to be an earthquake and some slavers.
I’ve got my conflict, but I’ve yet to create my protagonist. I’m thinking it’s going to be a girl, because I can already visualise her, but I’m not sure of anything beyond that. I also have an idea about introducing different clans (for added conflict, because I obviously can’t get enough of the stuff) … but then I also need to decide on the distinctive clan factors, and how to go about that. With 10 days to go and not even a protagonist in the making, I’m not sure I can be dealing with anything too complicated.
This is why I’ve planned the planning stage!
Day 1/10 – figure out my protagonist
Days 2/10 – 5/10 figure out the basic plot. This includes figuring out where it’s going to end up, as although I’m fantastic at beginnings, I’m rubbish at endings. I need to be able to get from A to Z, and at the same time go through C to Y, without skipping anything.
Days 6/10 – 10/10 – put the two together and set up the opening
Who else is doing NaNoWriMo this year?
What’s your plan of attack?
*When I say well-rounded, I mean that it will begin as a hot mess that engenders self-loathing and lots of “I can’t write” self-pitying rants, and then after lots of editing and rediscovering of writing confidence post-NaNoWriMo, it will BECOME well-rounded.