Apparently, it’s that time of the year again. No it’s not Christmas. You’ve still got a few sleeps till that gift-wrapped hell begins. And no it’s not your birthday (or maybe it is?)… anyway, that’s not the point – it’s almost November.
“National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30.”
So a 50K word novel in 30 days. This equates to approx. 1600 words per day. Doable? Myeh…. I’ve had days where I’ve knocked out 6K in one manic ‘where did the daylight go?‘ writing session, and others where I sit in front of my computer trying to master the writers-force (unsuccessfully so far) and nothing comes out.
So as this will be my first shot at NaNo, I think I need a plan…
No, not a “you take the left side, I’ll take the right. Johnny, you’re in the middle. Let’s move people!” plan; an “I’d like my protagonist to die a horrible gruesome death. What do I have to do to get there? Does he like Cornflakes for breakfast, or eggs? And does that really matter in the grand scheme of my story?” sorta plan.
Now I’m a bit of a mish-mash of a pantser and planner (am I a plantser?), but I mostly pants it. Big time. I love going on a journey with my characters. Finding out what excites them and what makes them tick as I write them. That’s not to say I don’t plan. I do – sort of. Mostly in my head with the occasional note jotted down somewhere (Evernote is AWESOME for this, by the way). However the more I think about NaNoWriMo and what it entails, and from speaking to past participants (including winners – or Absolute Legends of Writing Awesomness, as you should be called for completing 50k words in 30 days), I think a plan is quite the necessity.
This scares me a little. I don’t like boundaries in my writing and a plan is usually that – in my opinion, anyway. So I think what I’ll do, is take all my little notes and scribbles that have accumulated since the beginning of October when I signed up for NaNo, and try and put them into some sort of coherent ‘order’ (for dramatic effect, please use Dr. Evil voice and air quotes there). I might even *shock horror* try a storyboard for scenes/chapters… on second thoughts, that one might be taking it a bit far for my liking. Oh this pants Vs plan debate is doing my head in… Maybe I’ll look at it this way; if Stephen King can pants it, then so can I. Maybe not as well, but that’s precedent, people!
So as the countdown clock on the NaNo homepage is currently sitting on nine days, twelve hours, fifteen minutes and forty-eight seconds, I might go make another cup of coffee and start collating my fractured story ideas and make a plan.
Wish me luck!