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NaNoWriMo? Why yes, ThinkIWillDo!

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.

It’s *drum roll please* NaNoWriMo! And for those not in the know, that stands for National Novel Writing Month – here’s what the NaNo team say (in a nutshell);

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!

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9 responses to “NaNoWriMo? Why yes, ThinkIWillDo!

  1. Good luck on your first Nanowrimo! I think you’ve got a good plan. I’m a little bit planner and a little bit pantser, too. I think it helps to squash the inner editor a little if you don’t have too many boundaries!

  2. This is my 6th or 7th Nanowrimo. Usually I don’t do much planning- but this year I’ve been working with ywriter5 and I’m loving it. It’s freeware and has helped me so much with organizing and plot line and scenes and character building. But I’m also one of those MUST PLOT IT ALL people if I hope to do anything productive. My brain is a little crazy sometimes.

    I’m sure you will do great! The first year is the easiest. The first draft from NaNo is almost always horrid, but when you go back and edit it after the month is over you find some real gems.

    Good luck!

  3. I’ve been doing NaNo since 2004; some years with nothing more than 1,000 words down, others 30,000 words, or like the past two years, actually finishing.

    Usually I plan methodically, using Scrivener with index cards and each scene plotted. Not sure time permits this year, trying to wrap up other projects and being pre-occupied with other things, haha.

    So with a premise, some basic plot points down the road, I think I might just write from point to point and see how I go.

    Promise to cheer you on on the way.

  4. Pingback: Catching Up, Clocking Off | Mushy Cloud

  5. Pingback: Am I Ready to Write?

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