NaNo is a great chance for writers to find out what they’re worth, and new writers to see what it takes to complete a book (ok, caveat- obviously 50,000 words isn’t a book in 90% of genres…but work with me here ;)).
I love it because it pushes me to write more, to think about my stories in a different manner. This year I really pushed the “something different” issue. I did an outline (light in act 2 and 3 but still way more than I’ve ever done), I’m not skipping (more on that in a bit), and I’m doing a “pre-write” each day.
The outline: Ok, halfway through and I’d say it’s helped a lot, and I think I will incorporate it into my writing style. But, I’m a half-breed now (half pantser/half plotter)- not going to switch completely to plotter, but no long as pantsy as I was. The outline hasn’t been followed as well as one would have hoped however-LOL. I have to say out of all of the changes in my writing this month- this was the biggest. And had to most impact. And probably manages to terrify both pantsers and plotters alike!
See, as a half breed I’ve got the best of both worlds (in my opinion) or the worst of both. I did sit there with my board and my stickys and write down notes for chapters. Act one was blocked with 10 solid (or so I thought), general scene ideas were tossed out for the other two acts. (That sigh you just heard was from all the plotters feeling at peace with at least my act 1).
However, I didn’t stick with the plan. Oh I used the general ideas, but my midpoint of act one is happening way further down that predicted, and my chapters are a might off. As I wrote, my “plan” changed. As I wrote my characters grew and a critter side kick suddenly appeared (the second sigh you hear is from the pantsers who now feel better that I was following my characters and not the other way around ;))
Not skipping: Ok, this is in a way not being true NaNo- the actual goal of NaNo is to have a skipped/lean 50,000 words that cover the book start to finish (rest to be filled in latter). This year I’m not jumping or skipping (something I normally do when I write- I often will think of a great scene and jump ahead to do it). Problem with jumping is sometimes they don’t fit, and you’re left with trying to connect the dots. Sooo no jumping- almost 80 pages all in order.
Pre-write: This is all Rachel Aaron, I take 5 minutes before I write and map out that days writing. It gives me more direction and gets me excited about what I’m going to write!
So those are the main ways NaNo has changed me so far this year- what about you?