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?
I haven't tried Nano, but I've heard such great things about it. I'm not sure about the 50K, that is soooo much, in so short a time. Funny, I've been writing away like mad lately, so I might have almost made it, lol!ReplyDelete
LOL! See J.A., you were nanoing and didn't even know it! I think most writers should at least try it once- you learn alot about your own writing process!Delete
Thanks for coming by and commenting!
I tried to do some plotting ahead for NaNo and it kind of worked. But I've found I'm definitely a panster and I think I will be true to that. I do like your idea of the pre-write ahead for the day. Happy writing.ReplyDelete
Thanks Suzanne- happy writing to you too! The five minute "warm-up" has really helped alot. Hope it helps you too!Delete
Thanks for coming by and commenting!
Marie - I, too am behind on my wordcount. And this is my third stab at writing this book! I think I'll try Rachel Aaron's take 5 minutes to map out the day's writing, and see if I can't pick up my pace.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the tip!
Hope it helps you Christine! It made a huge difference in my writing- I start chmping at the bit to get to the stuff I've planned :).Delete
Good luck on getting the word count up too- and thanks for coming by!
You're doing great, Marie! Keep on going! Every word is a mini victory!ReplyDelete
Thank you Cassi! I wanna be able to crank out those daily totals you were hitting! :)Delete
I'm behind also, but I've been there before. Not my preferred place, but Sandy kind of put a stop in getting ahead of the word count at the beginning fo the month.ReplyDelete
This is my 9th NaNo. I'm a short story pantser with a NaNo addiction thanks to two students who turned me on to NaNo years ago. They gave me tips to finish and I always have. However, I've learned so much about me, the writer with every NaNo.
I prefer to start with my main characters, some time of plot, a setting, and a story sentence. Starting with nothing takes me 4-5 days to get started. If I know where I'm going I can get ahead of my word count rather than living on four hours sleep in three days to finish at the end of the month. Being ahead also leaves you room for life's problems that happen. Death of a family member in Iraq, taking family members to kemo and/or physcial therapy, Sandy's power failures before NaNo starts (opps on that one, etc.. I felt if I started ahead of time, it would be a cheat.)
If you've never done NaNo. I highly recommend it...just watch out for the addiction part. They have Camp NaNoWriMo in July or August if November doesn't work for you.
Good luck. Meet you at the finish line.
Oh man, I'm sorry to hear you went through Sandy, Pat- I hope things are better out your way now.Delete
I completely agree about the addiction....maybe we can find a self-help group somewhere?
I'm not participating in Nano, but I enjoy watching all of you and you definitely inspire me! :) I've written just over 20,000 words in 10 days... So I'm happy about that! :)ReplyDelete
You're still scaring me with stickys and planned scenes, but I'm excited it's working for you!
Go Marie Go!!!
WOOT! Go Lisa, GO!! You should have done nano- you're already ahead of lots of folks!Delete
I'm telling ya- they ain't that bad! Seriously! :)
I agree with Marie. You should sign on for NaNo. It's never too late.Delete