November first is rushing toward us loaded with packages of a packed season…Thanksgiving, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Christmas, someone’s birthday for sure and of course NaNoWriMo.
Who considers National Novel Writing Month a holiday? Only crazed, competition motivated, goal oriented writers. Okay so maybe not all are crazed but to an outsider churning out 5000 words of a novel every, single day for a month and completing a new (very first draft) novel in that timeframe is crazy….crazy impossible.
I’m here to testify it is not impossible and if you’ve got the writer bug or think you do, the challenge is joyous, just like a holiday. Keeping to that analogy, it’s not without stress, planning, highs and lows. So here at the precipice of starting such an endeavor, there’s still time to make the choice.
Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with running blindly into the event with barest of plans; the hint of a plot, the idea of a character facing some dilemma. You’ll need at least those basics. Who is your protagonist? What trouble or uninvited change is facing them (or maybe grabbing them in the middle of the night whilst sleeping soundly in the safety of home)? How are they going to deal with it in an interesting and unexpected way? You could write some potential answers to those questions and then put them in a hat…pull out one from each and there you have it…a place to start November 1. Sounds like an adventure but it could go south fast.
I myself have not decided. I wrote a novel once during NaNoWriMo. I had general character sketches…so general that they blew away in the first twenty five pages. It took me over a year to clean up, understand my characters know what the story was really about. I’m still editing!
I don’t want to do that again. I want to have deep character sketches, a skeleton outline (yes, me, a tried and true Panster) and be able to have a 3 line pitch before I start. I’m running out of time though. The only possible save is that I’ve been blogging the characters so there’s hope. I better stop with this post though and get started on writing!
Let me know if you’re giving NaNoWriMo a go this year. It’s simple. Just go to the web-site and sign-up!
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