So… It’s that time of the year again! NaNoWriMo (or, for people who have no idea what I’m talking about, then National Novel Writing Month: aka where writers aim to write a book in a month—you can read more about it here!) is juuuuuussst around the corner. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure I’d compete this year. A few posts ago I talked about how I was a bit burnt out from writing and how I fell back in love with writing again & my current MS, and I realized this is the perfect way to continue that. I’ve spent most of…okay, all of…this year editing, revising, and sometimes completely rewriting some manuscripts from scratch. It’s been…interesting.
But I’m so, so excited to dive into this new concept, because it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve had a chance to let myself be bad at writing, since I’ve let myself draft something just for fun instead of revision (although I DO love revision.) I intend on working on my YA high fantasy Fae novel I’ve been aching to draft, because yes, I’m totally obsessed with anything and everything that’s elves/Fae related. I have a current working title, which I love, but I won’t share it yet incase it doesn’t stick.
I also plan on blogging weekly with my NaNo adventures, so keep an eye out for that. And add me as a writer buddy on the NaNoWriMo website, because I LOVE meeting new writer friends. 🙂 … And I think we’ll ALL need as much encouragement as possible to get through November in one piece. Join me on Twitter too, where I’m thinking about hosting some writing sprints throughout the month.
As we’re nearing November, I’ve been thinking a lot about prep…and how I, personally, prep for NaNoWriMo. I’ve always been a bit of a pantser (if you don’t know, pantser = no plotting… Just winging it, basically), because I love to be surprised by the twists and turns in my story as I write it. But sometimes it’s not always the best approach. I know people who meticulously outline every detail of their novel, and others like me who finds that outlining rigidly kills the creative process. The more I write, the more I get to know how my writing process works, and how it changes with each novel I write, and how each novel is a different journey.
In saying that, I’ve realized I’m this strange amalgamation of a pantser and a plotter. Generally, before I write the novel, I’ve had the plot/concept/characters in my mind for some time. Before I write it, I have to be excited and passionate about the novel…or it’s just not going to work.
Prep-wise, here’s what I like to know before I start an exploratory draft:
- The beginning (this is super important for me—if I’m stuck at the beginning then I’m just going to get frustrated, and want to quit.)
- The middle and/or the major turning point in the story (for me, it doesn’t have to be a massive plot point—it might just be a shift in my protagonist’s attitude, a reveal of some sort, or something that pushes my characters toward their goals.)
- The end (this is an obvious one, but I find it difficult to start a novel if I don’t know how it’s going to end, so knowing how the novel ties up helps me come up with key points along the way.)
- A few key scenes I’m DYING to write (these are the scenes that are aching to spill out of me, the ones that, even when writing is tough, keep me going, because they just need to be written.)
I’ll also have a playlist ready to listen on a loop as I write, and I’ll share some of the songs with you guys during November. If you’re a visual plotter, then Pinterest is also an AWESOME way to prep…and totally counts as research. I’ve been plotting by hand, too, which I absolutely love, and do before every draft/set of revisions, because it makes the novel feel like, well, a real novel, and my perspective on the book changes.
And my final piece of advice…
Write the novel that’s aching to be told. Write the tale that’s burning to be set free. Write the tale you’re not sure you can, because it seems too large, too scary, too raw. That’s the story you must tell.
Now I’m off to power through the rest of the novel I’m working on, so fingers crossed I’ll have it finished by the end of October.
Writers out there: Are you doing NaNoWriMo next month? How do YOU prep for the event?
P.S: Have you guys seen The Last Jedi trailer yet?!! Literally watched it about five times now, and I’m obsessed. The music, the voice-overs…I get chills every time. Can’t WAIT for this movie, and Rey looks completely badass.
Currently reading: Just finishing up CRIMSON BOUND (which is amazing!) I then intend to devour Beren and Lúthien. ❤
Currently listening to: Melodrama (Album) by Lorde.