What is NaNoWriMo? –> National Novel Writing Month. –> In short you write a novel in a month. For longer details, please visit the NaNo home page here.
My Untitled Steampunk Novel for NaNoWriMo
Here starts my NaNoWriMo posts.
Now some of you will be asking, “Why are you starting your NaNo Posts now?” The answer is simple. Because in November I intend on writing a novel in a month. “duh.” I will be too busy to be posting every single blessed day. Ok so there is also the part about psyching me into the whole NaNo thing, and also trying to encourage a few more people to give it a go.
Oh and don’t forget about the part where I will be “naming and shaming” my poor writing habits, my “Deadly Sins” as you might call them, out in public. NO, you might say, be positive. My answer is simple, I know I can do NaNo. I have to believe that I am capable. My problem is I need to identify, to myself, the key areas that will be my downfall. Then fingers crossed, the road will be studded with “Go back now” posts and I can find my way back to the NaNo highway before I plunge off a cliff and end in the heap at the bottom.
My Problem #1 – Procrastination
As with anything, there are many ways to approach NaNo. Some like to Panster their way through, some like to plot their way through. I have chosen to plot my way through, while allowing my creativity to flex when it needs to. Here is the reason why. I Procrastinate. Yep, it’s true. I am the world’s best procrastination artist. Ok, so perhaps not totally the best, but believe me I could teach you a thing or two about the fine art of dithering.
I’m not sure about you, but I can write Panster style just awesome… for the first 10,000 words. Then my story falls into the pit of ‘ hasn’t been opened in 4 months because I didn’t know what to do next land”. From which point it is a hard slog for me to get it back up the hill and rolling down again. Like I said, I don’t want to tumble off the cliff and I need to take every precaution possible to avoid holdups and stopworks.
Hold-ups are not going to work in November. I have to average 1666 words every single day of the month. Yep if I flake out for a day, I have to do 3333 words the following day to make up for it. Sure, you might say, 3000 words a day is easy. You would be right. I have often written 3000 words in one day. I have even written 6000. I have never done this for 30 days in a row.
These posts are my road map of where NOT to go, and my plot outline is my road map showing where I want to be.
My Problem #2 – Perfectionist
The second problem I see here is that I don’t like doing things that are pointless. Sure writing 50,000 words in a month is a great way to avoid procrastination, but it does nothing for my sense of achievement and value in my writing. In other words, I want to give this novel the best chance of not being crap. Yep I don’t actually want a stinking, festering pile of pathetic, writing crap sitting in a hole marked “NaNo folder”. I don’t expect it to be awesome and I do expect some parts to be utter garbage, but I would like to see the “ray of hope” filtering out from corners of the novel. I want this book to work. (See here for the very brief teaser of a synopsis.)
This must also be overcome. I intend of helping this along with some great plotting. Dialogue and things can be fixed up. Characterization can be tweeked and strengthened, however the actual plot – what happens needs to be strong.
A Novel is like a house:
Strong foundation = Premise
Well placed/built frames = Structure
How the rooms flow into each other (or are placed next to each other) = Plot
Furnishings and fittings = The fantastic characters that just ‘work’
Ambient music playing and the colorful inflections from the decor = The dialogue that just ‘sounds so right’
Sure you can cover bad frames with fancy paper, but at the end of the day if the bedroom is in the kitchen and the toilet is in the lounge room you will end up in a whole pile of… well lets face it… shit.
On the flip side, if the foundations are strong, and the covering are crap – they are much easier to edit. However nothing is going to hide the fact that the toilet opens into the bathroom instead of the hall. You will need to whack a great big hole and re-plaster it in.
Now i’m sure that some of you will disagree… I’m sure someone will send me an email saying how ‘easy they find it to adjust the house frames in the middle of the novel build’. That is great, I’m glad you do. However, I don’t.
That is why I need my frames in place before I build.
So here are my Deadly Sins that I intend on purging over the next two weeks:
- Don’t read the chapter 5 times in the day – Procrastination and time management
- Don’t treat the reader like an idiot - Foreshadowing too much
- Giving the game away too early – Keep the readers guessing till the next scene
- Distractions – Need I say more.
- Fussing over minor details – Get on and fix later
- Stay positive – Won’t get through NaNo if I give up. lol
- Telling instead of showing (This includes over using words) -This is an easy fix later but I really want to focus on showing the story. I’m sure however that as a first draft it will be full of horror.
Conclusion: – I have now nearly written 1000 words in this post tonight. 1666 for NaNo is easy. Easy I tell you!
National Novel Writing Month Website
MY page at NaNoWriMo
Support an Author – Authorlove Website
My NaNo Story Premise - Steampunk YA
The NaNo Blogchain
NaNo folks on Google+ Thanks to the awesome Lia Keyes
Now you all have yourselves a fantastic day!