National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) will begin in exactly one week. From November 1st to November 30th, writers from all over will attempt to write a 50,000 word novel. The point isn't really quality (how well you write), but quantity (how much you write). You're declared a winner when you've reached the 50,000 word mark (they have ways to verify).

The 1st year I participated, 2006, I only got half a novel out, which I ended up trashing. My 2nd year, 2007, I didn't really participate. Having 2 doctorate classes and a full-time job kind of squashed my creativity. I started out as a participant, but never really got the ball rolling. This well be my 3rd year with NaNoWriMo. I'm hoping to succeed, despite having a full-time job, and a dissertation to work on.

Now, the hard thing about doing NaNo is actually getting my internal editor to shut up. This year, I'll have to tie up the perfectionist part of me and hide her in my mental closet til NaNo is over. That way, I won't have to hear her say things like: That doesn't make sense at all; More description; Less dialogue; or Are you really leaving that there? She's so loud, it's hard to ignore her. *SIGH* Yeah, she's going deep, deep in my closet. Maybe I can mentally tape her mouth.

You know the novel I worked on for my 1st NaNo? Well, it's back - stronger than ever. It's got a name, Who's Got Tha Moves, and I've got a plan. That's right. This past month, I, in all my anal-ness, managed to plan WGTM. Some people can just write without nothing planned. Though I wish I could do that, I can't. I tried that with my first novel and it took forever. When I wrote an outline (for my 1st novel) and planned, the novel came out easily. So, what did I do to plan?

Novel Notebook - which I actually did this spring, but didn't think about the story until this month. In the notebook, I have sections for subjects like summary/plot, major characters, minor characters, background, etc. I have pics of anything that reminds me of WGTM and of celebs who resemble my characters. I had fun putting this together because I was able to visualize things in the novel. Here's a pic:
The Three Acts: Major Turning Points: I got this idea from The article shows how to put your novel in three acts and describes what happens in each act. Now, I have an idea what's going to happen in the novel.

Plot Board: I looked all around the 'net to see examples of plot boards. I didn't find much, but I did find some (Diana Peterfreund's website is one place). I just added my 'flavor' to it. Each sticky color represents something (goal/motivation; main plot; 3 subplots). This way, I have an idea what'll happen in each chapter. I'm not quite finished with the plot board but it will be done by NaNoWriMo. I have it hanging on my wall. Here's a pic:

So, I'll be ready for NaNo this year. I'm excited about this novel and know I'm going to have fun writing it. During NaNoWriMo, I'll be blogging about my experience and keeping a record of words written. I also plan to post fun stuff like my cast of characters (if my novel became a movie, who would I cast), the soundtrack, and other things from my novel. So, stay tuned!



James A Woods said...

This is my eighth year to tackle NaNo. I've gone at it both planned and un-planned, but I've never done the picture thing. (Although I have for another project.)

This year my total preperation consisted of creating this e-book, adapting Chris Baty's introduction to the site. It put me in the right mood, but now I have to figure out what I'm gonna put on the page.

Rae said...

Good luck in your writing!