Are you a NaNo Newbie?
I was last year. A close friend of mine faithfully tackled NaNo every year but I resisted tossing my pen into the ring. The timing was always wrong, I was too busy working on a WIP, or had some other excuse in the pipeline. Then last year I decided NaNoWriMo was something I should experience at least once in my lifetime. A rite of passage.
So in September, I started thinking about my project and pre-planning. My normal style is to wing scenes as I go, something that I knew wouldn’t fly if I wanted to churn out 50,000 words in November. I also have a regimental habit of editing as I write, making sure everything is polished before moving ahead. NaNo is the exact opposite of that—plan before you start, then write like a warp-drive engine.
Could I do it?
As an A-type personality , I hate to fail. I planned my story, devised intricate character worksheets, sketched out my town, and outlined the first four chapters of my novel scene-by-scene. I didn’t have the whole book plotted, but had a good hand on the story and was pleased with my pre-prep. I even took the time to write and schedule all of my regular weekly blog posts for November so I wouldn’t be distracted.
November 1st rolled around and I burst out of the starting gate with a rush of exhilaration. The excitement was overwhelming, everyone racing along with me. Mid-month rolled around and I settled into a steadier gait, my eye on endurance and hanging in there for the long haul. By the closing week, I was exhausted, wondering if I would last, certain I would never attempt such creative madness again.
I walked away with a 50,500 word rough draft of a novel that was far was from finished, but taught me the value of plotting and put me further ahead as a writer than I’ve ever been in 30 days. I’ve since added an additional 8,000 words on my goal toward 20,000 more. The book is shaping up to be the best I’ve ever written and will likely be ready for submission early 2015 if not before.
So am I doing NaNo again this year? You betcha.
Like last year, I’ve already picked my project, lined up my characters and plotted as much as I can, including the first four chapters, scene-by-scene. It worked for me last year, so I’m hoping the formula proves true again this year. Most importantly, I know that when November 1st rolls around, I need to write like a steam locomotive, focused on accomplishing the goal of 50K. Turn off the editor, turn off the polisher, and know that a host of other writers are sloughing through those same trenches with me.
I’m no longer a newbie, but feel every bit as giddy as I did when attempting NaNo for the first time. I hope you’ll join me and experience the madness!
About The Author
Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.net
You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Twitter | Google+ | Facebook Author Page | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads
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