Thursday, October 03, 2013

Nanowrimo 2013: Prep and Pep Talks

It is nigh October and National Novel Writing Month will soon be at our heels! What is that? You’ve not heard of National Novel Writing Month, the thirty-day extravaganza in which cripplingly busy people attempt to write a novel in just thirty days? I’m afraid you need to click the link below. Now. I’ll wait.

Did you go? Did you see? Do you know? Good.

People who decide to do Nanowrimo generally fall into two rough categories: planners and pantsers. Planners come armed with historical research, character biographies, voice journals, elaborate timelines, maps of fictional countries, or just a decently developed idea as to what they plan on writing for the next thirty days. Pantsers, so called because they fly by the seat of said pants, come armed with…a plot? Maybe? Or, you know, just this kind of idea with some characters who might be really similar to some other characters, but there is definitely a coffee shop and zombies…or aliens?

You get the picture.

The only time I won Nanowrimo (way back in 2009 during my first semester of college), I went the pantser route. I had no idea what I wanted to write about, so I just stuck myself back in high school on the wooden risers in my chorus room and wrote what I saw. It turned out pretty horrible and unreadable to anyone who would recognize themselves or others in the characters, but I did finish a novel containing fifty thousand words.

This year I started out with a Big Plot, one I’ve been whittling at during various failed Nanowrimos and Camp Nanowrimos* since my streak of newbie luck in 2009. It has since changed to a quick and absurd crime plot inspired by a friend’s unusual circumstances. Will I be a planner or a pantser this time around?

Throughout the rest of October we will take a look at various ways to plan and…er…pants a novel for November. Stay tuned for prompt generators, word-count tips, and  horrible little apps that actually force you to write instead of browsing miles of blog feed.

*Like regular Nanowrimo, only during the quieter month of July

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