Tomorrow, NaNoWriMo starts and as I’ve said before, I’ll be working on the final third of my current novel in progress. This will probably not be fifty thousand words, although once I add on four Hobson & Choi chapters for the month and maybe improvise a short story about a man taking his dog for a walk, I might make it over the top.
But, regardless, that isn’t the point. I’m pleased with the opening 66.6% of this novel (even if it still has no title), so it would be a shame to bolt a load of slapdash verbal diarrhoea onto the end and quadruple my editing time.
So, with that in mind, I spent four hours (or three full plays of the new Arcade Fire album) in my regular writing-cafe this afternoon trying to produce a decent plan to keep myself on track.
Seriously, it took ages. I know a lot of people who are trying to write/start whole novels in NaNo, and that must be an epic planning task. Then again, they may not have tried to break them down scene-by-scene like I did. In the eternal NaNoWriMo debate of planning vs making it up (or “plotting vs pantsing”, if you like pants), I’m definitely a plotter. Writing the actual chapters is just fleshing out a skeleton.
Said skeleton is constructed using a tree of folders and documents in Scrivener, if you’re curious. Scrivener might not be for everyone, but for those of us who enjoy imposing a sense of order on the universe, it’s great. If you tweet using Tweetdeck, give writing with Scrivener a try.
Considering I’ve known where I was going with this story for a while, I was surprised how bloody long planinng took. All the cool scenes I’d imagined for the future were a bitch to engineer into place. That’s the problem with writing sci-fi/fantasy – you have to make up your own rules, than actually follow them.
I thought I’d have time to do this blog a bit earlier, but no, here I am at 8PM, just tapping it out before going for a few restful hours not thinking about NaNo.
And then start writing at midnight, obviously. Cleverly, I’ve planned myself into opening with the most depressing scene possible, featuring grim terminal illness goodbyes. On the plus side, the rest of November will be a merry treat in comparison. I considered writing scenes out of order to avoid this downbeat debut, but decided to just swallow it. At least my first real November daytime writing session will have that already done.
And on that note, going to go do something else. Good luck if you’re reading this and also attempting NaNo, feel free to share any angst below or buddy me up on the NaNoWriMo site if that’s your bag. Another writing post next week, unless I hit my head and forget I have a blog.
Ali LukeOctober 31, 2013 at 8:46 pm
Good luck with the NaNo-ing! For the first time since the epic Nunhead NaNo in 2007, I'm attempting a full 50,000-words-on-a-brand-new-novel. My plan consists of a handful of key plot points and an optimistic hope that everything will work out…
nickOctober 31, 2013 at 8:47 pm
My god, I had no idea you'd been off the NaNoing for so long. Maybe now you've got a child, I'll have some chance at keeping up with you. Good luck!