Monday, October 13, 2008

Preparing For NaNoWriMo



I have been trying to decide what to write for NaNoWriMo. Do I take a work in progress, since I know my characters? Do I build on a piece of my flash fiction stories? Do I start from scratch? These are all questions that have been running through my mind.


I have combed the NaNoWriMo forums to gain some insight. It would seem that each person has a different way they prepare for it. Some gather character sketches, write outlines and have a synopsis of the story before November rolls around. While others wait until November when the first put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to even begin formulating the story. In other words they wing it.

So what am I going to do? I don't know yet. Since I am a procrastinator, I may end up deciding on November 1.

I have gathered a few ideas from the web for how to approach the 50,000 words in a month thing. Here is one that I thought might come in handy for everyone.

Writing 50,000 Words: ( What to do/When to do it)

5,000 words: Teaser and exposition. Introduce the protagonist and why they are as they are.
  • 2,000 words: Catalyst event. Introduce the second protagonist.
  • 9,000 words: Exploration of the story world; new characters and nuggets of information. Things are still going well, but introduce the villain(s).
  • 18,000 words: Things fall apart! The story becomes bigger than the characters. Things happen, they get saved, things get worse, repeat, repeat, repeat.
  • 6,000 words: Reveal bigger quest.
  • 6,000 words: Challenges are defeated. Things are learned. Characters change.
  • 6,000 words: Resolve any leftover issues. Epilogue.
  • Remember these are just guidelines, but I think they should prove useful.

    Some other things that might come in handy:

    1. Character Sketches - Write a sketch about each character with their name, age, hair, eye and skin color. Include their likes and dislikes, develop their job, family background, education and anything else you can think of.
    2. Outline your story. Know how to begin, the climax and how you want the story to end.
    3. Write a brief synopsis of you story or a Jacket Blurb.
    4. Gather pictures or drawings that remind you of your characters, their surroundings, etc. Maps can come in handy, as well.

    For some more great ideas go to the Author Tools Blog

    I hope these ideas help you. Although I have the basics down, I need to hurry up and decide what I am going to write. I hope I don't wait until the end of the month to get going! -Rita

    1 comment:

    Lynn said...

    It's much easier to succeed at NaNoWriMo if you start a fresh project. You have the freedom to experiment and free your muse, if you are doing something that you haven't invested time and energy in already.

    NaNo is a perfect time to try something different.