Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Awesomeness That Is November

It's almost October. You know what that means! No, I'm not thinking of my 16th birthday (although October does mean that:P), or Halloween (even though I love Halloween), or Fall (despite it being my favorite month). I mean, we're almost one month closer to November, which means NaNoWriMo!

For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place in November. Basically, you try to write a novel, 50,000 words, in 30 days. You can go to the website for the official rules.

This will be my second year:) I attempted it last year, but I didn't find out about NaNo until about a week and a half in, so the odds were not in my favor (hear that Effie?). I only got about 20,000 words. I want to do a lot better this year! Even if I don't get to 50,000. For me, mid-September-October 31st are when I've decided I want to do my NaNo planning. So, I'm very fondly calling these days "NaNo PlaNo" (if anyone else came up with that I would love to know so that I can give them credit for coming up with it). So, for the burning question, the very first question, the question that must never be answered, hidden in plain sight (kudos if you recognized the quote): How do you plan?

I'm new to planning. I never have planned out a novel before, but I've decided to for NaNo this year. I looked up a bunch of different techniques, and the Post-it Method has been the most appealing to me:) I'm doing a chapter-by-chapter outline, sort of. I write out chapter number on one sticky note, a synopsis of the chapter on another, and different characters, settings, etc. that are in that chapter. Basically it's like this:

Sticky note in row 1 says:   Chapter 1
Sticky note in row 2 says:   Midnight conspicuously gives Jacory a letter telling him to run when men come after him. She is very vague and mysterious in the letter.
Sticky note in row 3 says:   Introduced:
                                             Characters:           Settings:               Other:
                                              Jacory (Major)    Cardiff (Minor)
                                              Midnight (Major)

Get the idea? I'm also doing a list of all characters with a little description, a list of all the settings, and a character web to show relationships. AND, the best part: IT WILL ALL BE COLOR-CODED!!!!!! The OCD writer's dream!:) Right now, the wall beside me bed is in the process of being covered in hot pink, blue, green, and purple post-its:)

I'll post more about what my NaNo novel is about latter on when I write out an actual synopsis. I can tell you that time travel is involved!:) It's gonna be TOTALLY WICKED!
During the month of October I'll be posting about planning, but during November the posts are going to be a lot more fun! Thanks to an idea from Brian McBride I'll be posting:
  • Character posts.
  • Graphics.
  • Possible play lists.
  • Snippets.
  • Cover concepts.
  • Synopsis.
  • And fun posts about the world itself!
  • (Those are his words exactly and he gets all credit for them)

    I seriously cannot wait for NaNo! So, tell me:

    How do you plan a novel for NaNo? Why?
    How does it compare to your regular planning?
    If you don't plan, why do you like to do it that way?
    Have you ever won NaNo?
    Can you name all of the movies/shows/books that I quoted/referred to? :)

    1 comment:

    1. Wow. I should really preview a post before actually posting it. It totally screwed up my "Introduced" chart.