Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo

Yes, so I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. It’s my first time taking the challenge, so we’ll see how it goes. If the ideas keep flowing, I won’t have any trouble making my daily word count goals, because they’re not any higher than my usual marks. The trouble, of course, comes in those pesky moments when you can’t figure out what the blazes to do with your characters next.

I’m a planner in most aspects of my life, but I am totally not a planner when it comes to writing. It just doesn’t work for me. Plot lines and character traits float around in my head, and are constantly evolving. Sometimes I write down certain scene ideas or traits or future developments in my writing journal, but honestly I mostly do that just because I like actually writing on paper, =)

Sometimes I make computer documents for character descriptions or traits, if I have a lot of characters that are secondary or will come into the picture later and I don’t want to forget some detail about them. But mostly, I just let the stories happen and shift and change as I go along.

So I’m trying really hard to prepare for NaNoWriMo by making an outline for my story idea, and it’s hard! I have always been horrible at outlines. Even in school, they were never a strong point for me. I’m not sure why…we just never clicked. So I’m finding it very difficult to try and write out what I want the story to do before I’ve actually delved in and started writing it. Pretty much right now I’ve got about half the “chapters” planned, and the rest are “something happens” or “discussion between __ and __”. It’s, like, totally official. =3

Anyways, so that’s what I’ve been up to. Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year? Have you done it in the past? What are your tips, tricks, or writing downfalls for a mad challenge like this?

4 Responses so far.

  1. Sarah Chafin says:
    I'm doing NaNo this year too. I haven't done it before but I did do a similar challenge in June and I didn't outline. I totally pants it and it worked for me. I had the characters figured out and a plot in my head but I just let it flow onto the page. It worked for me. I'm planning to do NaNo much the same way. I have an idea and I'm working on fleshing out the characters and solidifying my plot but that's about it. I've tried outlining once and what I wrote didn't even resemble the outline so I decided I'm more of a pantster lol.
  2. Deshipley says:
    Welcome to NaNo, Mere! This will be my third November write-a-thon (my fifth NaNo event, if you count the summer camp edition). I normally plot in much more detail than I've done so far this year; the story in my head feels more inherently loose and free-form than projects past, and specific chronology won't much matter, so I don't think it warrants the chapter-by-chapter outline I'd otherwise do. I'll probably just highlight the plot points I want to make sure I hit someplace or another, and jump in from there.

    It feels a little weird for me, taking such a laid-back approach. But just as not every writer plans the same, not every novel within a single writer's body of work needs to be outlined the same. 🙂

  3. Mere Joyce says:
    Yay for NaNo buddies!

    Yes, I doubt my outline resembles anything close to, you know, an actual proper outline, =P

    But I am excited. And I imagine the story will have its own ideas once I get writing!

  4. Aaaah you're (all) so brave!! I've never done NaNo. Right now I'm starting to re-write something, so I just can't go quite that fast. Since I *do* need to start the actual re-writing soon, however, I've been thinking about setting some lofty goals for November in honor of the fact that so many other writers are going crazy during this time.

    Best of luck!!

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