Saturday, October 4, 2014

Life Happens - And Then There's NANOWRIMO!

We are less than a month away from the madness that is NANOWRIMO. Anyone else going to dive in? I have my story idea already in synopsis form and it feels pretty solid. Don't think I've ever been able to say that before.

Then again, I don't usually do a synopsis before I actually begin to write something.

The two projects I currently have in the works will be put aside for this. The one that is in second draft is coming along but slowly. Changes made in the first part also changed things in the latter parts. I actually lost a good chunk of what had already been written because it just didn't fit in any longer. But that's how it goes, I guess. I do like the flow of the thing now and I'm about to join up the new stuff with the current last third of the book so that's a good thing.

The other project that is in first draft mode is sitting on the shelf at the moment while I plow on with the second draft project. I have been taking them in turns so that it at least feels like I'm concentrating on one at a time.

Truthfully, I hit a wall with the first draft project and had to backtrack a bit. It was starting to sound like something else I have written that is only waiting for my Amazon library to be built before it's submitted to a traditional publisher.

I must admit that I haven't been writing 2000 words a day lately but I will have to get back to that practice with NANOWRIMO on the horizon. I would like to get the second draft project completed before I have to put it aside to do some further preliminary work on the NANOWRIMO project. I still need to decide my main characters and get to know them before I start writing their story. You know. The little things. Like name. Appearance. Personality. What they do.  Who they are. What they believe. That kind of thing. Kinda makes writing their story a lot easier if I've actually met them first.

How do I make those decisions? So glad you asked.

Always before, I would write the opening scene to see how the hero and heroine will interact. I pay particular attention to how they appear in my head as I'm writing. Once I have a good feel for them, I'll then do a search for a specific look and review image results to see if anything strikes a chord. When it does, I do a copy and paste of the image into my Scrivener and write a short bio for that character.

Can't really do that for NANO. Well, I could but then I wouldn't be able to count the opening scene in my total word count and I want the entire first draft written during NANO.

I have also used a particular book in the past that deals with astrological signs and how they interact with each other but I haven't had to use that method in a while. Instead, I've let the characters tell me how they are going to be with each other. Unfortunately, that seems to give them a sense of power and they also tend to tell me how they want their story written. I don't always agree but when they get obstinate, doesn't give me much of a choice in the matter.

All that said to say this. No matter where the second draft project is, I will have to abandon it in a couple of weeks so I can spend some quality time with my NANOWRIMO characters and do a little ahead of time plotting. This is going to be new for me so I have no idea if it'll work the way I hope it will. All I want to have to concentrate on during November is writing the story. I don't want to get stuck halfway and not be able to finish out the month.

I also don't want to have it written in stone so hard there is no wiggle room. I've always thought that written in stone outlines hamper creativity. We've all read the books where the author clearly had a written in stone outline and doggedly followed it until the end. I don't want my books to read the same way. I want to surprise the reader with a twist they weren't expecting. I'll know I've achieved that when I get surprised while writing the thing. I believe it's true that if the story doesn't evoke an emotional response for the writer, the reader won't feel anything either.

So, here's to NANOWRIMO. May everyone who participates see their most prolific writing ever!

No comments: