Over the coming weeks you’re going to see a lot less of me here. Now don’t think for a moment that means I’m not continuing on this path towards my goal. I will continue to spend approximately one hour a day, five days a week preparing for NaNoWriMo. But I anticipate that will look different that it has these past 28 days. Well frankly, I don’t actually know what that’s going to look like. But rather than working on a piece and telling you in these posts how it’s going, I’ll need to be getting on with the work of preparing for November.
I’m starting to spend time using the resources the NaNoWriMo site offer to novelists. I’ve already read some of the blog posts and have gleaned useful information. Today the post I’m focusing on is the one around planning, “In Which a Planning Limit is Proposed (Gasp!)”
I’ve already shared with you that I consider myself a planner rather than a seat-of-my-pants person. That said, that first short story I wrote was very much by the seat of my pants. All I started with was an image of a couple sitting in their chairs. I didn’t know where the story was going to go, and I certainly didn’t know where it would end. But as I think about writing 50,000 words of a novel over the course of a month, I sense that without at least some planning, that will go nowhere fast.
I picked up some good tips in the article. The biggest tip, which is one that set my mind at ease, is that there is such a thing as too much planning when it comes to writing. For one thing, it takes some of the fun out of it. And planning that goes on and on becomes nothing more than yet another excuse for not writing. I’m not keen to end up in that place, so I need to find what will work for me.
The next post I read today was “Five Secret Steps to Story Building”. This one was chock full of useful tips I’ll likely revisit. One suggestion is to ask yourself what your main character wants more than anything else. I’m going to have to think about that one a bit. But as I read about the need to create several small problems or obstacles for your character to lead up to one big problem, I started getting several ideas. At least now I have some thoughts on what I need to do next.
Over the coming days I’ll create the story line, then start fleshing out the main characters. I’ll likely use a character questionnaire to help with that. And I’ll begin jotting down ideas on obstacles for the character to overcome.
So, now that I know what comes next, it’s time to crack on with it! Until next time…