Saturday, 22 October 2016

Ready. Set. Novel!
I know I said I wouldn't take part in NaNoWriMo again but...I am going to! I've decided it may be a good way to totally immerse myself in novel number two. Unless I give myself a deadline, I'm not very good at getting going. This time, though, I want to be better prepared, edit each days's writing before starting again the following day, be prepared to write scenes out of context rather than always follow the story consecutively and generally not get paranoid if I don't make the magic 50,000 word mark that I achieved in 2014. I know that may not be the true spirit of NaNo but at least I will have kick-started myself back into what I enjoy most - WRITING!

There are 9 days to go before November 1st. So, where am I now?
  • I have a story idea and it's another dual narrative.
  • I know my characters, their names, ages, personalities.
  • There are two places where the story will be set.
  • I'm exploring how the two stories will be presented, one through straightforward narrative and the other through diary entries.
  • There will be a number of family secrets that will unravel and these impact on the actions and decisions made by the two main characters.
  • And yes, there will be a love interest in both stories, too. 

How have I been planning?
  • large A1 sheets/spidergrams
  • coloured post-its and pens
  • coloured post cards for character studies
  • collecting photos of settings, artefacts, characters

One of my fellow 'critters', Catherine, introduced me to 'Ready. Set. Novel!' This is a writer's workbook written the organisers of NaNoWriMo and is designed to help writers through the plotting and planning of a novel prior to writing it. It is full of helpful lists, question and answers for character interviews, brainstorming through character setting and story development. I particularly like the 'what-if?' page. Thinking up scenarios and exploring the stories that may unfold from them has been a great help when thinking up interesting and intriguing hooks in my plot. I most likely won't use all of them but it has fired my imagination. The page on plotting problems has also proved useful. The journey to the climax in the novel, say the writers, will be filled with mini-conflicts. On this page of the journal, we have to list problems that the main character will need to solve before the major conflict or climax. 
I am enjoying plotting my new novel and am loving the exercises and activities in the work book. Some of these are well known and used in many writing classes whereas others give a fresh slant on planning. We all use whatever method works for us, don't we?. 


This week, I also downloadedNina Harrington 's How To Keep Your Pants On . She describes the free course as 'how to outline your romance novel when you are an intuitive writer'. I'm looking forward to seeing what she has to say because like many of you my writing often takes me away from what I had originally planned.

So, please wish me luck as I spent the last week of October planning for NaNoWriMo. I'm already feeling positive about novel number two. I think and hope I've learned a lot from my first and can't wait to get started. 

What about you? How do you plan a novel - or do you? Do you have any tips and advice to make NaNoWriMo easier for me? I'd love it if you shared your ideas. Thanks. :-)

Thank you for reading. You may also follow me on Twitter @JanBayLit and on my Jan Baynham Writer page.

13 comments:

  1. I think some planning is a good idea - and you can always change your mind if you think up a better plot.

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    1. Yes, Patsy. Once I start writing I often digress from the plan but the plan helps me start. It avoids the blank page situation, doesn't it? Thanks for commenting.

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  2. I do wish you luck, Jan - you're a grafter & you put your heart into your writing. You take it seriously & I know how important it is to you. Sounds to me like you have everything in place already & don't in fact need NaNoWriMo!
    Writing a book takes as long as it takes. The most important thing, in my view, is to enjoy the writing, for it's own sake.
    In answer to your question, once I have my idea, I outline it. I like to have it all: beginning, middle, end (even though I may go wandering off!) Next I write character profiles, make sure my timelines, dates etc are in place (for easy reference) then I just write. I do most of my research as I go along, as & when it crops up. Other than a Pinterst collection of images, I don't bother with anything else.
    The very best of luck, lovely - go for it! xXx

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    1. Thank you, Carol, for your good wishes. You have given me excellent advice here. Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment.

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  3. Best of luck, Jan. You did brilliantly last year, getting to the 50,000 words target, and it sounds to me as if you have preparations well in hand for this year. As for the true spirit of Nano, I would say it is encapsulated in the "go for it" attitude that you clearly display. Enjoy the November madness! xx

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    1. Thank you, Sue. I'll have another go this year and see what happens. thanks for commenting.

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  4. Good luck this year, Jan! I might be joining you - if I can finish my second novel in time to start the third!

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    1. Thanks, Sam. I look forward to having you as a NaNo buddy again. Good luck in finishing novel number 2. thank you for commenting.

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  5. NaNo is not for me but very good luck to you and your writing.

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    1. Thank you, Wendy. It's getting closer now! Thanks for poppoping by to leave a comment.

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  6. I'm doing NaNo for the first time this year. It's day 1 and I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far. With 29 days to go, I may change my mind! Good luck with yours.

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    1. Thanks, Gail. Good luck to you, too. 🍀🍀🍀 I was out for most of yesterday but have caught up today. Thanks for popping by. If you'd like to be my NaNo buddy my name is JanBayLit1. 🙂

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    2. I will go and have a look for you Jan. Hopefully see you there.

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