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 downloaded Nina 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.