Already at day three, eh?
It’s funny. I never actually participated in NaNoWriMo during the month of November. Instead, I ended up doing my own sporadically throughout the year. I called them “Thirty Day Challenges.” It was the same idea, only in like, January or something.
When I did my challenges, I found that spending thirty days (or more) before the actual challenge just “setting up” to be tremendously helpful.
What’s the point in trying to write a novel if you don’t have anything planned for it?
Sitting down and preparing yourself for storytelling is quite possibly more important than writing the story itself. Why? Because there is so much depth involved within a novel, it would be ridiculous just to go in blindly (especially if you plan on publishing).
It takes practice! Kind of like this guy with his horse:
But not really. . .
When I planned my novel – a science-fiction (and I’ll get a synopsis up here soon, folks) – I had to come up with so much depth: what worlds are used? What’s the technology? Politics? Religion?
But even further: who are these characters and what do they look like? What’s their age? What’s their story? Do they know each other? What’s their history with Character X or Y? Do they drive? Fly a car? How’s their parents? How were they brought up?
Delving even deeper: when Event X happens, how will it affect Character Y? How would Character Z approach Character Y afterwards?
Of course when writing, you’ll invent new ideas along the way complicating things more.
If you have it all written out – or pre-planned – new revelations won’t “shatter” the story as dramatically as you may expect.
While NaNoWriMo is awesome to get the ball rolling with writing your story, planning for it is something not to overlook.
As for me with my recently completed novel, I’m currently going through the first edit. I have lots of work ahead of me still.
Good luck with NaNoWriMo, folks!
4 thoughts on “PlaNoWriMo”
You are so right-having a plan, even if it isn’t fully fleshed out, makes a challenge like this so much easier.
Thanks for the comment, Cynking.
To me, it only made sense given the nature of how I write. The very first Thirty Day Challenge I did, I tried without a plan. It got me writing for sure, but by then of it, I was disappointed with my outcome due to not really having a “focus.”
Live n’ learn!
My personal belief is that NaNoWriMo presents a distorted and rather naive picture of what it means to write a novel, based on many of the issues you raise here–the importance of pre-planning and characterization being one, which is something the organizers miss in their repeated demands to “Just get it down on paper!” I talked about that recently in a blog I did here:
Spot on, Sean!