I’m not great at NaNoWriMo.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve competed three times and won twice. Last year, I used NaNoWriMo to write the second book in The Truth Duet and I managed to write 84k+ words. I won! So “winning” NaNo isn’t the problem, but writing a publishable book is where I struggle. I’m still fixing that book so sometime during the beginning of the year, I decided not to participate.
But here we are on Halloween and I’m feeling the pull to compete.
I mean, let’s face it. If you’re even a little bit active in the online writing community, it’s pretty hard to avoid the NaNoWriMo conversation. Not that I want to. The energy and cult-like excitement around this writing challenge is so motivating! Writing is such a solitary pursuit that logging in to that camaraderie for 30 days straight is kinda really amazing. And the idea of sitting this one out is giving me a serious case of FOMO, so I’ve been brainstorming ways that I can participate unofficially.
Today I’m on Caroline Donahue’s Secret Library Podcast talking about different ways to hack NaNoWriMo. It was a fun conversation—a chat with Caroline about writing is hands down one of my favorite things to do. On that show, I talked about using NaNoWriMo to finish a book versus starting another one. Initially figured I would use November to finish The Way Things Are. We talked about writing from the last chapter/scene and finding my way back to the plot hole that I’ve been struggling with. I couldn’t wait to try out this method so I started it right after we hopped off of the call. At the time I had about 45k+ words left, but I’ve already added another 25k to that book since then. I’m pretty close to done! So without a big word count to tackle, I started searching for other ways to participate or hack #NaNoWriMo and I came across #NaNoPlotMo!
#NaNoPlotMo isn’t an official offshoot of NaNoWriMo.
From what I can tell, folks are using it as #NaNoWriMoPrep. My idea is to use the actual month of November to plot a novel or novella a week!
This is how I’m gonna do it…
I will be using The Basic Character Creation Workbook to craft my characters and Romancing the Beat to plot the actual story. My process also borrows a bit of Dan Well’s plot structure—specifically the bit about beginning at the end. I don’t write linearly so his idea to write the last chapter, the dark moment, and then the first chapter—in that order—makes the most sense to me.
And because I love having a plan/schedule, this is how I will break all of this down:
Why plot i stead of writing?
I’ve recently starting batching my blog posts and social media posts and it has helped me get a lot of work done. So why not apply that to fiction! Batching the plotting portion and writing the transitional plot points will help me get down to the business of writing the book a lot faster. Well…that’s the plan anyway, lol. Also, part of my goals for 2019 is to start submitting my work again. This plot exercise will eventually become the stories that I send out to a short list of publishers I’d love to work with.
Are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo?