November is shaping up to be VERY busy. We’ve got a lot going on for every member of the family, but NaNoWriMo will happen. Oh yes, it WILL happen. Having a complete, 50,000 word first draft of a novel in thirty days is a gift you give yourself. It might come at the cost of some sleep and perhaps more take-out than usual, but darn it all, it’s worth it. 😬
My main character, her friend, and a secondary main character are all clearly set in my mind. I did some writing exercises that have helped me understand who she is and what motivates her. I still don’t know why the world she’s in is set the way that it is, or what they need to accomplish, but again, that will come later. The writing that I’ve done on this story so far and will continue to do the rest of the month won’t be included in the draft I complete during NaNoWriMo. This is just pre-writing to help me get a sense of the world, my characters, and what’s going to happen in the story. I’ve heard that there are NaNoWriMo Rebels who use the thirty days to finish a story that they’ve previously started. I want to start the story fresh on November first for the thrill of it, but I think if using a story you’ve already started helps you feel comfortable to take on the NaNoWriMo challenge, then go for it. Growth is the goal, be it partial to finished draft, Princess to General- Rebels get it done. 😉
I’ve had to interrupt NaNoWriMo prep this week in order to work on manuscript 1. I have peer critique group next week and I’m up to bring in work for critique. We bring in anywhere from 15-20 pages to work on with the way we’ve scheduled it which is a nice chunk of story to get feedback on. What I realized, because I’m revising a section of story that I haven’t touched since I first wrote it, is that you really can’t judge yourself on your first draft. Your first draft is just to get the ideas out of you and onto the paper. I’m revising A LOT of writing that sounds like, “she had to go outside and she opened the door to go outside…which was on the other side of the door.” Yeah. BUT, I knew what I was going for in that scene so I was able to chop it up and piece it back together much more elegantly. I’m going to try to keep that in mind for NaNoWriMo. That I’m not going to be writing the best draft of the story. I’m going to be writing the draft that I will be able to chop and hack and piece back together later to become the best draft of the story.
I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of mental prep work this week. Talking myself up in preparation of the month to come. Getting ready for the nights when I might be fighting for my word count before midnight strikes.
What are you guys doing to prep for NaNoWriMo? What are the steps you take to get ready for the challenge?