Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NaNo Toolbox

NaNoWriMo doesn't have to be planned out. You can write by the seat of your pants (called being a pantster) and sometimes, that's fun.

But I've come to the realization that NaNoWriMo can be more than just fun. It can help writers become more experienced in their craft.

The hardest part about writing a book in a month is that every single word is a decision. That's 50,000 decisions you have to make, 1,667 decisions every day. I find my mind gets tired of making decisions really quick, especially if I also have to decide which way the plot is going in the process. Deciding on a few things before you begin writing will help take away some of the burden during November.

The following tools are things I'm finding help me a lot when I start a new project. You don't have to spend hours on them, but even just thinking about it without making a firm decision will help you discover what you want to write when the time comes.

1. A genre. (Pick one or make up your own.)

2. A main character. (Even better if you know what motivates your main character.)

3. A single sentence describing the most important part of your plot.

4. A villain or antagonist.

5. A setting. (Time & place)

6. Minor characters

7. A detailed outline of your plot.

8. Any research you might need about your setting or characters.

9. What the denouement (climax) of the story will look like.

10. Passion about what you're writing. (And yes, this is a decision/choice.)

With these ten things prepared beforehand, I can almost guarantee you'll have lots of fun writing an entire book in 30 days.

This year I decide to go for the uber outline. I've been preparing this story for eight months and have gotten it to the point where I could almost hand over my notes to a seven year old and they'd be able to write it. I certainly should be able to!

Good luck in getting ready for a writing marathon! See you November 1st! I can hardly wait...

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