Sunday, October 30, 2011

Count on me...

There is something scary about looking at a blank Word document or a blank piece of paper and realizing that somehow, some way, you are expected to fill it with words.

NaNoWriMo is the once-a-year gathering of people who have such a great love of words that they grasp the insane idea that they can write an entire book (50k for 'adult') in a month.

How scary is that?

What will you write about? Can you do it? A whole book in a month???

Having written a few books in a month and some even faster, I can say, honestly, it can be done.

Of course, that whole eating thing... Seeing people... Not snapping when food is shoved at you... All of that kind of goes to the wayside. The story literally eats your world. Social life? Pssht. Forgeddaboutit.

So why would someone do that to themselves on purpose?

The knowledge that the story will live longer than you could.

This does not make the creation of it any less scary. The good thing about NaNoWriMo is that it takes the big, scary book and chops it down into small, bite-sized pieces. 50,000 words?


5thousand a day?

Well, that is little more than an essay.

Which makes the whole book almost a collection of essays on the same topic...

I like outlines. No, my outlines are not neatly numbered things involving Roman numerals and precision.

Mine look something like this:
(Actual outline from one of the Odd books)

"Chapter Six
Jumped outside the raft/hungry eyes scene/fiancé helps out by nearly getting eaten
Chapter Seven
Loses FiancĂ©, meets up with Chance and goes after a lead on the hammer and catches up with the terrible trio at Brennen’s Pub
Chapter Eight
Bar Fight over pool game? Chance is root of it. Mention wings"

That became Siren's Song. It doesn't look anything like the finished product. The goal of your outline is not to be pretty or follow any rules... The goal of your outline is you getting out the shape of your story. It is little more than when someone working with clay squashes out the shape that will later become the masterpiece.

It doesn't have to make sense to anyone but you. But if you can see where you are going, it is easier to get there. Think of it like GPS for your writing. It is a general road map of where the climax is going to be... How they get there... What the resolution will be.

You can stray from this outline. It is for YOU.

Then you have those nice bite-sized chunks I mentioned earlier. You can write chapter seven easily. You know what happens. You are just ballooning it out. Filling in your characters responses into a planned event. Adding textures and flavors and doing the storytelling.

Remember, even if you fall behind on your NaNoWriMo goals, they are goals. The purpose behind it is to give you the experience of sitting down every day- with a goal- in front of that scary keyboard.

You can do it.

Good luck, NaNoWriMo-ers.

And friend me! I am virg_nelson over there. If you need any more inspiration/advice, hit me up.

And, I can't stress this enough, HAVE FUN WITH IT!! :)

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