When you learn something about yourself are you surprised? Or pleased at the self-aware discovery?
During the three days of NaNoWriMo I've learned an important lesson about myself and how I work best.
I'm a planner, always have been. So much so that sometimes I plan and plan... and don't actually do! But participating in National Novel Writing Month has given me several things:
- A goal - Write a complete 50,000 word novel.
- A deadline - In one month.
- A purpose - To win NaNoWriMo 2013!
Looking back through my notes I wrote my first ideas for A Borrowed Life in January 2013. Even though I worked on Planted for months, I still had those notes, first thoughts, down and saved.
After I finished the first draft of Planted I knew I could participate in NaNo, and I started working on the outline in earnest. Most of October was devoted to A Borrowed Life, and Planted was put to the side. I haven't edited a chapter of my completed book since October 2nd!
Now that November is here, and my little fingers are expected to pound away at my trusty keyboard for almost 2,000 words a day, I'm glad I spent so much time planning and thinking. Because the words are flowing so easily. Even though I haven't written the scene, I can see it, and I know what happens in each scene with each character... all that's left is for me to actually transcribe what's in my head.
There is a school of thought by some NaNo devotees that "pantsing" is the only way to go. Fly by the seat of your pants. Do absolutely nothing until November, then start thinking about your characters and story!
If this is you, I am in awe and admire your skills!
For this girl, who is finishing the day with 8,567 words, planning is key. Planning is the way to go!
Hope you're having a great and successful NaNo! Good Luck to everyone participating. And to friends and family of writers and participants, be a little patient with your budding novelist these few weeks! And buy our books when they are published!
I'm also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stephlj_ and plan to update my progress there.