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Prepping for NaNo…

Welcome back, Swamp visitors!  I hope you enjoyed last week’s jaunt into the wonderful world of new writers.  I hope you found something wickedly cool to add to your reading lists! 

In honor of the looming presence of NaNo, I thought I’d share a bit of my prep experience for this year with you.  Yes, I know, a pantser who preps? What an oxymoron.  Except I’m finding it necessary before I dive head long into the roaring abyss of NaNo next week. 

Writing by the seat of your pants is not only a creative whirlwind, but it’s terrifying.  Here’s why:  when you get stuck, you get stuck and sometimes you can’t tell up from down and start digging deeper into the mire of fragmented concepts and useless plot points. I call myself a pantser, but in actuality, I cheat because I do plot out the major plot points.  You know the ones, this happens in the first third to start the ball rolling, this happens in the second third because this is where everything is going to change for the characters, and this has to happen in the last third because now that my characters have a new reality, this is how it will solve the problem.

Since I’m stuck just past the first third of Shadow’s Moon, I have been paying attention to various blogs about structure and plot and planning.  I know, I know, I can hear the screams of denial from my fellow pantsers–but really, what else can you do if you want your story to work?

As I continue to write and improve my craft, I’m discovering that the OCD that rules my life in every other aspect, is starting to bleed over.  Not as much as it can, but enough so that yes, I am preparing for NaNo to make sure I can get unstuck and tuck Shadow’s Moon under the “completed” section of my writing checklist.   I am going back to make sure that I have down my characters’ motivations, what’s driving my protagonist and why, where is the central conflict (romance or mystery?), what other conflict layers are there (and there are more than one!), what are my three major turning point that change my characters’ goals/motivations, drive their darkest moments, and then enable them to beat the bad guy. 

Do you see how the picture is starting to form.  Not really an outline per se, but more of road map.  I’m hoping it will allow me to keep my pantser identity, but I have a feeling no successful writer is really a true pantser, because at some point we all have to plot.

Because I’ll be swimming with the NaNo sharks all of November, my blogs will just be a word count with maybe one or two sentences (if I can form them) on what’s happening.  Keep your fingers crossed I survive NaNo and bring forth some awesome habits and new writing skills! 

Now onto NaNo!

PS: If you want to add me to your NaNo buddy list, feel free! I’m at NaNo Wrimo under Jami Gray!

–Wicked

Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. I enjoyed your post here, Jami. I have done two Nanos, one successful, one not, both by the seat of my pants. This year I’m doing some planning. Not 100% outlining, but planning. A lot like you mentioned.

    Hope you have a successful November. I added you as a ‘buddy’

    Reply
    • Hey Kenny! Woo hoo! New NaNo bud! At least we can claim some sort of plan for next month! Fingers crossed for us both and can’t wait to see you in NaNo Nov!

      Reply

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