I forgot to write my customary October 31st “I’m doing NaNoWriMo, so don’t bother me” post for 2016. And of course, I should now be banging away at my 1,667 words for the day, but I’m procrastinating by writing this post instead. Isn’t that how it always goes?
Maybe the delay is for the best though, because it has given me time to realize a mistake on my part. I’ve generally always been a pantster, but I’ve been trying to learn to plot and outline. Of course, I know who to write a flipping outline. I went to school, after all. But I’ve not really mastered imagining a whole novel in outline form and I think my writing process would be vastly improved and streamlined if this was a skill I could pick up. *sigh* It’s hard, yall.
So, leading up to November 1st, I wrote an outline of events and character descriptions and a breakdown of the world’s magics. I pondered the characters’ motivations and decided what they really want and fear. I picked out my themes and committed myself to ensuring a diverse cast. I felt like I’d done a ton of work. Certainly more than I did when I basically accidentally wrote TWE and undoubtedly anything I write now will be better for it.
As a result, in the past three days I wrote over 17,000 words! Now, I always front load during NaNo, because there are all those initial ideas in my head that I’ve just been waiting for the starting pistol to get down on paper. But 17,000 words rocked. I shocked myself.
Unfortunately, this is where the mistake comes in. 17,000 words brought me to the end of what I’d plotted. Now, of course there is a lot of fleshing out to be done between those scenes, but I thought I had plotted enough scenes to carry me through the writing process, but I’m way, way, WAY short. I mean, it’s a learning experience. I now know I need to be more meticulous in how deeply I plot. But it’s disappointing too.
On the up side, I have 26 days to fix it. And I like my plot this year. I’m writing fantasy—shifters, magic, DRAGONS. Oh my. I think I’ll make it. Hitting the word count has never really been the challenge for me. I could rattle off 50,000 words to the barista in an attempt to order coffee. I’m long winded on my most concise days. But I want more than a Nano ‘win.’ I want a finished piece of work and that is where I struggle.
By means of encouragement and accountability (which is a large part of why I always write a blog post when I do Nano) I am allowing myself to buy a Kindle Fire when I submit my word count at the end of the month. I have a Kindle e-reader that I love, but having a tablet would give me access to some things my Voyage doesn’t, like Hoopla through my local library. A reward is something I always give myself after NaNo and I see no reason to change that now. (You know, other than being broke, but I’m ignoring that. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. See how that works?)
So, here’s to all you crazy, crazy kids out there trying to write a novel in a month. I’m right there with you.