Preparing for NaNoWriMo

So by this time next week, we will be in day 2 of NaNoWriMo.  It has been consuming my free time over the last few weeks.  Not that I am complaining, but it has left Abner without many adventures to be had (also it’s getting cold – which Abner is NOT a fan of).

Anyway, I thought I would delve into what kind of preparations I have been doing for the upcoming NaNoWriMo.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I have been working on a trilogy for ever and I have finished the first book. I am currently doing a final read through of it before going through a second round of Beta Readers all the while trying to finish the outline for book 2 in time to write for NaNoWriMo.

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My goal is to get both done before November 1st and trust me, it’s quite the undertaking. Finishing one project while making preparations for the second project is not something I would recommend – but I am feeling rather ambitious.

So how am I preparing for NaNoWriMo?

Well, there’s the aforementioned Outline but what kind is it? You see, there are two kinds of writers: Outliners and Pantsers.

Outliners do just that – they outline (whether it’s a vague guideline or a detailed step sheet that maps out every move my characters make)

While Pantsers literally write “by the seat of their pants.”

I was a hard-core Pantser for most of my life.  I still am a Pantser when it comes to the actual writing but when ended up happening was that I ended up losing structure.  What is that supposed to mean?

In my first round of Beta Readers, one of them was a professional editor who told me that I have great characters, great dialogue, great world, a narrative that gets repetitive, and that I lack structure – meaning that she couldn’t tell who my main character was and what was the question I was trying to answer with this story.  

I love all my characters and I explore each of their narratives and I feel that it makes them richer….but again, who’s my main character? She recommended some books for me to read (mainly the “How to Write a Damn Good…” books by James N. Frey) but one that I have always come back to was Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.”

Source

I bought this book in college as a tool in helping me understand the hero’s journey.  Essentially I wanted it as a tool to understand the Hero’s Journey. If you want a humorous book that tackles the same theme without succumbing to this tome, than buy this book.

After a lot of reading, I worked another outline for book 1 and found that it worked really well!! As I said before, I am still very much a Pantser when I write: everything is still done organically.  Not everything I wrote fits the outline perfectly, but at least all the important points were covered.

So now I decided to use it for book 2 and I can’t wait for November 1st to get here!

So what about the rest of you who are planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year….how are you getting ready?

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