It’s that time of year again – season of mellow fruitfulness, or whatever it is; back to school weather. Time to write a novel.
I know it’s still September, but this year I seem to be exceptionally excited about the prospect of NaNoWrimo. I’m actually prepared. I have been filing away last year’s pep talks, I’ve even thought about writing my Christmas cards – and it’s all because, for the first time ever, I am going to PLAN.
I am normally a NaNoWriMo ‘pantser’ – that is, I write by the seat of my pants and let the characters take me on a rollercoaster ride of mayhem, until some sort of a plot turns up, and then we lurch around together until we find an ending.
Last year this worked well: I did a bit of a genre-shift just to keep things exciting, but the end result didn’t work at all. I can’t help it. I can’t write comedy-erotica. I am a thriller writer. So this year I am going to take the characters and the setting from last year’s efforts and make it scary. A few weeks ago, I had an idea for a twist – a pretty big one – and I think, in order to carry off something so audacious, I am actually going to have to plan it all out to make sure it works. All of this planning, whilst it’s satisfying my need for notebooks and coloured pens, charts and mind maps and endless sticky notes, is a new thing for me and I’m just hoping that when it comes time to write the blinking thing that I don’t get bored and give up.
In order to make it through November, I need company. I need fellow novelists to celebrate and commiserate with (at this point, I’m looking at you – yes YOU – with hopeful puppy dog eyes. Just go with it).
This article from the BBC, last year, gives a pretty good flavour of a NaNoWriMo write in:
Although our local write ins are possibly a little less pressured – we go for shorter sprints and probably spend too long chatting.
I know I bang on about this all the time, but it doesn’t hurt to try it one more time. How about you? Have you always wanted to write a novel, but never found the time? Now’s your chance. What is it you’re waiting for?
You can DO THIS.