Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pre-NaNoWriMo: There's No Wrong Way

As a long time NaNo participant and Municipal Liaison, there is one question I am asked more than any other: How should I prepare?

The answer is much more vague and postmodern than most people expect or wish. Do the kind of preparation that works for you. Just like eating a Reese's, there is no wrong way.

I personally plan every big detail of the story. I like to know exactly what's going to happen, I know this conversation I'm writing will have great significance in four or five chapters. I like to know why my characters are this way. If I try to write without a detailed plan, I crash and burn.

There are people who are the exact opposite. They use something--an image, one scene, a song--as a launchpad, and then they just push off on November 1 and write their entire novel. I have no idea how they do it. I'm a little in awe of them, to be honest.

So, those are the two major ways to prepare. If you think you might be a planner and you're looking for a bit more detail, I wrote a series  on building a novel this summer. It covers the 3 Cs of plot: Plot = Conflict that forces your Character to Change.

However you go approach NaNoWriMo, have fun, and good luck!