Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NaNoWriMo Prep

It's nearly that time again.  With the approach of Halloween also comes NaNoWriMo.

What's that?  It's short for National Novel Writing Month.  Every November, thousands of writers hunker down over their computers and notebooks, dedicated to spending one month writing 50,000 words for a novel they are working on. 

My writing schedule doesn't always line up to coincide with NaNoWriMo, but this year I've got an opening and I'm going to try to write 50,000 words on a brand new project.  Now, 50,000 words won't finish a book for me.  Typically, it won't even get me to the middle of the book, since most of my urban fantasy novels come in at 125,000 words.  But 50,000 words is a great chunk to have done and I'll take it.

I'm am kind of cheating this year.  You're supposed to start a brand new project with zero words on the page.  Well, I've got two new books started.  One has 18,000 words done and the other has approximately 3,000 words written.  I'm not going to start something brand new when I've got two other projects that need my attention.  However, when I start NaNoWriMo, I'm not going to count the words I have pre-written.  I'm only counting the new words written during November.

As we get down to the last days before NaNoWriMo, I've got to get some prep work done so I can quickly get my words done and not waste time starting at the wall as I try to make decisions I should have made days ago.

The first, and possibly the hardest decision I have to make is: Which book am I going to write?

1. The 3K book is something I started several months ago, but put it aside in favor of finishing Gage's last book.  But now that my schedule has opened up a bit, I'm anxious to get back to it.  It is set in a totally new world and totally new characters.  It's going to be told from multiple third person POV.  Oh, and it's about vampires.

2. The 18K book is something that unexpectedly came to me a few weeks ago and was never supposed to be written in the first place.  It's a return to the Dark Days world and it's about a woman who had been sucked in the vampire world by Stefan.  I never wanted to write a book for Stefan because Stefan was always an asshole.  But then, I never saw Stefan with someone who intrigued him and this woman seriously intrigued him.  While I already have the majority of this world built, it's a bit different because it's set several years in the future and told from the POV of an outsider.

I'm torn.  They both look like so much fun.  I'll decide before November 1.

Once I decide which book I want to write,  I will then focus on getting some key prep work done.

1. Worldbuilding -- I need to pull together some key world notes together.  For #1, it's about the vampire families, their strengths and weaknesses, the vampire interaction with the humans, etc.  For #2, I need to make some notes on how the world has changed since Burn the Night, and how humans are coping with the knowledge of vampires and shifters.

2. Character sketches -- I need more details on the main characters.  This is more than just physical details.  I need an understanding of their hopes, dreams, fears, and motivations so I can understand why they make the decisions they make.

3. Plot outline -- This is the big one.  Before I write a book, I need to have a basic outline of all the big events that will occur through the novel.  Typically if I start without an outline, I've got a vague idea of where I am headed or how I want my characters to interact.  If I want to go more than a few chapters, I need an outline.  I can operate as a pantser.  I am a plotter.  I write much faster and don't suffer from writer's block when I have an outline.

Are you ready to join me on this adventure?  Are you writing for NaNoWriMo?  Do you have a vote for which book I write in November?  If you are writing, you can find me as JocelynnD on NaNoWriMo.

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