Good morning, NaNo superstars.
How are you all feeling? Excited? Charged up? Filled with words you’ve been bottling up until now?
Tomorrow sees the start of NaNoWriMo, and I’m still jealous that I won’t be doing it with you guys. This being-sensible things it not working for me right now. But so it goes.
I’m sure that by now you’ve got your month/novel planned out and ready to start. For those of you don’t, even for you those who have everything sorted, I have one or two questions for you:
Do you know what you’re writing?
Do you have a firm grip on the genre you’re writing? I ask this because I don’t want you hitting the 20k mark and suddenly panic that what you’re writing isn’t working, or it’s morphed into something you didn’t expect/see coming at all. I know this is only the first draft, and things can be changed/fixed in rewrites, but why make extra work when it isn’t necessary?
Do you have a firm grasp on the story you want to write? Do you know where you’re going?
For pantsers this can be tricky. I’m the biggest pantser ever. I tried plotting last year and ended up almost not finishing the novel. Even though I don’t plot, I do have a general idea of where I’m going. I have a beginning, middle, and end. The rest I leave up to the characters and where what they do take me. The most plotting I can do is to fill out a beat sheet. Vaguely. So, pantser, do you have a general idea of what has to happen, or are you going in completely blind?
Plotter, do you have your chapters planned out? Do you have them summarized? Have you done your research, and have your events mapped? I don’t even know why I’m asking this. Of course you do. Plotters are organized like that.
Do your characters have motivation?
As important as plot is to a story, motivation is just as essential. I don’t want to read a story where the character does things just because they can. There has to be a reason. An author once said that every single character in your story should have motivation, even if it’s just the man having a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper at the coffee shop where your MC work. Even the woman your MC brushes shoulders with as she runs away from who’s chasing her. What is your characters’ motivation?
Do you have your setting in place?
I’ve had a full rejected simply because the editor couldn’t get a decent grip on my setting, so I know how important it is. Setting is an entire character on its own, and I think we sometimes forget how important a role it plays in the stories we tell. We take it for granted. Do you have a clear view of where your story takes place? You can have so much fun with this, get your characters into a lot more trouble by using the setting.
That’s all I’m throwing at you right now. Those are the big things. The smaller ones you can figure out as you go. There’s still a few hours left for you to figure out the last few details to try and make this writing month as painless as possible.
From all of us here at Hugs and Chocolate, we want to wish you the best of luck with November’s writing endeavors. We can’t wait to hear how you’re getting along. We’ll have check ins, so look out for that. We want to know how you guys are doing.
Update: With 8 hours to go(for me and my futureness) I’ve changed my mind and decided to do NaNo. Because there’s nothing like a hint of madness to start the month of November with.