WriYe and NaNoWriMo

Ha, the title makes me laugh, because I came to WriYe (it was NaNoWriYe back then), oh so many years ago, through NaNoWriMo.

(As an aside, the third Writers’ Motivation book is up for pre-order now.)

This is actually October’s prompt, but it didn’t get posted in time for me to actually do it in October, but we’re here now.

To NaNoWriMo or not to NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?

No one is surprised that it is a Nano-themed question. Nano kind of invades everything remotely writing-related, come October. I’ve been doing Nano for so long–if I had done it straight through, this would be my 17th year–that sometimes I still remember it as this tiny thing of a few thousand people and then am eternally surprised at its reach.

But, to actually answer the question, this year, YES, to Nano. But not always. I think, maybe, if I were still in the hobby writing phase, then it makes more sense to do it every year. But now it doesn’t always make sense, not if I’m on a deadline for another project, or focusing elsewhere. And there is something to be said about having too many first drafts floating around.

But it’s been five years since I’ve done Nano, most of my first drafts have either been second or third drafted, or even published, and there’s only so much revision you can do in a row before you want to light things on fire.

If you participate, what type of prep do you do before the start? Are you excited for this year?

I am excited, because it’s been so long (and I do have fond memories of it, and I’ve met some wonderful friends at write-ins over the years) and (because it’s actually November) it’s still week one, which traditionally is when everyone is still very upbeat about the whole endeavor, and where it’s still feasible to come from behind if you’re dragging.

I don’t do a ton of prep-work, which I think I’ve talked about before. Well, I mean, I do and I don’t. This year’s story takes place primarily on an ocean-faring ship, so five years ago when I first developed this idea I did a ton of research on ships–how big it needed to be for an ocean voyage, how many people would crew it, what technology would be available at various equivalent time periods (it’s fantasy, so, I mean, I can take some liberty, but it’s good to have a starting point). That took a while at the time, but it did mean I didn’t need to do it now.

Plot wise I went through the new Nano Prep program they put out this year, to see what I thought of it, and did the plotting method (out of 5) it recommended to me. I normally work off of 12 plot points/sections (6 acts, each ended by a plot point), and Nano recommended a 9-point system based on the Hero’s Journey. Not sure what I think of it yet. I kind of wish it had percentages, cuz my pacing is bad and I tend to bunch plot points if left to my own devices.

I also did character arcs for my three main characters and two side characters, and then promptly had another character who I did not plan for show up and make himself at home once I started writing, so debating on whether to go back and do one for him as well.

So, that’s me! General plot and character arc shapes, and then I let the rest fill itself in.

How is your November going, squiders? Are you Nanoing? Other big plans for the month if not?

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