Monday, October 22, 2012

Planning - Day 6 (NaNoWriMo - ONLY!)


I'm splitting up the post today, even though both of these will concentrate on writing, I think it will be a bit easier for you lovelies if I take my VERY special NaNoWri30DaYoChMo and cut it in two.

(And if you like reading about NaNoWri30DaYoChMo as a whole, you can always read both)

so... NaNoWriMo!! It's only 9 days away. This single digit can make you nervous or excited! (or both) You can sit online reading about what to do - which isn't necessarily a bad thing - or you maybe you have your own action planned lined up and waiting to go. 

In the past I can't say I did either. I guess I'm more of the "fly by the seat of my pants" kinda gal. Which, in my writing life, has led to many unfinished projects. 

I think in the creative world, sometimes we hear the word "planning" and a montage of city workers in suits dance before our eyes. How can we be expected to be creative when we have pre-plan our work? But the truth is, planning HELPS you be more creative. Once you have the bones of your story all laid out, you can then use ALL of November's 30 days to creatively build muscle, fat, flesh and skin around them.

You won't have to stop and think, "So where should she go next?" or "Why would he do that?"

You know - because you've sat down and wrote up character sheets. You know everything there is to know about every character (even the ones who will act no more than a piece of furniture). These are your best friends, your lovers, your family members and you know EVERYTHING about thing. (Even all those foul little things you wish they never had shared. You know them that well.)

You know what's next because you have a map. Point A to point B and that will take you over to point C and then back to B (due to confusion) but this time you'll shoot straight to D - so on and so forth. 

Other ways to bone up for NaNo, or your writing life in general, are instructional books.  Check out the "Write Great Fiction" series, which breaks down the writing process, illuminating each part in its own book. Or the classic, "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott. Head to your local library or book store and plop yourself in front of the writing section and see which of these texts speak to you. If you find one that does, bring it home and set it next to your computer on the days you write. Now you have a little pep talk within arms reach.

In the end, when you're ready, you'll know, but I think the biggest thing to always remember about this pending Everest we will be climbing in just a wee 9 days is to have fun. When you're having fun, you can do the task at hand longer and better. Remember that yes, this is a contest, but try to make it be a challenge with yourself. Don't go out there to do anything more than to write that story that is in your heart.

You will be surprised at all the wonderful things that will come out of you when you're not trying to impress anyone, even yourself. Write what you want to read, and enjoy every second of it.

9 days and counting!! 

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