Hello there Blog-land! J Monkeys here. Do you Nanowrimo? I’m Nanowrimo-ing this year – hard core! Aren’t familiar with Nano – check out their site. Or check out PJ’s blog from last week. Nano is a great (FREE!) program. I’ve been a Wrimo since 2008 and a winner at least twice. Of course, since doing the challenge has resulted in words on the page, I’m really a winner every time, but you know, they have rules…
So, for Nano 2012, I’m going to get all of my Saturday blog posts for the month of November done in advance. I’m trying to set myself up for success, that kind of thing. But before I get to the meat of Nanowrimo-ing Monkey Blog #1, let me tell you all my goal now, because like PJ, I’m often motivated by the fear of public humiliation. Between Nov 1 and November 30, I shall write 50,000 words in my current WIP. In fact, I’m hoping to hit closer to 60k. So that’s my goal. By the time this post goes live, it will be the 3rd of November. At a rate of 2000 words a day, I should have 4,000 words under my belt. Here’s what I’ve got: 4,587. Every Saturday for the month, I’ll let you know how far along I am and how things compare to the goal.
Today I’m going to tell you a little bit about my preparation for Nano. Bear in mind that I’m a plotter, not a pantser. Many people welcome Nov 1 with nothing more than a keyboard and a smile. That doesn’t work for me. I’d find myself on Nov 30 with about 10,000 words if I was lucky.
I’ve been working on a plot for 10 months or so and I’ve got my plot grid finished. I know the overview of the story. I know how it starts, what the turning points are and how I think it will end. Of course all of that is subject to change as things go along, but at least I have a plan.
I have a set of characters – protagonists and antagonists. I know a lot about them and what makes them tick. I know how the relationships between these folks are supposed to develop and the kind of personal growth I want for each of them. I know what they look like and I have little cards about each of them pinned to the corkboard in my office.
I know the setting for the story – I know when and where it takes place. I also know why it takes place there.
And finally, I understand the conflicts in the story. This one has a main conflict of Man vs Man and a Man vs Nature sub-conflict. With a little bit of Man vs Self for good measure. Nothing like covering all the bases, eh?
All that’s left is to write the story and believe it or not, for me, that’s the hard part. All of this earlier work is really my favorite part of the writing process – creating the people and building the essence of their story in my mind is what I really like. Pulling the sentences out of my brain, thinking as each character in turn, reacting the way she would – those are the hard parts. And that’s why Nanowrimo is so great for me. Lot’s of support and inspiration to get those sentences out.
Today’s secret: Nanowrimo – it’s not much of a secret, 300,000 people participated world-wide last year. But of 7 billion, that’s less than 5 hundredths of a percent of the population.
Today’s question: What have you found that helps you get your writing done?