I'm starting to slightly freak out now. Last year I had about 4 posts written by this time. I've been quite busy with all sorts of things up to this point, though stuff is slightly changing around now. I've been doing quite a lot of university work for the past 2 weeks, now I need to start concentrating more on NaNo.
First, a flashback. Last year I wrote some useful posts so I'll be quickly reading them over to see if I need to repeat something.
My October 8 post from last year talks about the dreaded wordcounts and how to make sure you don't have a deficit of about 300 to 1000 words at the moment you upload. Check your work on time so you can make sure that both the NaNo counter and your own counter show that you have indeed won. Wouldn't want to end up having 200 too little at 11 o'clock on November 30, now would you? Check out the post here: NaNo 2011, Post 3, 23 days to go!
On October 10 I wrote a more substantial post. All about plotting and outlining. I show two methods (Notecarding by Holly Lisle and 9 grid plan by ?? ) and how even though I tried them they didn't work. The next part is more about how I normally plan my work, with an example of Black Sheep. I'm not sure what I was on that day, but I must have been having a lot of fun writing it, cause some of the stuff I say... Anyway, it shows different ways of outlining and might be useful to some people who think about how to plot. NaNo 2011, Post 4, 21 days to go!
I then talk more about how I plan where my main plot points go in my last post before NaNo: NaNo 2011, Post 6, 2 days to go!
Looking back to those posts makes me feel slightly lacking this year, I was so busy with planning and the language I use... so grown up and professional (for me anyway). I'm nowhere near as confident this year. Largely because I'm actually not planning a lot, I've been working on university stuff mostly and doing some other things on the side. Though today I looked at my calendar and sort of freaked out... Sort of... A lot.
I feel like I should be way more ahead for NaNo than I really am at this moment, I feel like I should have at least some planning done (not that I haven't done anything, it's just that it's not really planned). The problem for me this year is something I haven't thought of before.
I don't know how the genre works structurally. I've never before written a romance story.
Black Sheep's outline wasn't too hard for me because I already knew a couple of things that had to happen, they were main story points. For Disturbed Fate this was slightly more complicated but still, I knew what I wanted to happen and made it happen. I had a couple of points, I put them on the page and then linked them. Both of them are quite dark stories, though Black Sheep more than Disturbed Fate. This story is not planned to be like either of them. Yes they have gay characters, yes they will kiss, but as far as I know, there is where the comparison ends between the three stories.
So the plans for this year are simple, my story will have these elements:
- Gay characters
No actually those two are the only two things I've come up with, not much, I'm totally aware of that. I have a couple of scenes I'm really keen on putting in it and I've got the global story down. It will take place in the same world as Disturbed Fate, which is partly why I haven't finished my work on that story. I'm changing some of the "rules" for this story and will have to work those back into Disturbed Fate.
The plus point is that this story has less story arches and sub stories and all the other things that are always so hard to plan. If I'm right I should be able to use more standard methods of outlining this time around. Which might turn into some blog posts. It's harder to spoil the story when working on a romance story in comparison to Black Sheep or Disturbed Fate, which were both not based on standard story forms.
The downside for me right now is that I'm having a hard time figuring out how a love story technically works. I've read quite a couple of them in the last few months, but I feel like I'm missing HOW they work. I can't seem to get a decent grasp on how those stories are actually planned.
Which is what I'll be working on in the next week or so as I'm winding down to finishing most first drafts of my uni work.
So, adding a couple of tips for NaNo-ers, some you might know or already do.
- Fill out your NaNo profile on the website, you can now add your book. Also don't forget to check out the forum of your local NaNo group and get to know the people that write in the same genre as you do. This is where the fun begins.
- Check out the dares and adoption fora. I actually took a scene to put in my story from a dare, and I thought it would perfectly make for the tension I need at a few points. Not only is it good to do if you're stuck, but even if your planning is going well, the adoptions forum or the dares might spark an idea to make the story even BETTER.
- Get your writing program ready and have your back-up options available. This is good to do up front as it means you won't have to go trough some of the hassle when you actually start NaNo. Take special care to make sure you have a back-up system so when your computer crashes or anything you don't lose all your work.
- Make sure people know you're doing NaNo so they don't expect you to come out with them every night or something and are annoyed when you can't. This also means for some people making sure they have enough food in the house for the days they can't be bothered to cook and things like that. NaNo can take a lot out of you, don't make it worse by not planning right.
Most of all though: ENJOY THE PREPARATION FUN. If you're not preparing you will curse yourself later on and if you're not enjoying the preparations you might not be doing something right.
So now I'm off checking out the NaNo template for Scrivener, which they have up on their website: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/nanowrimo.php