With NaNoWriMo fast approaching, I am trying to plan out a new story so I have lots of writing fodder to meet the 1,667 words-per-day goal. Just looking at that number doesn’t seem that hard to do, but I’ve done NaNo a couple times. Did it once to finish a manuscript that I now has just sat. Another time, I got to 35,000. This time I want to start a new one.
In a very timely fashion, I got an email recently about screen plays and another from the Save the Cat lady. I thought, awesome, I’ll take those mini courses for motivation and to foment ideas. Then life interrupted and nothing happened. Now, NaNo starts on Sunday and I don’t have lots of fodder or creative juices flowing.
But there is still time and I would really like to do it this year so I’m going to do those two mini courses between now and Saturday (I swear). And I’ll come up with the basics: a main character and a problem facing that character. Then write down the scene ideas for the character and the problem. This is often how I start. Although, I tend to start more the main character’s goal, and then have difficulty with the conflict lock. I don’t usually do a full plot outline in the early stages (could be why I have a conflict lock problem). I tend to just start writing and then have to do the outline later when I’m figuring out where I am and where I’m going.
Here is a quote from author Ken Follett describing his process: “I rewrite the outline – and this may happen several times. Typically there will be a first draft outline, a second draft outline and a final outline, so it would twice go through the process of being shown to a number of people. The whole process of coming up with idea, fleshing it out, doing the research, drafting the outline and rewriting the outline comes to about a year all told. There are quite often a couple of false starts within this. I may spend a month working on an idea before I realize that it isn’t going to work and abandon it. But after this whole process, I’m ready to write the first draft.”
Looks like Follett is a planner/plotter, too. Where are all the pantsers? Are any of you folks getting ready to NaNo?