‘Tis the season…to write 50,000 words.

It’s always around this time of year that I remember I have a blog, and I start posting with some regularity. So, if you don’t know or haven’t heard, NaNoWriMo is coming up soon. [That’s national novel writing month, even though it should be called international novel writing month since it has basically taken over the world.] During the month of November, writers take the world by storm and write 50,000 words. It sounds intense, and it is. When you break it down to a daily word goal of 1,667 words a day, it becomes much more manageable though. A 50,000 word story, for comparison sake, is roughly the length of “Of Mice and Men,” so it’s not a complete novel but it’s well on its way.

This year, I couldn’t really decide on which of the several ideas I’ve squirreled away that I’d want to do, so I’m going in alphabetical order. (I’m sure there are worse ways of going about it.)

My WIP is called “All the Pretty Girls.” I’d classify it as a YA thriller, but it has elements of mystery and magical realism thrown in too. I’m really excited about this, and I just need to take the time to plan it.

There are two camps in NaNo – planners and pantsers. Planners create an outline and stick to it. Pantsers fly by the seat of their pants and, essentially, wing it the whole month. I’m somewhere in between the two. I like to have a road map that shows the beginning, middle, and (to a lesser extent) the end as well as a list of characters and their major roles they play. But I don’t want to spend a lot of time planning 2654 scenes in advance – especially when I know that things tend to change while writing the actual story. (Besides, it feels too much like writing the story without having written it, and my mind just gets confused with that.)

This year, I’m going to try something a little different, and I’m going to move slightly closer to the planner camp. Because I have two small children and a limited time resource (maybe an hour or two a day, post midnight), I want to stay 2-3 scenes ahead of the story. On the first day, November 1, I will have my road map plus the first 3 scenes outlined. Before quitting that day’s session, I will add either 2 or 3 more scenes to tackle the next day. What I’m trying to avoid is sitting around wondering what the heck to write while I’m losing precious time. I’ll see how this new system will work. If anything, I’ll learn something new about my writing process. All through November, I’ll be documenting this journey of writing 50,000 words on here. I hope you join me in this literary endeavor!

If you haven’t signed up, do so here. [If you want to follow me on there and track me in real time, find me here.]

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