Friday, August 8, 2008

The countdown begins

Less than three months lie between now and the world's biggest writing frenzy - National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as Nano (or "the month I stop existing in a conscious state"). The question is, since you can't officially write until the fated first day of November, what are you going to do for these remaining months of sanity?

Tie up loose ends: Several of the Tri Mus are working to finish up writing projects they started long ago. Kalayna has been working through a full rewrite of last year's Nano manuscript. Vikki is, as she announced in her recent post, trying to finish her work in progress before the Olympics are over in two weeks. Also, someone really ought to tie up the old Pass the Plot we had going...

Plot: I'm going to work on this one. I have several tools in my arsenal, including the fantastic tools from
Advanced Fiction Writing. The "Snowflake Method" has helped me in the past and I am definitely going to utilize the principles in "Writing the Perfect Scene" for plotting this Nano. I have never plotted a novel before - I usually fly by the seat of my pants (it's called being a pantser in Nano terminology). After pantsing my way through two Nanos only to realize I have no plot whatsoever, I think it's time to graduate tothe world of preplotting.

Develop Characters: This goes well beyond the basic physical characteristics for me. I have spreadsheets that list things like mental ability, character arc, motivation, worst fear, etc. I personally love personality tests. I like to get in my character's head and answer the questions for him or her. Not only do I discover what my character's Myer-Briggs code is, but I also learn something about how he or she react to circumstances by paying attention to the questions themselves. For online (free) tests,
Similar Minds is my favorite site. They have a bunch of different types of tests. Aslo, to determine your character's Hogwarts House (which could be interesting even if you're not writing fan fiction) go to Personality Lab's House Sorting Test for a very detailed exam.

Skive off: Another great way to spend the three months until Nano is to ignore it completely! There are plenty of things to do if you plan to wait until October 31 to start thinking about your novel. Here are a few suggestions: blog, knit a sweater, bake a pie, go skydiving, rope cattle, find the cure for cancer, learn Mandarin Chinese, scale Everest, etc. Be creative with your procrastination. I mean, come on, Nano is three months away!

So, how are you going to spend your countdown?

1 comment:

haricot vert said...

on the writing front, i'll be doing research, and hopefully some character development.'d be nice if i could get some editing done, but i'll be satisfied if i can get the two items above squared away.