NaNoWriMo – Getting READY…

The final countdown to NaNoWriMo begins — “just three more sleeps”, as my family would say when awaiting the arrival of a much-anticipated event. Am I ready?

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TypingTotemI’ve dusted off another of my writing totems that will remind me of the book I want to write and the typing that is necessary for its creation. Other than that, I’m heading into November 1st armed with a carton of Diet Coke, a fresh bag of coffee beans, a poorly developed plot plan and great expectations.

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Chris Baty, founder of National Novel Writing Month, has written No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. In it he suggests a bit of “limited planning” is desirable but “overplanning” is dangerous.

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“Past a certain point, novel planning just becomes another excuse to put off novel writing. You will never feel sufficiently ready to jump into your novel, and the more time you spend planning and researching, the more likely you’ll feel pressure to pull off a masterwork that justifies all your prewriting work.”*

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Well, no worry about that! There’s no overplanning here, just a basic plot and a couple fog-enshrouded characters in mind. But with his voice of experience Chris also says, “I’ve learned you’re allowed to begin a novel simply by turning on the nearest  computer and typing. You don’t need to do research; you don’t need to understand anything about your characters or plan out your setting. It’s fine to just start.”*

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He’s right. NaNoWriMo is touted to be “Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon”. So yes, I’m ready. Are you?

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[* Chris Baty is the founder of NaNoWriMo and has organized the November writing frenzy every year since 1999.]

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2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo – Getting READY…

  1. Iapetus999 says:

    I’m not completely convinced of that. This is my first NaNo where I’m planned the whole thing…but I’m working with a specific structure with plot points blah blah. Now the plot points can change in composition, but not in position or intensity.
    However, since I haven’t done this “plotting” goes, I’m going to see how much I deviate from the planned plot. Should be interesting.

    • I would think that what constitutes overplanning to one person could be something different to someone else but what I like about Baty’s comments is that they offer encouragement to those who hesitate to participate because they don’t feel ready to write a novel.

      You sound wonderfully prepared, Andrew! And if you’re enthused about your story I’ll bet you’ll be out of the gate and running full speed on Sunday. Good luck to you. Keep in touch and let me know how you’re doing. I’m Wildwood Gal.

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