Monday, October 19, 2009

First Drafts

With November being only a couple weeks away, many writers are preparing for NaNoWriMo.
Two years ago, I met the 50,000 words while taking the challenge, but last year I didn't even come close. I'm not sure why that is, but I suspect it was because my heart wasn't into it last year.

What I love, though, about NaNoWriMo is the opportunity to run with a first draft in a single wonderful swoop of a month. There is nothing better than getting a full story down in a relatively short period of time. It does mean doing some preparation, though, to make it really happen.

If you're a SOTP writer, you basically prepare your story in your head. You feel your main characters out. You figure out the main plot points and a few twists that you want to incorporate. And you know your story setting.

If you're a Planner/plotster writer, then you are probably filling pages of a binder with research notes, a full character sketch of each of your main characters at least, a detailed plot layout, and you might even have some pictures in that wonderful resource binder too. You may even go as far as a scene by scene layout. Oh, imagine how easy writing a full novel in one month would be with all that preparation. I'd be in my glory. But, unfortunately, I'm more of a SOTP type writer which leads to endless rewrites, I'm discovering. (More about that on Wednesday.)

So, if you're joining in on the NaNoWriMo challenge in a couple weeks, what are you doing now to give yourself the best chance at meeting your goal? If you're not taking the challenge, what other goal are you going to give yourself for the month of November in the writing arena of your life?


Surrendering to Him,

Eileen

30 comments:

Heather Sunseri said...

Yeah, I'm rewriting now, and I'm doing a lot of planning before I do my rewrite. I want this rewrite to be as close to the end story as possible.

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Eileen,
I'll be cheering for you! Are you planning to finish the book you're on? Or will you be starting a completely new one?

I think it would be really fun to try to challenge myself to write a book in a month, but I think I'd kill myself and neglect my family more than I already do! Maybe some year I'll be able to tackle it! But for the next couple of months I have to focus on my rewrites.

Have a great day!

Tabitha Bird said...

My goal is to be happy with the first five pages of my MS by the end of Nov. I have already written the book, but the first five pages are killing me softly!!!

VR Barkowski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
VR Barkowski said...

I'm beginning a brand new project for NaNoWriMo. It has a historical component, so I'm presently researching Vichy France. My *real* goal for NaNo is to learn to write without constant interference from my internal editor (she is an absolute tyrant).

Janna Qualman said...

Best to you, Eileen! Instead of NaNo for me, I'm going to do my best to crank out what remains of my current WIP. It's priority!

Faith said...

I'm doing NaNoWriMo... and I'm very behind on my planning!!! I have bare bones sketches of my characters, but I still haven't quite figured out what the *point* of the novel is... which, I hear, is pretty important. Heh. Oh well... I have 2 weeks to get it down. Good luck with your own preparations!

Joanne said...

I've never done the NaNoWriMo challenge, but love hearing the progress, success, angst, and fun of the the bloggers who do. My goal for November is to be a cheerleader to you all :)

Anna said...

I need to get some plotting done, but am a BIG NANO'er...

Happy soon to be November!!

Natalie said...

I'm an SOTP usually but I am going to try to do a little outlining for NaNoWriMo. But it hasn't happened yet and might not before November.

Erica Vetsch said...

I'm one of those scene by scene planners. I've got post-it notes and character ideas, and the plot board is in full swing.

Anxious for NaNo to start, but I have so much work to do before then!

Diane said...

I think we have to do whatever is the season we are currently in. If my heart isn't in something it will probably come out lousy anyways. :O)

Georgiana said...

It'll be fun! You have to be my buddy, though I'm not sure how to do it on the website. As for me, I'm slowly plotting. I have the story and characters pretty well fleshed out, but the chapter by chapter is coming like a dribble from a faucet.

Ava Walker Jenkins said...

I never even knew there was such a thing as NaNoWriMo until last week. Very cool idea but not sure I can commit this time around. (Having to take an online training course for work instead.) But I will be cheering you on and waiting to see the progress.

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm trying to finish my revisions on my current WIP, so that I can focus fully on NaNo. I'm also doing a little planning in my head, but not much because I'm a panster too.

Rebecca Nazar said...

I have a general idea in my head; but, for the most part, I'm just gonna go with the flooowwww and try not to self-edit, a horrible condition of mine

Jessica said...

Great advice about Nano! I just looked at your word meter and WoW! You're doing awesome. :-)

I'm not doing nano because I don't know if that would be physically possible for me. LOL But maybe someday, when the kids are in school or something.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I'm not doing Nano because I'm already nutso, that would nail it for me. My goal for Nov. is to smile.

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm not doing NaNo, but I'm cheering for everyone who does! I'm halfway through a first draft and plan on finishing it in the next three weeks. Good luck!

quietspirit said...

Eileen:
I have too may things going on in November. I am going to writing conference,our wedding anniversary is two days after the conference. Thanksgiving, I am helping produce a Christmas play at church with the Drama Ministry. Plus, I do a newsletter for a faith-based non-profit. Then my blog. I don't think I can squeeze in anything else. But I will be interested in what you do.

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm a pants-er, as they call it! I do this all the time. I get an idea, it brews for a while, then at a designated time I just start writing and it all turns into something. Okay, sometimes it goes nowhere, so I can only hope on a month as important as November that I don't write 10,000 words and realize I have a book for the recycle bin!

Tamara (TC) Staples said...

I completed NaNo last year having done all the prep work as far as outline, character sketches and research. This year I am going to go more SOTP and see what happens. I am feeling a bit like I don't have a safety net but I am also excited to discover the story as I write.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I'm not doing Nanowrimo, but I'm blasting out my second manuscript at 10,000 words per week. So far, I'm meeting my goal. If I get a job within that timeframe, my word count will drop.

Like you, I'm a pantser. A 50,000 word manuscript in November isn't feasible with Thanksgiving coming up. Why don't they do these things in February or March?

Blessings,
Susan :)

Shelli said...

set a daily goal

Katie Ganshert said...

I'm not truly participating, but I am going to tag along a bit. I'm hoping to pound out some serious wordage in November. :)

Journaling Woman said...

I am getting out that outlined book in notebook form (yes I am a planner/plotster) that I spent weeks researching and gathering info on and work on it again. I laid it down and didn't pick it back up.

thanks for inspiration.

Need More Words said...

This is my second year doing NANO. Last year I put out over 80,000 words. A lot was junk, but you are told not to edit so I didn't.
This year I am shaking about doing this. Last year I was kind of dumb and stupid as to what it would take so it was kind of fun. I am a SOTP writer and I only have a vague idea of what I will be writing. I think I have the ending, now I just need to know a good start and then fill in the rest. Sounds easy.
Diane

Terri Tiffany said...

I love seeing what people are doing with this challenge. I'm not sure I'm ready to take it on though quite yet!

Regina Milton said...

Great questions. I am planning out the novel's plot points. It is a sequel so I already know most of the characters. I used to think NaNoWriMo was crazy until I found out about the 3-Day Novel Contest and completed it. Now I'm truly excited about the month of November.

Suko said...

What a lovely blog you have!

I hope you and your readers will stop by my blog. Author Linda Weaver Clarke is giving away a book (Christian romance/historical fiction).