I’ve decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) this year. I didn’t participate last year because I was in the middle of moving from House A to House B. I could barely tell you my name let alone come up with an idea for a novel. But this year I’m reviving an old project that has been niggling at the back of my mind off and on for the past year. So it must be time to revisit it. I’ve already signed up at the NaNoWriMo site, announced my project, visited the forums and generally gotten re-acquainted with the Plot 101 process.
Plan for Success
Now that the basics are in place, I want to do some planning and character sketches. I have some “people” in mind (I call it “casting” LOL). I know what the crime is and who did it. But there are holes you could drive a tank through right now. So I’m going to take a suggestion from one of my favorite authors, Hank Phillippi Ryan.
I can only do so much planning, however. Unless I sit down, put butt in chair and fingers on keyboard, and actually WRITE SOMETHING, the story will never materialize. When I’ve done NaNoWriMo in the past, I’ve given myself permission to not only write crap, but to brainstorm along the way. It’s amazing what shows up when I just start “what-iffing” and let the scene materialize. No judgement. No editing. That is actually the great gift – at least for me – of NaNoWriMo. Just sit down and write a minimum of 1,367 words every day for 30 days in a row. Don’t worry about what shows up on the page.
A number of well-known and published writers have claimed the quote “You can’t edit a blank page.” I don’t care who said it first or last. I just repeat it to myself as inspiration to keep writing no matter what. I can do the fixing, editing, revising when I have something to fix, edit or revise. 🙂