It’s almost November! And you know what that means? NaNoWriMo 2014!
NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is only a few days away and I’m itching to get started. I had two ideas in mind for this month’s project.
1. “Sweetie” is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel set in Depression-Era Baltimore.
2. “Buyer Beware” tells the story of a self-centered middle school boy finds an old iPod at a flea market that gives him the ability to hear people’s thoughts.
I asked my kids and they voted unanimously for Story Idea #2. Which one would you like to read?
How will I prepare?
Once I’ve settled on my project idea, I’ll work off an outline. I’ve already laid out the basic 15 beats for Buyer Beware based on what I learned from the wonderful Save the Cat workshop presented by novelist Jessica Brody. So that pre-work is done. If I go with Sweetie, I’ll have to take the time in the next few days to lay out those 15 beats.
Preparation also includes clearing my calendar of all unnecessary lunch and coffee dates, setting times for workouts that don’t interrupt the whole day, and making sure that I note which days I have to go over the recommended daily word count. We will be traveling in November and I’m attending the WPA SCBWI conference this month, so there will be several days when it will be really hard to hit my word count goals.
What’s my plan?
I’d like to hit 2,000 words a day in the first two weeks. That means “BICFOK” or “butt in chair, fingers on keys” will be my mantra. I’ll shove that inner editor aside and work to tell the story. I’ll rely on dialogue a lot, because that tends to be my strong point. I’ll also see if I can add in some character-development scenes, setting description scenes, and work to include sensory information that I often leave out of first drafts. I’m not trying to do these things just for word count but also to strengthen my first drafts and think about including elements that make a good story right from the beginning.