NaNoWriMo is coming up and clearly, writerly types all across ye olde internets are all a flutter about it. The first I heard of it was back in 2006 when I got the No Plot No Problem companion book that the National Novel Writing people put out. I was freshly laid off so it sounded like an awesome idea. I rocked it in January what since I didn’t want to wait around until the official date.
Started strong out the gate, but not so much after Act One.
That’s one of the biggest problems I have been working through in general. What goes on after Act One has bogged me down many times. The opening and the scenario swirl around in my noggin over and over, but then I find I’ve used up all my great noodling on that and not the movement I need.
So how have I worked on my Act One problems?
A lot more structure than the typical NaNoWriMo throw down.
Everyone writes differently and I am very much not a seat of the pants writer. I wish I could be, but my stabs at NaNoWriMo are how I found this out. I got through 22k of a formless modern magic thing involving a bartender and the illegitimate heiress to the Brazilian Imperial Throne. I got lost and didn’t know where I was going with it and it fizzled out. When I write now, I’ve latched onto something I just now decided I am calling an evolving outline. I have a detailed outline only for the chapter or two that I am currently working on and leave the rest of the outline as broad strokes. It leaves me a lot of wiggle room in my outline so the story can go in the direction it needs do rather than get shoehorned into an idea I came up with at the start. The outlines actually change a lot and my notebook gets pages X’d out with “Out of date” scrawled across it fairly often.
Anyways. I didn’t start typing tonight to ramble about my outline methods. Yeah. Back to NaNoWriMo.
Am I doing it? No.
I’m participating in NaFiTFuThiMo.
That’s National Finish The Fucking Thing Month.
Why? Well, first I want to finish one thing before I start the next. Second, I have an infant at home so my free time gets limited. Plus, you know, that whole mortgage thing. I think when the kiddo is older and on a proper routine, I will one day make the proper prep and take the time to do it.
But my self imposed deadline for finishing Amity is December 4. Finishing this is going to be my birthday present for myself. It’s still reasonable 36 days out. I have one act left of my novel to go. It’s hard to nail down the word count since I use dead trees and ink, but my estimate is that Amity is around 45k. I think by the time I finish it is going to be around 65-70k for the first draft. So figure I have 25k left to go. That’s half of a NaNoWriMo title. Math tells me that’s 695 words a day which is all of three and a half handwritten pages.
Saying all this out loud is bringing on the agida but you know… motivation in the form of a kick to the pants.
So yeah. NaFiTFuThiMo. That’s what I’ll be doing during November.