Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Preparing to Write

Erica Here:

I am a plotter. A planner. A preparer.

In a little over three weeks, NaNoWriMo will begin. National Novel Writing Month, the month when thousands of quasi-insane people attempt to write at least fifty-thousand words in one month. That's 1667 words per day for 30 days.

Some writers just dive in with hardly any idea what they will write about. With playful abandon, they cannonball into a fictional world and write away.

This is NOT how I work. In order to write 50K words in one month, I need to plot, plan, and prepare.

First: The Plot.

I use my trusty Plot Board. You can read about my plot board adventures HERE. I decide what the story is about and the people who will populate it.

Second: The Plan. 

Once I have the plot board full, I write a synopsis as detailed as I can. I choose character archetypes and flesh out my characters' personalities. I cover the story goals of the characters, the setting, the major turning points, and the happily-ever-after. I break the story down into chapters and scenes.

Third: The Preparation.

Once all the chapters and scenes and character archetypes and setting details and research are all done, it's time to get mentally prepared for the marathon month of November. I clear my schedule as much as possible. I begin daydreaming about the story, thinking about it whenever I can, envisioning the details, letting the story percolate in the back of my mind. I fall asleep thinking about the characters and wake up thinking about them. I skim through craft books, start reading the NaNo forums, and psych myself up to begin writing.

NaNo is exhilarating and exciting and a wild ride. I have participated several times, and each time I learn something new about my writing and myself.

Have you ever tried NaNoWriMo? Have you ever tried writing a novel? How do you prepare for a big task?

Erica Vetsch:
Executive Assistant
Earl Grey Aficionado 
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  1. I'm betting you reach your 50,00 words with such planning, Erica - bravo!! That's why you have written so many wonderful books for us to enjoy. Discipline and planning.

    No, I've never written a novel, nor have I entered NaNoWriMo - but I probably should have more discipline in my life. You, and numerous other Christian Fiction are an inspiration.

    1. Ah, Bonnie, you are the inspiration! I love your heart for authors. :)

  2. I've never participated, but I'll be doing NaNoWriMo this year!!

    1. Yay! Find me on the NaNoWriMo site so we can be writing buddies and encourage each other along the way!


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