Scheming words and plotting NaNoWriMo

Let me tell you a little tale about NaNoWriMo.

This is my second year, but last year, I started a week late. I had heard of National Novel Writing Month before, but not planned to participate, ever. For those not in the know, it’s an internet challenge where you write a novel during November whilst having as much fun as humanly possible.

I thought I was a ‚real‘ old school European writer, and this was something for the American Way of Fast Food and Decadence. Girl was I wrong.

I suffered from depression last November and decided to do this silly, frivolous thing to cheer myself up, also because I thought I could trick myself into writing a ‚real‘ novel after writing 50.000 words worth of ‚drivel‘.
So I started NaNoWriMo 2010 on the seventh of November.

Okay, tale’s over. Now comes the advice I can give.

Fist off, losing a week, yes a whole seven days, is no reason to despair. I wrote 50.000 words of fine if disjointed prose that month, and finished on time.

Second, NaNo is worth every minute of it. You get to spend a whole month fretting over words! It’s so much fun you won‘t even notice the rich golden prose amongst all the purple you create to reach your daily goal of 1667 words. But once the month is over and you let it all simmer on your hard drive for a few weeks, you will notice all the gold nuggets.

You have to filter out all the purple, but it’s worth it. Trust me on this.

My peculular ways of NaNo.

So I started on the seventh, without any semblance of plot or story idea or characters. I deliberately wiped the plate clean because I didn‘t want to ’soil‘ any of my ’serious‘ endeavours.

Nice try. Only means I have one more book to write in my life.

I have written since I was fourteen and have a pretty solid, strong voice. So my actual prose was satisfactorily and to my joy, only the plot… I have always struggled with plot, and telling myself to do something deliberately whacky and nonsensical didn‘t help. I started with the silliest premise I could come up with – My hero_ines‘ super power is the ability to see purple in a world where no one else can.

This shot me in the knee, but that is another story and shall be told another time.

Eventually I realised that I needed a solid plot in order for my writing to work. You may be a pantser and not need one; I‘m a heavy plotter, and I do. I struggled to inject some sense into the utterishness of my premise, and pravely worked on.

Next up: How the tale continues during NaNo 2011!!