Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaNoWriNo 2007

Forgive me father, it has been two years since my last NaNo failure ...

Yes, folks, it's that time of the year again. I have signed up to write 50,000 words during the course of November. If you dig through the entrails of this blog, you might come across the train wreck of a story I attempted in 2005. This time it will be better. I know this.

Actually, when I started on my mad endeavour to become a published author earlier this year, I decided that it would be a good idea to work on a book which didn't have great prospects - a sort of learning-to-write book where I could make all my mistakes and learn from them. The plan was that my second book would be the one I'd send out to agents and the like. So I chose to resurrect my NaNo 05 plot for the first book.

After working on that book, on-and-off (though more off than on), over the last 9 months it turns out that my original plan was stupid in the extreme. So far I have written (and re-written: I like to edit as I write) 49,000 rather good words and I reckon I only need another 50,000 to finish the book. So instead of writing an entirely new NaNo this year, I've decided to finish the first draft of my first book by 30 November.

I've learned a lot about writing this year (and I still have plenty more to learn). Possibly the most important thing I've learned is not to over-plan the story before I write it: it only leads to authorial depression when the characters decide to ignore the plotlines and story arcs in favour of doing their own thing. I know how I want this book to end, and I know which characters I want to survive to the last page; I am utterly clueless about how they (and I) get from the wedding ceremony I've just finished writing to a point where the survivors of the deadly plague and the city fires and the slave revolt and the crashing of empires reach a place of safety.

As they say on the NaNo website: No plot? No worries!

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