Plantser’s Preptober

This year I am dipping my toes into the NaNoWriMo pool for the first time.

Listening to podcasts and authortubers (Joanna Penn, Kristen Kieffer, and Alexa Donne to name a few) talk about their preparations for the most exciting and dreaded month of the year, I figured I needed to prepare in my way.

Since this is my first NaNoWrimo and I am not a 50000-word writer yet, my primary goal for this NaNoWriMo is to be productive and balance writing fiction and blogs.

My target is 20000 words in 30 days.

The word count will include both fiction and blog content. So 680 words a day is a realistic target for achieving that balance.

The next step is to outline the fiction that I will be writing next month. I tend to oscillate between plotting and pantsing. Sometimes I have too many ideas about what the character will do next that I don’t know which path to take. And sometimes I get too focused on the trees to notice the forest. So a few plot points would definitely help me write faster next month.

And most important of all is remember to value what I write.
No matter what it is that I write about – whether it is the monsters I create or the ones that go bump in the night in our favorite books – I will value every word I write. Now it won’t be all gold and most of it will be removed in editing. But every word counts.

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
― Margaret Atwood

7 Lessons from the King of Horror

1. Start your story

When we start writing any kind of fiction, we have an idea to begin with and not the entire picture.

2. Just Breathe

In the first draft, sometimes the scenes flow so fast on the page that it feels as natural as breathing.

3. Fire up your imagination

It is only when we explore a wide array of possibilities on the page, that we can create a story that gives solace to the readers.

4. Uncork the storm on page

The stories we finish in the final draft are clear and balanced. But in the first draft, they always begin with a chaotic storm of imagination.

5. Flesh out the characters

It is our characters’ actions that give us the next event as a reaction. Nothing moves without solid characters.

6. Persevere, not procrastinate

Researching for fiction is like falling down the rabbit hole. We are cascaded with a barrage of information. But most of it is irrelevant. In the end, the final draft will be a product of 90% imagination and 10% information.

7. Kill your darlings

Saying goodbye to well-written prose is hard. But sometimes even the most eloquent words slow the story and stall the reader’s interest. Learn to say goodbye to those words in the final draft.