Last November was one of the best months of the year. Why? Because I got a chance to do NaNoWriMo for the first time. This gave me the opportunity to:
- Meet other writers
- Write a novel that can/would be published the following year
- Realize that 50,000 words in 30 days is possible
I have seen a few questions float around the web and other platform asking questions on Nanowrimo and although I believe the best place for answers is the actual website (www.nanowrimo.org) I wanted to post some Q & A’s here as NaNoWriMo is almost here.
Q1: Can I start writing my novel before November 1st?
A: Absolutely Not. I’ve seen this question more than once and I get it. You’re excited about doing your first novel or you want to get a few words down so you can make it to 50K at the end of November. As understandable as this is, you have to remember that the goal here is to see if you are able to write within a time frame. Starting before that time doesn’t do anything for you as far as giving you that sweet sweet satisfaction of being able to juggle your everyday life with your everyday passion.
Q2: What can I write about?
A: Do you like fantasy? Romance? Young Adult (YA)? History? Memoirs? Fanfiction? Poetry? Everything? Well, write what you like. I myself love Romance and YA and although for NaNo I have choosen to write romance I still might dabble into YA. Only one has to reach 50K unless I want to push through and do two novels at once.
Q3: Should I create an outline or no?
A: Another question that has crossed different platforms. This is considered plotter vs pantsing. Plotting is where you do an outline, draw scenes, basically have every bit (or just about) of your story planned from that first sword fight, first kiss, first argument etc. You know what’s going to happen because you planned it that way. Pantsing is the opposite. You fly by the seat of your pants. You may have an idea of your story but you want to just sit at the computer and let the creative juices flow. Whatever happens, happens. I can’t say which one is better because we all have our own way of doing things. Just find whatever fits you.
Q4: 50K words a month? That’s impossible
A: I will answer this question with a question. Why is it impossible? You may say because 50,000 (yes, I wanted to add the zeros this time.) is too many words but if you break it down it really is 1,667 words a day. I get it. You have a hectic day. Work. School. Children. It’s hard to find time to write but to be honest, that’s not true either. You can find time to write at any time. At work, jot down on a post it note. Out with kids or others, use your cell phone to quickly add a word or two. Remember, a word here and there can eventually lead you toward your goal.
Q5: When is being too prepared too much?
A: I’ve seen this question once or twice and quite honestly as a plotter I am always over prepared but that just comes with being a plotter. To me, you can never be too prepared. You want to at least have a general idea of the genre you want to write, perhaps you can see what the character looks like in your mind but you don’t have a name for them yet or maybe you can see the end of the story but not so much the beginning. All of that is okay. As long as you know something about your upcoming work then that’s what matters, at least to me.
Have any questions you’d like to ask or like any of the ones I gave above? Let me know. Everything above is my own opinion and is in no way the words of Nanowrimo. Agree. Disagree. Be indifferent. Either way we all have one thing in common and that’s our love of national novel writing month.