My NaNoWriMo Journey

NaNoWriMo 2011 will be my first attempt at writing a full length novel.  For anyone not familiar, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November each year.  Find out more about it here.

The thing is, NaNoWriMo only has a 50,000 word target.  My extensive research suggests the average book is between 90,000 and 120,000 words, so here is my own little plan:

  • Aim for 70,000 words for my first draft
  • Take a few weeks off, and prepare for Xmas break. 
  • 2 tear-inducingly blissful weeks off work, to be spent working on 2nd draft. 

I hope to bulk up to 90k + words during this time.  Once I’ve got that out of the way, I’ll look into critiquing and getting a few objective readers arranged, but first things first… the planning stage!

I have come up with a fantastic plot (if I do say so myself), and 5 main characters.  There are also several other characters who’ll have a small (but vital) part to the story and will need beefing up a bit.  I’ve nearly figured out how to intertwine everything smoothly, whilst retaining strong subplots.  So far so good. 

The main theme of my novel will be trust.  I didn’t intend it to be that way, which I’m sure would raise the eyebrow of many a psychiatrist.  It’s just such a fragile thing, trust, isn’t it?  It’s laden with risk. 

I am a serious spreadsheet geek.  Here is the little outline spreadsheet I started:

It’s important for me to keep as organised as humanly possible.  It’s how I work.  I need to establish routine and commit to it fully.  If I get complacent, I let things slip.  If I let things slip, it gets harder to return to.  The harder it is to return to, the more likely I will abandon it. 

Blogging about my NaNoWriMo journey here will help me stick to it.  I’m not good with failure and don’t fancy the prospect of posting any paltry excuses about how I couldn’t finish it. 

Looking for inspiration, I came across this amazing link, to a spreadsheet that kicks my little spreadsheet’s arse.

I got ridiculously excited about it.  It’s from 2010, but I shall amend the details for 2011.  Not sure if I’ll use every page of it, but will let you know!

Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year?  Any tips or advice much appreciated!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

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