31 Empowering Posts in 31 Days
Don’t just start something. Develop something first, so you can start something worthwhile in November… and finish it.
Finishing isn’t the highest goal. It shouldn’t your only goal. If you finish, you haven’t “won” anything.
But you can “win.” By writing a novel in November that’s actually something that stands apart from the process itself as worthwhile. As something to move forward with.
You’ll write it in November. That’s the name of this game. But you can develop it in October.
And if you’re serious about writing, and not just approaching NaNoWrMo like a stadium tour (the seats are empty) or a bunch of people in a bar seeing how many beers they can drink before closing …
… as a bit of a lark, just to see if you can do it…
… if you want more out of this than repetitive motion disorder in your hands…
… you should develop it in October. As deeply and proficiently as you can.
If you do, your NaNoWrMo may actually amount to something.
Maybe even a first draft that’s a tweak or two away from being submittable.
A feat which even the most ardant NaNoWrMo enthusiasts sometimes admit is nearly impossible. Not me. I think it’s entirely possible, and therefore worth the enlightened effort.
You wouldn’t climb a mountain without the right equipment, right? Just sayin’.
It begins now.
Last year I was a NaNoWrMo nincompoop. Partly because I didn’t understand it well enough. I didn’t realize that you could arrive at your keyboard on November 1 with as much story planning in place as you wanted, that it wasn’t cheating the rules or the process, and that it definately wasn’t cheating yourself.
That it could actually be a compressed writing experience that is viable and real, not to mention creatively rewarding, rather than an experiment in time management.
I’d like to help you do just that.
So during the month of October I’m going to be posting A TIP A DAY to help you move forward with your NaNoWrMo story planning.
Today’s tip: Know what you’re planning.
A great story is like a building or a plant or a piece of software or even a person, pick your analogy. There’s as much on the inside as there is on the outside. It has foundations, roots. It has sub-text and heart and gravitas. It must have a weight-bearing structure, and ultimately an aesthetic appeal.
There are many ways to get all that on paper. To reach that goal. However, you don’t have time to do it using what some writers think of as the old fashioned way — to just sit down and start banging it out. That hardly ever works… not in thirty days… not in thirty weeks.
That one is too many beers, too fast. And you know what happens to that.
Here’s what you’ll be considering and shadow boxing with as you plan:
The embrcing of a Big Idea… knowing the difference between an idea and a story… knowing how that idea needs to be spun in four different ways… how to develop your idea into a viable, compelling concept… how to cast a starring role (your hero) on that landscape… how to make it a story with teeth and weight and resonance… how to lay it all out in a sequence that is not only logical, but is also optimized… how to give it legs that are running toward a future.
All before you write a word. All before November 1.
Sound huge? Crazy? Sound… like the solution? It is all that and more: it’s an opportunity. And it absolutely can be done.
So have a great Saturday, October 1. I’ll be standing in front of about 50 writers in Medford Oregon talking about all these things. Some of them may be NaNoWrMo writers. I hope so.
You have your first tip. Decide to do this right.
This is all FREE, by the way. I recommend subscribing to Storyfix so these tips arrive as email every morning. And if you are sharing the NaNoWrMo experience or know other writers so inclined, share the love. In a weird sort of way we’re all in this together.
Need more context for this journey? I humbly recommend this book (CLICK HERE). I promise you it will juice your NaNoWrMo experience like nothing else you’ve ever read, like nothing else out there.