Writer's Wednesday: Are You Doing NaNo?

(Hey, I might finally have found an alliterative name for my writing posts that actually makes sense!)

Before I talk about NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), I want to share a blog post I found helpful and inspiring. Aliette de Bodard wrote this as a guest post on Chuck  Wendig's "Terrible Minds" blog: Cannibalizing a Draft. Take a look.

Okay, now that we have a link to something to help us when we finish that crappy NaNo draft, are you participating? Tell me why or why not!

I'm doing it again this year. I'd like to think that I'm fully capable of preparing and writing a draft in a month or 6 weeks without any outside motivators... but the truth is, that community of writers, the little word-count ticker, and just the idea that there's a deadline does a lot for my ability to prepare well and write hard.

It's all about deadlines, I think. I am motivated to work on my outline/writing plan for Death By Library because I know I want to start writing on November 1, and that I don't want to spend my writing time floundering around trying to figure out where to go next. Nor do I want to end up like my last NaNo novel: getting to the end, and finding that I don't really know who the killer is, haven't been writing with a clear direction in mind, and have a mess on my hands.

Once November starts, there's something about that graph of my daily words that pushes me to write like I mean it. It's not really competition, except against myself, but I like seeing a steady climb in the word count! Since I don't have an editor, agent, or publisher breathing down my neck (though my brother is harassing me about the next book, which is something!), I'll take whatever push I can get.

So, as of yesterday, my outline (which is more of a conversation than a bullet list) is 8 pages long (3800 words), and I have a firm grip on the beginning and end, as well as a good list of red herrings. I'm still working on motives, lies, alibis, and opportunities for all of those. Then there's the subplots about JJ's life... I know what the main issues are, but just how they unfurl will be a matter of pantsing!

Finally, on Monday I was feeling the need to work on my writing a bit, just something to get my creative juices flowing... so I drafted 3700 words of a story for the IWSG anthology (I have until November 4 to get that polished enough to submit). YA romance isn't exactly my genre, but I put my own twist on it and got something I think I like.
Outlining. It may make your hair stand on end.


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