NaNoWriMo prep month [and the Florida vacation]

I just got back from a week in Florida. I took the kids, on my own, and flew to Florida to spend a week with family. We stayed at a condo rental right on the beach–and I mean literally right on the beach. It was our front, back, and side yard. When I landed in Florida–I grew up there but hadn’t been back in over five years–the salt air assaulted me, but it felt like home. There were quite a few troubles last week, navigating kids as a single mom in high-stress, high-tension situations, but we made it through and now we’re back.

I brought a three-subject notebook along for the trip. I intended to write at least one short story, but let’s be honest and say that I hoped to write a short story–or short something–a day. Honestly? I could take the before and after shots of the notebook and they’d come out the same. I didn’t write. It wasn’t that I didn’t think about writing because of course I thought about writing. I just couldn’t turn off the ringing and screaming in my head long enough to have a coherent thought.

Until our second airplane while traveling home, about a half-hour before we landed. I came up with a pretty neat story idea. It’s still in development for now, but I wanted to write a little something about the goals of NaNo, a behind-the-scenes look at my process, and a little bit about my intentions.

[If you want more writing-intensive posts on the subject of writing specifically for NaNoWriMo months, you can visit my website here.]

My goals for this month are:

  1. Plan the story idea for NaNoWriMo in my plantser way
  2. Write a series of posts that people can follow along to help them plan for NaNo using my techniques [more on this below]
  3. Write short stories for anthologies (I believe there are four or five right now.)
  4. Copy edit my short story for The Longest Night Watch anthology
  5. Create some sort of system/editorial calendar to balance blogs and writing
  6. Finish three editing projects for clients

And these are the goals for November:

  1. Write the first draft of the story. Ideally, I’ll want to write it from beginning to end. My first drafts are more like extensive, 100-page bare-bones outlines that I later go back and add detail to.
  2. Continue the weekly writing updates on this blog
  3. Celebrate the release of The Longest Night Watch anthology

My story for NaNo this year is a thriller, so I anticipate it going by quickly. The pace is almost breakneck in places (I imagine, anyway), so I hope to write at breakneck speeds. If I do finish the first draft and there’s still time left, I have more than enough short stories to write.

My NaNo Planning Process:

I debated whether or not to share my process, and I decided to just go for it. Not everything works for everyone, so I don’t expect it to work for all of you, but if it helps just one person get a grip on their story it did its job.

Here’s what I have planned for the in-depth posts:

  • Elevator pitch
  • General synopsis
  • Major characters
  • Minor characters
  • POV, POV-character(s), tense
  • Detailed synopsis
  • And more…

I’ll share not only what I’m doing but how it all fits in the grand scheme of creating a novel, and I’m excited to share this with you. I’ve honed my process over ten years. [Has this been going on for ten years already?!] I’ve tried everything, and I really do mean everything, from plotting out all the scenes, including notes for individual scenes, to going all out and pantsing the story, and everywhere in between. I finally landed on this process, which is closer to planning for novels and pantsing for short stories. I can’t wait to finally put this into words and help other people write their stories. If you want to follow along, you can search for NaNoPrep in the categories or tags area.

[Speaking of categories, I’m cleaning up that area this month too.]

Until next time, stay spooky!


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