Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

Once again I'm undertaking the craziness that is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). And this year I vow I won't hit the middle of the month doldrums. This will be the third year I've undertaken to write a 50,000 word novel in one month, but from experience I can tell you in some ways it is easier than it sounds and other ways harder. Writing the words is easy. Getting beyond the blocks that crop up is much much harder. Each year, just around the 15th of the month I've run into a wall. My nice little graph that was trending upwards at a beautiful 45 degree angle suddenly flattens out. It is the awful middle section where I just don't know what to write about. But not this year.

I have done something that I never did in the last three novels I've written. I created a detailed outline of the whole story, beginning, middle and end. I don't don't know why I've never tried it before (except maybe I'm lazy). But this year I was not going to have that feeling where I was sure I couldn't finish, and everything I was writing was crap. This year I would triumph over mid-month blues. By the way, one reason I've never created an outline before is because I never had a tool that made it so easy. Let me restate that, I never USED a tool that made it so easy. I wrote last year's novel in Scrivener, but I didn't take full advantage of it. This year, no excuses. I have detailed note cards of every major scene. Detailed notes of every major location. Notes for the magic system of the world. Photos of all the characters (found at All put together in a wonderful, easy to organize format within Scrivener.

Tonight for example I was writing a scene involving my main character, Joey, and his Father. I split the screen vertically. On the left were notes about his father. Who he is, what he does for a living, his character traits, etc... along with a photo I thought represented him. On the right was the manuscript. I wrote while looking at the notes and photo. It was amazing the details I pulled out, that I normally would not have. I love this tool. If you don't use it, go to their web site now: The new Scrivener for Mac, version 2.0 came out today (I am not going to upgrade until after November) and the version for Windows is available in beta format. I can't say enough about this program, and to top it all off it is dirt cheap. Go there now.

I'm headed for bed. 3,500 words under my belt and it is only day one. Who knows maybe I'll crank out a 100,000 word novel this month. (I'd settle for 50,000 words with at least a small portion of those usable.) Happy writing all.


Anonymous said...

Good luck with your Nano ... are you there yet?

D. Robert Pease said...

ellsea, Nano is going pretty well. I really like the story this year. I am slightly behind, but nothing I can't make up in the next week. I saw you didn't do it this year. Knee deep in editing something else?