Last week, I wrote a blog post about NaNoWriMo. I’d like to expand on that.
As I mentioned in the last blog post, I’ll be using #NaNoWriMo to write the rest of “Contamination,” the sequel to my in-revisions novel, “Manifestation.” I don’t have an outline, or much idea what I’ll be doing. I tend to be a pantser; I have an idea where the plot is headed, and I know pretty much exactly how the climax of the book is going to go, but I don’t know much about what will happen in between. I don’t much like planning out each chapter since I know my characters will go off the rails at some point and ruin any plans I have. For example, the original early plans for “Manifestation” involved Tock spending a decent length of time in college learning mechanical engineering, and by the end of the novel, well, let’s just say that there were at least half a dozen reasons why that had become completely impossible.
So I’m going into NaNoWriMo with basically no plans besides “write at least 2000 words every single day until you get to the big confrontation.” But wait, you say, isn’t this blog post titled “My #NaNoWriMo Plan”? Have we been deceived? No, dear readers, you have not (well, maybe you’ve been deceived a little bit, but just for fun).
The “plan” I speak of is my plan for getting motivation for finishing this novel. Motivation and support are a big part of writing. Anyone who does #WriteClub word sprints knows how much more productive you can be when there are people cheering you on and congratulating you on every word count goal reached. I need that support as much as anyone, and if you know me on Twitter, you know I’m the first person who will tell you “You can DOOO EEET!” So in the spirit of motivation and support, I’m planning on using most of my November blog posts to both give and receive the recognition and support that will make the difference in reaching our goals.
I know this works well for me since when I was first writing “Manifestation,” it was posted here each day on the blog. Originally, I didn’t even plan it to be a novel. It was more like a serial story posted a page at a time online. Only after finishing the first draft did I realize how much needed to be changed during revisions. I eventually took the novel off the website so that the scenes that were massively changed or cut wouldn’t still be up there (since some of the changes were extreme enough that the old version would dramatically confuse people who thought those events were still “canon” when they no longer are).
However, despite the fact that I no longer like the idea of leaving a first draft online, what I DID like was all the feedback I used to get. I enjoyed getting “likes” on those posts and hearing feedback in the comments section. It made me feel like my writing was worth the effort. It’s a lot easier to get through 100,000 words when you know at least a few people enjoy reading it and think it’s good. Otherwise, if no one has read a word of your book, you get near the end and start wondering if everything you just wrote is crap.
I don’t want to post all of “Contamination” here, but I want to get some feedback and see if people like what they see. So my plan is to post excerpts. Each time I do a blog post (which is usually Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday), I’ll post my updated word count along with a few paragraphs from “Contamination.” Hopefully, you’ll enjoy reading the snippets I share, and if you do, I’ll know my effort writing this novel is worthwhile. If you don’t, well, we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.
I’ll also be asking others if they want to share their progress as well. Maybe some people will want to post word counts or excerpts in the comments here, or maybe if you share them on your blog I can link from mine to yours. I’ll be happy to see what you all are writing so I can cheer you on. I know how important that support can be, so I’ll be eager to offer whatever I can. You just need to be brave enough to share (and hey, if I can share, so can you!).
So this all starts Friday. I hope you’ll be #NaNo-ing with me!