Countdown to NaNoWriMo

In just a little bit over a week, I will join the millions of writers all over the world in the quest to pound out a novel in one month.

This is my first NaNoWriMo, and I’m both excited and nervous. Per NaNoWriMo guidelines, participants are allowed to outline and research for their manuscripts — but no prewritten prose. In my July 9, 2010 blog,  I wrote that I was having trouble deciding which plot to use for NaNoWriMo, before settling on a coming-of-age story using my journals as research material. Alas, how things change within three month’s time LOL  Instead, I will work on the satirical fantasy/horror tale about political life in a small town. As I’ve written in the July blog, “I’ve covered politics for three years for a newspaper, so I can vouch for witnessing real life horror stories LOL.”

For plot outlining, I’ve been using what’s called the snowflake method to outline my NaNoWriMo manuscript. To start the snowflake method, I write one sentence to summarize the entire book. Then, I write a paragraph that includes basic plotline, major conflicts and resolutions. I then go on to write character sketches. The outlining doesn’t end there, but with the snowflake method, the idea is to building complexity upon a simple idea (the summary sentence). I like the snowflake method. For more information, here’s an article about the snowflake method.

My NaNoWriMo region (which would be the Northeast New Jersey region) is planning what’s called a write-in in local towns throughout November, including Rockaway, Springfield and Clifton. In a write-in, NaNoWriMo participants get together at a library or a bookstore and … well, write their manuscripts. Hopefully I’d be able to attend the Clifton write-in one Wednesday this month (because Wednesday is not a job deadline day for me, and Clifton is only a 20 minute drive from my home).

With a little determination, some praying and a lot of coffee, I hope that I can win the November challenge.

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