Preptober 26

The struggle is real. 

I have hit that wall that I hit when I’m pantsing my stories, but at least I am working on an outline. Surpassing that wall — of what my brain and heart and soul and other dramatic language regarding  body parts is blocking — is difficult. I have a … feeling. Nothing concrete. Glimpses of what Wren is feeling in these later chapters. Questions that need to be asked and answered. Things that need to be inserted into the story but I’m not quite certain WHERE. As I write this though, the solution is clearly obvious. Toss up scene cards in Scrivener and don’t worry about where in the book they will ultimately reside in. Just get these ideas out. Onto paper and all of that rot. 

Okay. Okay. I’ve talked myself off the ledge. Ish.

I am a pantser. I do not know why I am so upset that I might not have a full outline to go before the start of NaNoWriMo. What I currently have done is a lot better than NOTHING. There is a path for me to take at the beginning and towards the middle. Maybe just setting out on this path will help me unlock more things to come once I allow myself to sit down and write it all out. 

I can. And I will do this. I haven’t any choice because this is what I want.

Wren, your story will be told. Possibly a bit more meandering and with an absolute lot of garbage in this first draft. There will be so much I forget to put into your story, and so much I will likely have to take out of that first draft. But I want to tell your story. I want to take the time that is needed. I think other people might like your story too. 

And if not… that’s fine. No one else really matters here except for me and you. Me, because I’m the one typing away furiously (or I will be) to tell your story. And you, because it is YOUR story. Even if you aren’t a real person. I want to and will do justice by you. It just might take awhile. And lots of revisions, edits, and rewrites. And that’s okay. I just have to allow myself to GET to those points. 

Wren, let’s tell your damn story.

Okay, I took a break from writing this blog entry to write down ideas for those scenes where I feel as if we need them but I’m not sure, precisely, which chapter or part of the book to fit them in.

I feel better!

How is your NaNo prep going? What bits do you struggle with? How excited are you for NaNoWriMo to start? I am super excited. The adventure will truly begin in less than a week!

Preptober 7th

Howdy.

Today is the seventh day of Preptober. And I am in the midsts of still outlining and worldbuilding. The itch to write is a strong one, and I might dabble in writing down a scene or two from another character’s perspective, or perhaps, just write a scene that takes place before the main story will. I don’t know. I worry if I don’t try to write something down then I will…. I don’t know. Not necessarily lose steam but.. I think I’m just looking for an excuse to write something in this world, and I may as well give into it.

Struggling real hard with the final two prompts I received for September. My goal is to finish them before November. And again, as mentioned before, no prompts during November. I’m excited for the two prompts I have sitting around. I just can’t quite get the feel that I want for either of them. But, y’all probably don’t care about that as this is supposed to be about PREPTOBER, eh? And I should be blathering on a bit more about my novel.

Ooookaaay.

My Preptober Goals for the week are:

  • Outline Two More Chapters
  • Flesh out Lorenz a tad more
  • Work on mechanics of magic
  • Figure out the Wren & Dot Beef

Let’s breakdown how I am doing with each little goal, shall we?

Outline Two More Chapters:  I have outlined one so far (Chapter 6) and now I’m moving onto chapter 7. I am glad I am doing this because I’m struggling with these more middling chapters than I have with the others. Hopefully, getting them outlined and then the rest, will help when I’m writing them. Help me get past that middling area, eh? 

Flesh Out Lorenz a tad more: I haven’t written down too much about him, but he’s been percolating in my head all week. I’m getting a vibe for him, and I should write that down. But he’s been a character who hadn’t been named, is somewhat important, and I’m thrilled he has a name and is starting to turn into someone a bit more… real, yanno?

Work on the mechanics of magic: I love fantasy novels. But I hate when magic systems don’t really have any… like repercussions isn’t the exact word I’m looking for, but… there needs to be something. Something more than just saying words and wand waving. What happens when magic is used? What happens to the magic user or the world around them?  What are the pros and cons of the magic?  Because if there isn’t a downside then people can just use magic all willy-nilly and I just. I need more. So, I am working on that. I have a few ideas. I know the types of magic I want in this world, and now it is is simply time to just work on… the deeper stuff.

Figure out the Wren & Dot Beef: Wren is my protagonist. Dot was her childhood best friend. This is a minor spoiler that… something happened between the two of them when they got to college age. Something that caused them to drift apart. I just need to figure out exactly WHAT. That feel when you know something happened. You might even have a taste of what it is, but you just can’t really figure it out. Or like it is on the tip of the tongue (tip of the fingers? tip of the brain?) I WILL FIGURE IT OUT IF IT IS THE LAST THING I DO!  Ahem.

And so those are my goals for the week. Making some headway with them. And then I am also just working on everything else that needs doing and really thinking about my plan of attack. How and when I plan on writing. Obviously, the morning hours, before the family is up is when I plan on getting the bulk of my writing done. But I also hope to write some in the evenings, so fingers crossed! 

I hope y’all enjoyed a small glimpse into my thought process. And into what I’ve been doing so far to prepare my novel for November. Are you doing NaNo this year?  If so, tell me about it!  How is your Preptober coming along?

NaNoWriMo 2020

i am doing me some NaNoWriMo this year. i attempt the challenge every year, and have only won twice in my life. the first year that i won was in 2011, the year after i graduated from college. i didn’t have papers to write or books that i had to read, i was missing having deadlines like crazy, and i didn’t yet have a job or kids. there wasn’t much going on for me at the time, and i breezed through it. i had like two 10k days. it was fun, it was exhilarating. i have just lied to you all unintentionally. having checked the NaNo website, it appears i have won the thing three times. my bad. the second time i won was in 2017 and the third time was in 2019. somehow, i forgot i won just last year. in my defense, though, we all know that 2020 has actually already been 100 years long. 

in between those victories i have tried nano and failed it. i have tried camp nanos and failed those too. some projects i stop after only 1,000 words, some projects have nearly 10k or more. and an awful lot are at 0. i feel like most years i start off heavily motivated, that i will complete this goal, and then i fall behind. not just one day behind, but two or three, and it feels like once those days keep stacking up, it gets harder and harder to motivate myself back into the game.

i am also realizing that perhaps my method of pantsing it, with very little to NO plotting, could be a problem. and so this year, i am embarking on a journey of self-discovery, of learning how to plot and plan for myself. and i am having fun with it.

did you know that plotting— outlining even! — can take some off the edge, that “I MUST START THIS NEW PROJECT IDEA NOW OR WITHER INTO NOTHINGNESS” feeling sparked by a new idea? that sometimes is the problem with NaNo when i think too early about a project. i am hoping that i keep the passion, the excitement alive, with my foray into this outlining and plotting game.

so, starting this month and all through october, i will share my baby steps into plotting. i will share snippets of my outline. bits about the characters i will be writing about, and bits of the story i have in my head. 

i will also continue to work on the prompts i have been given for this month and ask for more prompts when i finish those. pausing prompts in november to just focus on the writing of my novel which is currently called: Motherhood & Magic

are you planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year? are you a plotter or a pantser? do you have any advice for a pantser who is attempting their first plotted novel?