NaNoWriMo: Day 1 Strategy

It’s All Saints Day and this was the best day to be a Catholic school kid, because it’s a holy day of obligation, so I for one enjoyed the day off from classes, especially as it meant some quality time with my candy bowl. It seems fitting, then, that I began my month-long quest with a snack-sized Almond Joy and Nestle Crunch bar. Instead of going for the standard 50,000-word mark this year, I’m shooting for 60,000 words. Fingers crossed!

To start off, I have my chapter outline and character sketches at my side, and the first several scenes mapped out. Someone like Bob Mayer probably has a master spreadsheet with all of his scenes unfolding like a Transformer toy or narrative origami, but I find that if I get too involved in my scaffolding I tend to lose myself there.

My plan was to have a few of my story tools at my side but not to begin by burying myself in them, so I quickly just got to writing. Because I’ve been accused in the past of not having action happen quickly enough, I just jumped into the first big event. If I come back to this start later and find that I don’t think readers will know the protagonist well enough with this set up, I’ll revise. But NaNoWriMo is all about the writing, not the rewriting. So it’s type, type, type, and no looking back.

This morning’s writing stint got me through to 2,077 words, and that almost looks like some kind of divine number to me. I’m off in a few minutes to tackle another couple of hours on the novel, and this evening I’ll go over my notes, see what I need to shift, and get ready for tomorrow’s session. And because I’ve heard that nanowrimo.org has been so-so today, I won’t bother trying to log in until November 4 or so. I’m not in any rush to declare my word count on their Web site. I’m more about making the words appear.

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Categories: ev's writing

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