As many of you might know, this month is National Novel Writing Month. This year is my first entering it and I think I’m doing pretty good. I read a lot of posts on how to prepare for it (Publishing Crawl has a good one). For the most part I followed them, even without thinking.
But, as you can see, I’ve already achieved the recommended 50,000 words. So, technically, I win, I guess. How did I manage this in just seven days?
First I didn’t write all of October. That was pretty rough. I don’t think I’ve ever gone an entire month without writing or revising one thing or another — well, at least, not for a long, long time. Instead, I spent all the time I would be writing reading instead. The story I’m working on now, Terrifying Tora is the working title, is a paranormal thriller. I guess. I’m not 100% sure on that. I want it to horror elements, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s horror in genre. So, I read a lot of horror stories. October, the month of Halloween, seemed like a great time to catch up on all the horror stories I wanted to read.
I love zombies. They’re my guilty pleasure, so I read Rot & Ruin, This Is Not A Test, Ashes, and a few other zombie/people-turning-into-zombie-esque-things stories. Reading such great books always makes me want to write… but I resisted the urge and picked up another book. I also read a few fantasy YAs (such as the amazing Daughter of Smoke & Bones).
Maybe it’s not fair to say I didn’t write at all in October. In September I got the idea for Terrifying Tora and started outlining the story. I worked on that outline throughout October so that I had a pretty thorough one. I knew how I wanted to start it, the main ideas I wanted to get to in each chapter, and how to end it. That’s a form of writing, right?
Honestly, out of everything, I think that outline helped me the most. I didn’t have to wonder “What next?” because I always knew. And once November hit I finally allowed myself to write, so I wrote… a lot to make up for the fact that I didn’t write at all. I also set the whole first weekend of November aside to write — I’m lucky my life isn’t as hectic as some. I barely looked at the word count and then when I finally did it was pretty high already.
The stories not finished yet, I still have a couple chapters to go but I’m getting there, thanks to NaNoWriMo.