Nano Check In: Week 1

How is your writing going? Are you participating? Are you a rebel?

This week has gone much better than expected, on several levels. Currently I’m sitting at a word count just over 15,000, which means I’m two days ahead of schedule.

I’m trying something a bit different this year in how I prepared. I’ve always been a plotter, but for the past two years I haven’t done a lot of drafting due to brain fog and chronic fatigue.

I’ve also been writing since first grade, so a lot of my methods were more….instinctual, rather than practiced, recommended writing processes. I never really learned The Hero’s Journey or how to break a plot down into specific steps. I read about writing, of course. But it was more craft than plot, and at this point in my career when I look up writing advice it tends to be highly redundant. I haven’t actively searched for things like “how to write a novel” since high school.

This year, though, I felt like I needed more help. I still did my regular outline, in which I create a timeline for the book based on the days of the week when each event happens in order, and then mark off chapter headings as I write. But this year I also filled out Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet first, and it really helped me get a handle on the plot. I’m also writing a mystery, so I made a list of my suspects and red herrings, and what each of them could potentially gain from the crime. I used a mind map to mark off each major plot point and connect them to the suspects. This really helped me get a handle on my setting, characters, and my plot so I could work in the various twists. As much as I love reading mysteries, I always feel like my thought process is too linear to write a good one. Still, I keep writing mysteries….

What about you? What was your prep process like? Did it work for you?

Like what you see? Check out my latest book, BY THE GRACE, available now in paperback and ebook!

1 thought on “Nano Check In: Week 1”

  1. Good luck! Sounds like your planning has helped you a lot.

    I’ve done NaNo a couple of times. One ‘novel’ ended up as a short story – not even a long one, about 4000 words. All that effort for 4k 😀

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