Nanowrimo is less than one month away. So if you are intending to take part, do you spend October planning out your novel in meticulous detail, or do you wait for 1st November, switch on the PC and see if inspiration strikes?
Last year – which was also the first year I tried to participate – I had an idea floating around in my brain. There was a setting, a rudimentary plot, plus a few scenes and some characters. Plenty to be getting on with. After all I’d started to write my last novel, Emily’s Dreaming, with no more than that, and it had worked fine. I’d got to the end of the first draft in four months with very little revising or rewriting needed. So it would work this time, right? Wrong. Albatross has turned out to be just that..
Nanowrimo 2012 I struggled to produce 30,000 words, and they were not even particularly good words. Since then I’ve been trying to knock the book into some sort of shape, but it’s been wearing me down.
However I’ve just been working my way through an e-book called Outlining your Novel, by KM Weiland. And I wonder now if I would have done better with Albatross if I had been more of a planner than a seat-of-the-pantser. So this time round I’m refusing to begin to write until the outline is there, fleshed out, in as much detail as I can manage. Let’s see if it makes a difference. I have a title, a couple of characters, a setting, a plot and a couple of sub plots. But it’s not enough…..

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