The Write Life: October 2019

October is NaNo-prep for many people. The last few years I’ve been working on the same novel, so prep usually consisted of me spending the month re-reading what I’d already written, taking notes on what was missing, and tweaking the outline. But this year that novel gets a break and I’m using NaNoWriMo for a major rebellion.

The main project I’m working on is drafting three to four sample chapters of a nonfiction book on writing communities. The outline was mostly complete before October, but I spent a little time cleaning up and refining the outline and confirming exactly which chapters I wanted to write during November. (I’m actually really excited about five chapters, so I might draft all five just to get them out of my head.)

A handful of chapters won’t get me to the NaNoWriMo 50K (also I’m in a challenge to write at least 100 words of SFF every day this year), so I needed to figure out what else I could write during the month to hit that final word count.

I’ve been playing with short stories on and off this year, and decided at least one thing I could do was put ends to some of the beginnings I have. I went through my collection of WIPs and picked which ones I wanted to work on during the month. I jotted some thoughts about where these stories were going and how many words it would take to get me there. In the end, I picked seven short stories, which should net me around 20,000 words.

(I also picked a handful of prompts from The Short Story Starter so if I feel inspired to start something new, I have a place to start from.)

Lastly, I have a blog project I’ve been wanting to draft in one fell swoop, which should be somewhere around 10,000 words. If I’m short on the 50K word count, or if I stall out on one of these projects, I’ll start writing character sketches and scenes to help me understand the world and characters of the next novel I’m planning to write. Will this material make it to a novel? No way! Except in the iceberg sense of novel writing, wherein I know 90% more than what I’m showing the reader, but it’s work I need to do in order to understand the characters and how they interact in their world. (Also it’s words for NaNoWriMo!)

So that’s my NaNo Plan-o. A little more complicated than in previous years, but extremely flexible in terms of what I’ll be working on day to day and how I’m actually breaking down my 50K words.

Are you writing for NaNoWriMo? What are you writing?

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