NaNoWriMo Approaching – Planning Ahead

Plan AheadOnce again this year I intend to participate in the NaNoWriMo writing contest. I learned so much from last year’s event and the year since, resulting in my “Tin Man” story. I have expanded the original story idea into a possible trilogy and plan to write the 2nd installment during 2012 NaNoWriMo. However I am not leaving anything to chance.

Last year I outlined my initial concept for “Tin Man” just before writing it during 2011 NaNoWriMo. I felt a little guilty about going into the contest with a “head start”. But later I learned that it was actually a smart move. Instead of plodding around haphazardly for 30 days, counting words toward the 50,000 goal, I was instead moving in a specific direction to a tangible goal. It helped me tremendously.

Others had the same idea and planned ahead too. But some did not and relied on “seat of your pants” writing and inspiration to direct their story. About that … yeah. Not so smart. While some folks seemed to have a talent for storytelling and were able to pound out scene after scene, others were meandering all over the place with no real sense of direction.

One WriMo I spoke to during a Write-In last year admitted that while he was far ahead of us in word count, he knew that afterwards he would be dumping @ 60-80% of his writing efforts during the first edit and that his final draft would probably not look anything like his NaNoWriMo end product. That’s a lot of words being sacrificed to the delete button!

His point was that the NaNoWriMo process was a means to an end, helping him to flesh out an idea and learn what works and what doesn’t. If he could come away from the whole experience with a small kernel that would eventually become a great story, then the exercise and the sacrifice was well worth it.

I hope so.

That’s a huge investment of time and typing. And to me my free time has value and I don’t like wasting it. So I intend to thoroughly outline my “Tin Man 2” story before November 1st comes around, so I can spend the month in a worthwhile endeavor. Hopefully by the time December 1st rolls around I’ll have a nice rough draft to work with.


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