Thursday, October 29, 2009

Which Type of NaNo Are You?

There are two main types of NaNo people.

1) Those who want complete control (as much as possible) They are the ones who draw up maps of their world, create detailed character sheets, write a complete plot tree, a family tree for all of their major characters and even go to the extent of providing drafts of each room or scene the characters will interact in. Basically, planting down the words is a given after the fact.

2) Then there are those who will live by the seat of their pants. Taking the thrill of NaNo to new heights by not preparing anything. They may have a title of their book, they may even have a skeleton outline, but generally that's about it. These people believe that planting down 1667 words per day is good enough and everything will fall into place.

Trust me. I have tried both methods. None work for me.

The year I won NaNo, back in 2007, I was working on my sequel to Unicorn's Peril. I had already created the world in which my characters lived in the previous book, so really I was just writing a flow on. A different animal all together is the sequel.

The year I lost NaNo was the year I tried to do something from nothing. In other words, method 2. That failed miserably. I needed time to work out just where my characters would be in the world I was going to create. Indeed, I neeed to know what and who the characters were (their main characteristics anyway) I got lost in a quagmire of plot and the novel failed at about the 20,000 word mark. It hasn't been worked on since (I no longer speak of it) True, parts have been used in later works.

I do some planning with my novels, but I also like the actual enjoyment of writing from what's in my head. I don't, however, do a lot of planning to the point of drawing up plot trees or whatever, I'm not anal about it. Then again, I do like to have a feel of what's going on. See? Difficult, isn't it?

This is my new approach to NaNo this year. I have a title, a basic main plot worked out and I have a sketch of the characters who are in my story. You could say I am sitting firmly between the two types of NaNo people.

Time will tell.


Anonymous said...

It's my first year doing Nano. I'm a SOTP writer, so I have nothing mapped out other than a few ideas. It's a sequel to a novel I have done already, but if I wake up on November 1st with a different idea, I'll write that instead. It's been knonw to happen. So, we'll see if I finish Nano or not. But it sure does sound like a rush!

Mark Alders said...

Yep. Nano is certainly a rush.

Hey, thanks for the comment and good luck!

if you want to add me as a buddy I am under the name didgeridoo


Sierra Wolfe said...

I usually don't do Nano. But, I can tell you that I cannot write by the seat of my pants. When I do, the story usually gets out of control and I run off into weird tangets or the story just stalls for me. Once I get stuck, it's murder to get back out again. So, unfortunately, I have to plot.

Mark Alders said...

Yep, that about sums it up for me, too, Sierra! I mean, wayward plot means plot holes, and we all know reviewers and readers don't like those!



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