Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The Insecure Writer and NaNoWriMo
Today is November's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.
What makes me insecure this month?
NaNoWriMo, of course.
Waking up every morning for the rest of the month and wondering if I'm going to be able to write another 1667 words before the day is over isn't something I'd wish on my worst enemy. Besides, I have far worse things planned for them anyway.
I’m happy to say I met my NaNoWriMo quota for the first five days (yay!). And I owe it all to having created the story outline in October. I've learned many lessons during the three years I’ve spent (so far) writing my first story and one of those lessons is that it’s a good idea to put together your outline before you begin writing.
When else would someone write an outline, you ask?
Afterwards, if you're me.
When I began writing three years ago, all I had were individual scenes. No plot and nothing to tie the scenes together. Yeah, I know. Total newbie. But at the time I wasn't planning on writing a story. It was more of an intellectual exercise.
Eventually I worked up a plot and began ordering the scenes, but that turned out to be more difficult than expected. Scene X would have to go before scene Y, but after scene Z, while scene W would have to after scene Y but before scene X and... Arrrg! For a while I almost gave up trying to find an order that satisfied all the scene requirements, but eventually it all worked out. But I'll never begin writing a story again without having the plotline already developed.
So it's good that I have an outline in front of me this November. Unfortunately, I also see a potential downside. What happens when I run into a scene that's tough to write? Will I just sit there and fight my way through it, or will I glance down at my outline and skip ahead to a scene that’s easier to tackle? If I do too much of the latter, I'll wind up spending the last half of November with nothing but tough writing and my NaNoWriMo word counter will come to a grinding halt.
Wish me luck!