Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Insecure Writer And The Run-up To NaNoWriMo


Today is October's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Why makes me an Insecure Writer this month?

Not knowing if I’m participating in next month’s NaNoWriMo or not.  


NaNoWriMo, for those of you who don’t know, stands for National Novel Writing Month, and is all about writing 50,000 words during the month of November.  Despite being a slow writer, I attempted it once years ago, but only made it halfway through before calling it quits. Although I had a rough outline before I began, that outline rapidly fell apart as the days passed (new ideas occurred to me, old ideas suddenly were no longer plausible) and there was simply no point in writing another 25k words that I knew would be thrown away anyway.

But as I near the completion of my debut urban fantasy, it’s occurred to me that I should already be working on, or at least thinking about, the sequel. After all, the best way to market your book is to write the next one in the series. Allowing two or three years to pass between books is a great way to kill interest in your books. In addition, knowing what the next book will be about will allow me to add the necessary hooks to the first book.

This year, I’m going to have a much more detailed outline in place. Or at least that’s the plan. Something I’ve thought long and hard about before I begin writing on November 1. It won’t be a perfect outline—many of my best ideas don’t come until I begin writing—but as long as I don’t veer too far off the range, it should be good enough for 50k words. 

So October marks my prep month for NaNo.  I’ve given myself 30 days to concentrate on the sequel, jotting down as many notes and ideas as I can. If I haven’t made any real headway by November, then I’m calling it off. But if I have a real idea of what the story will be about, then I may go for it.

I’ll let you know what I decide on November’s IWSG day.

Until then, wish me luck.


ChemistKen

23 comments:

  1. That's good that you have a plan to prep before deciding whether or not to do it. I've tried NaNo in the past but always gave up at some point. I'd love to do it someday.

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  2. You are more organised than me, but I’m determined to join in and get my next book, Snakeskin and Failed Feathers, off the ground 😊

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  3. Smart to plan the sequel! It does help. Trust me.

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  4. If you're going to try to write fast in November, having an outline is probably really smart. Whatever you decide, you're already that much farther ahead in your second book.

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  5. I'll be watching. I have the same wonder for myself. Can I get a good enough outline for Book 3 of my trilogy to make this worth it?

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  6. That's exciting! I love NaNo - but don't know if I'll be doing it this year or not either. So many factors go into that decision.
    I hope you are happy & comfortable with that outline when November rolls around - good luck! :)

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  7. I'm wishing you much luck with NaNo! I could never participate because I write like a snail and I couldn't find the time.

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  8. I've thought about the NaNo. Should just get off 'the wall' and use it to write at least one of the books in my head. Lol And having the sequel in mind isn't a big problem if the world you are imagining just keeps exploding?

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  9. My debut novel started as a NaNoWriMo novel. And last year I wrote about 10k for book 2 then 50k for book 3 during NaNo. I was the most I'd ever written in one month. It helped me focus. This year, I won't have time, which I'm a little disappointed in. I love NaNo. Best wishes with your prep.

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  10. Congrats on being almost done with your UF book!

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  11. I hope you decide you can go for it.

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  12. Even if you decide not to participate in NaNo, none of the October work will be wasted. Good luck with everything!

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  13. Good luck! Like Madeline said this prep work you are doing will still be a great accomplishment whether you end up doing NaNo or not. Exciting that you are getting closer to your debut release!

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  14. You can do it! I'm thinking about doing NaNo too, even though I lose about 9 or 10 days due to family stuff. If that momentum carries me on through December, I'll be ecstatic.

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  15. I've decided to do NaNo this year. Hopefully, I can keep it up during the entire month. Haven't always been so successful in the past.

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  16. Wahoo almost done. Good idea about planning the second one. Happy IWSG Day!

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  17. Good luck! I often hear that planning is key to a successful NaNo.

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  18. Oh dear, another writer tackles NaNo! Send reports. And good luck on that sequel.

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  19. I've never done NaNo. I hear many have great success and feeling of accomplishment, while others feel it was a waste of time and energy. Whatever you decide, good luck.

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  20. I do wish you all the luck in the world with the NaNo next month. I've never tried it. I always seem to be doing edits instead of new stuff in November.

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  21. I think I'm going to do the NaNo unofficially again. I've got an outline and EVERYTHING. :) Last year I did pretty well. So we'll see.

    Teresa

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  22. The last book of my series was published last year, in January. I think. Haha. My next will be published next year (the official last book of my series). Things happen that delay the process, and that's okay. The readers who loved the first one will want to read the next one whenever it's published, so as long as they find out about it somehow.

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