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.