This year’s NaNoWriMo is going to be tackled by a well prepared, fiercely motivated and unappologetic me. And I’m going to goddamn finish it, holding a hefty chunk of novel draft in my cramped hands, or else! Because this November I’m diving into the horror corner of science-fiction, and that requires careful planning (yay), a lot of mischievous plotting (yay!), and an overdose of twistedness (YAY!). I love horror science-fiction! *shudders with deliciousness*
But here’s the deal:
I only have 20 days to write those 50,000 words, because my weekends are offline-heaven, toddler-time. That means I have a daily target of 2,500 words!
Those 50K will cover about 50% of the total novel length. That means two terrible things for me:
- Abstain from stretching into space-opera size, which is very hard for someone who keeps conjouring up new plotting devices each time a chapter threatens to come to an end;
- I need to plan very well, but not too tightly, so I won’t have to double back after NaNoWriMo, travel into the past and strangle my old self, creating a paradox that will twist the space-time continuum and destroy the universe.
I have to kill my inner editor, which will kill me. No more fiddling, no more rephrasing, no more “just a little checking” before I write. No self-doubts. No perfectionism. Shoot me now.
And then I have to add an extra dimmension to it all: accountability.
I’ve considered creating an “official” NaNoWriMo account, but I really don’t want another piece of real-estate on the internet which I have to tend to. I have enough gardens swamped by weeds and pierced by slugs, and backyards that have turned into rodent amusement parks. Don’t need no ‘nother tag upon me.
But then… how will I get the necessary kicks in the rear (or pats on the back) when things get tough?
The oldies: Twitter! Facebook!
My own bullwhip-swinging, fang-whetting conscience! *gulp*
The key, I think, is transparency. I will talk about my efforts as often as I can (which is quite unusual for me), and engage with all of you guys who are doing the NaNo too. I’ll blog about my progress each weekend, and thus lay bare my failures and successes. Basically, I’ll share what I learn, publicly delude myself that it’s all for a good cause, and laugh the insanity away while I try not to go up in a sizzling puff of short-circuit smoke.
My plan — because deh Little Prince sez “A goal without a plan is just a wish” — is simple:
I will write only the most essential scenes of the novel, as crisply and tightly as possible, no flesh, no fluff, no make-up, and squeeze the whole plot into those 50K. Or as much of it as possible. I’ll make notes for the things I’ll need to write in later, and plow ahead until the big bell bangs and the fat lady croaks. Given that I’ve already plotted the damn thing, I’m even likely to succeed. Cray-ze!
Here are some of the technical things I’ll do in this novel:
- Omniscient POV, though tightly focused on the protagonist (won’t be that hard since he’s technically the only character… more or less…)
- Present tense (I tried writing in past tense, believe me, I tried. And I hate it. Nah-ah.)
- Mixture of scenes and reports, logs, and other types of material (won’t list it all here)
- Different levels of “information”, meaning that at first the reader will know as much as the protagonist, then gradually more (fearing for the unwitting protagonist’s fate), yet never quite as much as The Menace
- and by the way, you know who The Menace really is, right? The author. Right. Mwahaha!
To the torture chamber!
And how about you guys?
Anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year? How are you tackling it? Any hot tips?