Preparing for NaNoWriMo!

It’s finally here! NaNoWriMo 2020 is upon us! Tomorrow, all hell breaks loose…

I’m super excited. No, really. The first year I did it (2018) I was testing myself. I bent the rules and wrote as much as I could in a week rather than a month. The next year I tried to do it properly and ended up rewriting an old novella I was working on.

This year, I’ve come prepared!

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, you can check it out here, but the premise is simple: Write a book in a month. The actual goal is 50 000 words of a first draft, but I change it up. I write novellas. The first time around that meant 40k words, the second time I did it it was somewhere around 27k. It varies, and that’s okay.

I have two good reasons for writing novellas:

  1. It’s easier to think that I’ll finish (Yeah, I know, I’m cheating)
  2. I have loads of novellas floating around in this giant, hairy head of mine and NaNoWriMo is the perfect excuse to know that I have time for them in between everything else.

Also, it’s just plain fun. It’s fun to take a month of out the year to try and write something awesome, stressing about the time and the word count along the way. Sure, I’ll probably regret it a little bit in two weeks’ time, when I’m in the middle of all the chaos, but at the same time I’m really looking forward to doing this story!

This year, I’m doing a very specific story I cooked up while following my wife around in shops in Helsinki. None of that is in any way related to the story, it just happened to all fall into my head at that time. I remember exactly where we were as well, in a grocery store, looking at various Finnish snacks, when it came tumbling down.

This is going to be the perfect NaNoWriMo novella,” I thought to myself.

Also, this year I’m doing something different. For the first time in my life, I’m doing an outline. I’m used to pantsing when I write, meaning that I just sit down and let the words flow instead of working from a chart or plan. (Sure, I have a basic idea of what I’m going to write about, but little to no plan).

To me, outlining has always seemed as twice the work. How can I know and decide what’s going to happen in the book before I write the book? And if I knew those things, then why write them down at all? Why not just write the book instead?

Anyway, I’m trying it out. So far, I have a few characters planned out and a few ideas of what’s going to happen when. But this outlining thing is definitely not as easy as some people make it out to be.

I’m excited to see if it will help the end result though. Will my 2020 NaNo project be a success? Will it be easier or more difficult than the previous ones? Is plotting better than pantsing? And most importantly: Will this story be as amazing as I hope?

Bring it on!

4 thoughts on “Preparing for NaNoWriMo!

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  1. I’ve never really figured out how to do the outlining thing, outside of just writing little sentences of scenes I’ve somewhat thought through. In reality, it’s more of like “I think I want this to happen somewhere in the book”. Best of luck! I’ll be joining you on the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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