Preparing for NaNo part 3

My last post talked a bit about my past NaNo experiences. I’ve also mentioned to you (not to sound pretentious) my writing process, or at least a portion of it. That brings me to this year’s NaNo. Here’s the problem: until last week, I knew exactly what I was going to write for NaNo.

I wish I had the synopsis handy so that I could paste it here, but I’ll give you as much as I can off the top of my head, without spoiling anything. I had intended this NaNo project to be a sequel to the book I’ve been shopping around, Falling Apart. Falling Apart is a m/m erotic romance about a rock singer who falls in love with a(n ostensibly straight) country boy. Country boy falls in love right back, but since he’s always been straight, chaos ensues. Right? Right. Of course, who can resist a rock star in tight jeans? Certainly not me, and definitely not Billy, our country boy. I mean, obviously. So that said, this year’s NaNo was going to be a sequel. What happens after the fall? Well, more chaos, as per usual. I won’t say much more because I don’t want to spoil FA for all of you who are dying to read it.

The plan was all laid out. I have character sheets, summaries, pages and pages written about the major and minor plot points. I’ve got descriptions of what the story looks like from other characters’ POVs, a new man in the mix, ex-partners, angry parents, pushy bosses, all sorts of things going on. I must have 10 pages, maybe more, of notes, plans, and ideas. So of course…

Now I’m second guessing myself. Should I work on the sweet love story that came to me in a dream a few weeks ago? Pick up the sci-fi that I’ve been playing with for several years? Finally get on that story about two twentysomethings that meet on a train that’s been bugging me for almost nine months? Should I stop everything and skip NaNo to edit this year? Maybe I should get back to flash fiction instead, let myself just write 500 words a day. Or three pieces of flash a day! Or, or, or…

See my problem? This is why I’m a “pantser.” Planning too much paralyzes me. Which means next blog will be all about planning vs pantsing!

Preparing for NaNo part 2

The last time I wrote about NaNoWriMo,  I talked about my journey as a writer. Today, I’d like to talk a little bit about my NaNo experiences in particular.

The first year I attempt to the competition was 2011. As it goes, I heard about NaNo 6 days in and decided to give it an attempt. I think I made it about three thousand words. That was pretty good considering I hadn’t written in possibly a decade. I had characters, and names, and a setting. I had nothing else. Those three thousand words were a floundering mess. I’m sure I still have the file hidden in my Google Drive, but I never want to look at it again. Basically my characters met, walked around, and talked. I had no idea what their problem was, much less how to fix it. Still, I don’t consider this attempt a complete disaster. It was the seed that got me started. I didn’t write again until the next November, but at least I had thought about it, and given it a good try.

November 2012 rolled around, and somebody reminded me about “that NaNo thing.” remembering how unsuccessful I had been there before, I took to the NaNo forums to get advice. There I found a form called the adoptables forum. People go there to post plots, characters, settings, anything you can think of. Things they won’t be using in their stores, but they still think may be valuable to other writers. That’s where I found a plot for that year’s NaNo attempt. The plot was all I needed, as it turned out.

After that, I was a NaNo devotee. I’ve since participated and won two years running, as well as participated in and won “Camp NaNo” (a looser, more free-form version) twice. I’ve got my outline ready for this year, a nearly complete manuscript from past years’ NaNos to finish, and the manuscript I’m hoping to sell came out of Camp.

Are you participating, and if so, how is the prep going?