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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall must-have: Tall leather boots from . . .

cj Sez: Oops. Wrong headline, but here I am, in a state of flux. I’m somewhere between the beginning of fall (the autumnal equinox occurred Sept. 23) and the end of daylight savings time (if you’re on it, it ends Nov. 2). I feel like I'm on a downward slide to the end of the year. Happy HalloThanksMasYear! Think about it. Right now, many stores have displays up for the generic harvest time and fall colors as well as for every one of those holidays.

Now, if you’re a writer who likes a challenge, here’s another event to anticipate and celebrate: The beginning of NaNoWriMo . . . November. The National Novel Writing Month. A challenge to write fifty thousand words, as in 50,000, in one month. Let’s see, “30 days hath September, April, June, and November.” That means you'd need to write an average of (just a minute, calculations going on) 1,666.67 words per day to reach 50,000 in 30 days. Whew!

If you’re going to take the challenge (I’ll only admit to “thinking” about it), now is the time to pre-plot, if you haven’t already started the process. Deciding to accept the NaNoWriMo challenge is one of those times when it isn’t a good idea to jump right in and begin writing. In order to accomplish 50,000 words in thirty days, you will definitely need some pre-planning. You’ll need a basic idea of how you want the action to progress. Also important to this speedwriting contest, you should know something about the development of your characters, what their emotional arcs will be.

Granted, the final NaNoWriMo story will wind up as a fast, first draft of a new novel. However, the plus side of all that pre-plot/pre-plan work is not only will you have a better chance of completing the NaNoWriMo challenge, but it’s also a good bet that you’ll need a lot fewer rewrites to make that first draft into a viable, saleable novel.

If you’re not in a support group (they are very good for encouragement and motivation), there are multiple sources of helpful forums and advice online. There is even an official organization: nanowrimo.org
Note: NaNoWriMo is not a competition. Well, maybe it is in a way, except you won't be competing against anyone but your self-discipline.

So, what are you waiting for? Put pen to paper or fingers to keys and get started on developing those plots. There are only 26 days left until Nov. 1. And now that I think about it, since I get paid monthly, I have only two more paydays until Christmas. Aarrgh!

Okay, I’ll leave you to your work. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same. Remember, I’m rooting for you!

cj

PS: I absolutely have to thank Hope Clark for her great blog on conferencing. I learned something new!
And the cartoon is from my Facebook page.

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