Monday, 23 March 2015

Camp Nanowrimo: Planning, Planning, Scrapping, Planning

April first marks the first day of Camp Nanowrimo and that being about a week away there's things that us aspiring writers need to do. If you're already aware and are participating in April's event you're probably already planning, as I am, so I thought I'd share my process this year with regular updates to break up my story writing and (hopefully) keep me sane. Is anyone else attempting April's Camp Nanowrimo? How do you get ready for a month of writing?

PS. Yes, I've been singing this Lion King song through my head since I decided this was going to be my post today.

Moving on!

For those that have no idea what Nanowrimo is here's the lo-down:

The official National Novel Writing Month is November. It's a month of hard work, chaos, success, and failure with a goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month. That's 1667 words a day, for the month. As if that one month wasn't enough, there's a group of people that are crazy enough to do this to themselves multiple times a year, taking part in two other Nanowrimos called 'camps' which take place in April and July. The camps are a little more free, allowing you to choose your own goal for the month. Should you be successful on this mission, you will have the first draft of a novel by the end of the month, at which point you can tuck it away and come back to it later for the editing process.

Having only 'won' Nanowrimo once and attempting many, MANY times I've learned a couple things that work for me. So here's how I prepare for Nanowrimo.

1. Figure out what kind of story you're going to write. This camp, I didn't know what idea to use so I put all my ideas into a decision maker where I entered a few different genres including 1. a new fanfiction, 2. finishing said fanfiction from last round, 3. Writing an original piece. 4. Writing the piece I already started writing. I chose the winner from ten rounds.

2. PLAN. I used to try and pants it every time (go in with nothing planned, just a vague idea and write). Last Nanowrimo I found so much easier to complete if I planned it down to what I wanted to happen in a chapter. You'll probably write out some plans and then scrap them part way through for something else, this is why you do this before the month starts.

For anyone wondering, my plans look something like this:

WHO: (list all the main and sort of main characters and how they relate to each other in the story here)
WHAT: (What is happening in your story goes here. Be as detailed or as vague as you wish)
WHEN: (Present, Past, Future. As well as the predominant season the story takes place in)
WHERE: (Town, city, who's house will grace the story most, a particular area in town, any significant markers within these places, is it fantasy or real etc.)
WHY: (Why is this happening, what's the trigger that sets your story in motion?)

CHAPTER ONE: (What is going to happen in chapter one, as vague or detailed as you want).

3. Don't be afraid to scrap you plans for something else, this is why we're doing it now!

4. Collect your snacks and get ready! 

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