Nanowrimo or nablopomo?

It’s coming up to that time of the year again. National Novel Writing Month and National Blog Posting Month. Last year I stuck with the blog posts. Previous years I’ve attempted (and twice succeeded with) the novel. So what will it be this year?

I have enough time on my hands now that I can’t say I can only do blogs. I’ve been planning my novel for a while so I’m ready to write it up during November. Can I possibly manage to do both challenges, to write 50,000 words in November and post to my blog every day?

I’ve been thinking about writing, and wondering if I approach it all wrong. I seem to have some belief that I plan now and I write in November. I’m worried that if I don’t plan enough now I’ll write myself into a corner. But writing doesn’t always work that way – at least not for me. I keep feeling that I channel the writing, that it has to flow from my brain through my fingers to the page, and that there’s no time to stop and think.

That’s wrong.

Even when I start writing, it doesn’t mean I have to stop planning. I still need to set aside time other than the time I spend writing, in order to consider how the story is going, whether it’s heading the right way, what to do about it… I do want to force through a first draft, and I know the quality of the writing doesn’t matter at this point. But the plot does matter – there is already a draft of this story, but the plot was less well formed, and so most of it is unusable.

So I think if I want to do nanowrimo and have something usable at the end, I need to do nablopomo as well. I need to take that time to think about how my writing is going, whether the plot is going as I expected, anything unexpected that crops up and anything I need to figure out before the next session.

Some of the beauty of nanowrimo is when the words take over, when the story does flow and the characters take on a life of their own. But this year I’d like to keep a little more control on it than previously, so that it’s well thought out and developed, rather than whatever comes into my head.

I guess that’s a lot of writing (and thinking) planned for November!


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  1. November: Not Just For Novel Writing | Cooking and Composition

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