The NaNoWriMo Plan

Username: outofwords

It’s that time again – blog posts on National Novel Writing Month (like this one) are springing up like weeds, and writers the world over are plotting, outlining, training, and anxiously waiting for 12:01am on November 1st when we can all finally start writing a shiny-new draft. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, with all the energy and excitement of a major sporting event, complete with the requisite injuries, diets, and personal sacrifices that athletes of all stripes gladly suffer through.

2010 will be my seventh year doing NaNo, and most of those previous drafts will never see the light of day, unless I get the urge to completely rewrite them (and since we’ve established that I hate rewrites, that probably won’t happen). But last year’s draft was the best yet (in my opinion, of course), and the revised, edited version will be published in January as a complete novel.

I’ve got a bunch of projects going right now – my serial novel here on Tuesdays and Fridays, edits and formatting for Desert Heat, and a rather ambitious experimental erotica project. One might think with all that going on I’d do the “safe” thing and skip NaNo this year.

One would be wrong.

I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without all those practice drafts I did during NaNo. Heck, without finishing my first ever novel draft (my first NaNo project), I probably wouldn’t be a writer period. For me, part of participating in NaNoWriMo is symbolic…a reaffirmation of my desire and determination to write.

The other reason is the original spirit of NaNo. The founders chose November specifically because it’s typically a very busy month for most people. The idea is that the more you have to do, the more you get done. I have a lot to do just like everyone else – if the writing projects above aren’t enough, I’m also launching a business web site, holding a contest and sale for Tempest, my regular blogging, putting away Halloween, celebrating Thanksgiving toward the end of the month and working the day job. Still, I wouldn’t miss this for the world, whether I hit the 50k goal or not. It’s more about trying for me…challenging myself to do more, than actually being successful. I firmly believe we have no idea what we can accomplish unless we try – and for this one month, I’m willing to overload myself to the breaking point and see just exactly what I can (or can’t) do.

Professional writers often don’t see the point of NaNo because they already write daily. Well, this past year I’ve written nearly every day, just like any professional writer. For me, it’s the group aspect of the exercise that makes it different. Special. Exhilarating. Inspiring.


So now you know why – here’s the “what” and “how”…

This year’s NaNo project is the second in my Fantasy Ranch series (the first of which is The Biker’s Wench, the current blog serial draft). Normally I’d blog the whole thing, but because some things in the NaNo project will overlap and possibly spoil parts of TBW, I’ll keep it off the blog this year. I’ll post weekly updates in my Monday News & Goals posts. Here are the starting details:

Title: The Minister’s Maid

Heroine: Betsy Majors, working as a French maid in the Millionaire’s Mansion on the ranch she jointly owns with her brother, Harley.

Hero: Ian Mitchell, the minister who runs the on-site chapel, and has known the Majors siblings since they were all kids.

Beginning Blurb (subject to change, of course):

Betsy Majors has had a crush on her brother Harley’s best friend Ian since they were kids. The only problem is, she’s a bad girl…and he’s always been the good guy. He resists her advances, but she can’t seem to stop making them, even when her brother warns her to back off. She’s positive he feels something for her, and just won’t let himself admit it.

Ian Mitchell has wanted Betsy ever since he saw her skinny dipping at the lake when they were fifteen. She’s always been a wild child though, and he knows he can’t tame her, and he can’t be the carefree guy she needs. But when her untoward past catches up with her and an old flame decides to spark things up, Ian is forced to protect the woman he loves by any means necessary, even if it entails embracing the dark side he’s held secret all these years. 

There you have it. I’m working on a loose scene outline now, and that’s all I’ll start with – the characters will lead the story from there (they always do). And yes, I’ll be starting right away at 12:01am on November 1st. I even have the first line ready in my head.

But enough about me – what are your NaNo plans (if any) this year? Did you write a post? Link it in the comments so we can all make the rounds and introductions! If you’re joining us for NaNo, good luck, and godspeed! 

12 comments on “The NaNoWriMo Plan

  1. Dolly

    You are spot on! Yes, the sporting-even spirit of NaNo is what I love as well. And besides, it’s not like I am actually ever going to participate in REAL sporting event 😛

    I did consider not doing this – but I, too, completely love the experience, and it would feel like a real loss. So I think – as far as humanly possible – NaNoWriMo shall be an annual thing for me. I don’t see myself stopping this even if I managed to become a full-time writer, because it is about the group experience, and healthy word race competition on forums.

    I can write regularly – but November gives me a chance to get obsessive about it, have insane goals (as you saw), and hope to meet them (we will see).

    Good luck with your NaNo project, and I will be keeping an eye on your progress.

  2. Carol

    Ooo! A dark side! I love dark sides! 😉

    Yes, I have a NaNo plan. I plan to wait until 12 a.m. on November 1 and start writing . . . something. 😀

    My serial will wrap up this weekend so I can start posting NaNo excerpts on Fridays in its place.

  3. Sidni M.

    Oh Jamie, you tempt me. I have been planning to use the momentum of NANO not to write a new draft, but to revise, revise, revise. But you remind me of how much fun it is . . .we’ll see. There is a plot line rattling around in my head. 🙂

  4. K.M. Weiland

    Ah, so that’s why November was chosen. I was wondering that very thing just a few minutes ago. What a co-inky-dink, huh? Sounds like you’ve got a couple of characters who will be giving you all kinds of fun conflict to play with!

  5. Brooklyn Ann

    That sounds like a fun story!
    I don’t get to do Nano this year because I’m just finishing a project and then I have a major rewrite of an old project.

    Good luck and I hope to read The Minister’s Maid. 🙂

  6. Jamie DeBree

    LOL – Me either. This is about as sporting as I get.

    And I’ll be looking to you for motivation, since your goals are loftier than mine. Always good to have someone out ahead to watch! 🙂

  7. Jamie DeBree

    Me too, Carol, and this one’s a doozy. 😉

    Here that, all? Carol’s giving us something to procrastinate with on Fridays…yay for excerpts!

  8. Jamie DeBree

    Now see, if you set the revisions aside and write a new draft, you’ll come back to the revisions all fresh and ready to see them in a new way in December.

    *And* you’ll have another draft to revise after you finish the first. Win-win! 😉

  9. Jamie DeBree

    People always seem to be wondering “why November”…guess it’s sort of gotten lost on the NaNo site. Happy I could answer that just when you were thinking about it…serendipitous!

    The Fantasy Ranch characters so far are awesome…not my normal sort, but I think that’s a good thing. 😉

  10. Jamie DeBree

    Sorry you’re not joining us this year…but good luck with the projects! I’m sure you’ll get to read TMM eventually. 😉

  11. Erica

    That story sounds great! I agree, I love that so many people are writing a story at the same time ;o) I can’t wait until November 1 ;o)

  12. Medeia Sharif

    You’re so right about practice. I haven’t officially done Nano, but my practice manuscripts are unforgettable and shaped me as a writer.