I’ve written about my general anxiety surrounding National Novel Writing Month. Now that it’s only 16 days away, the overwhelming refrain of “I’m not ready” has evolved into a Veruca Salt-esque whine: “I want to write now.”
NaNoWriMo plays this game with me every year. At first, I’m terrified words will never come forth. Suddenly, it’s within arm’s reach; characters, plot points and dialogue flow like water, but it’s too soon to start writing so I usually distract myself with this blog other writerly things in a desperate bid to maintain momentum. Finally, the starting gun sounds and I’m riding a creative wave until the dreaded second week when inspiration bids me buh-bye and everything grinds to a disastrous halt. My first attempt was completely derailed by this phenomenon. The next two years, I was saved by character sketches written in advance and the shocking realization that I didn’t have to write my stories in order (D’oh! I have no idea why that didn’t occur to me sooner).
Despite my pantser tendencies, I know a successful outcome is guaranteed when I prepare, so this year I’m trying something completely new to my process: writing an outline. The organized among you must shudder in revulsion at the thought of writing without one. I apologize for making you feel that way. But this year demands more structure because I have an audacious goal: 100,000 words.
Yep. Call me crazy, but I believe I can make it happen.
As far as what I’m writing, I decided to go with the flirter that popped up during 2010 NaNo. It’s been so flipping persistent, even cropping up during this year’s revisions of my 2009 and 2010 efforts, there’s no way I can deny it any longer. I can’t say too much about it just yet. You know how when you’re dating someone new and it’s oh-my-gahmazing and you want to keep it to yourself for as long as possible? That’s how I feel about my story.