Okay, I know the internet is filled with “prepping” posts leading up to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) every September, October, and November, so I’ll try to keep this brief. Lol
As many of you probably know, April 1 marks the beginning of the first Camp NaNoWriMo of 2015 (You can check out the website here if you’d like to jump in), and for the first time in a couple of years I’m jonesing to get started. Over the last few years, I’ve become a hem-hawing machine as to whether I’m going to take part or not, so the shift in mentality has added an extra bounce to my step, er… I mean, typing.
Out of all the prepping things you want to have is an idea. That’s really all I ever go into a project having, and believe me, there’s nothing worse than going into a writing challenge without a clue as to what you’ll be working on. For this camp, I set my word goal at 20k (One of the cool benefits to doing the Camps :D ) since I have three projects I want to do or finish up.
While they’re nothing too extravagant, I know I’m going to be hard pressed not to jump into another project so I’m not going to make any promises. The one thing I am promising myself is to keep my nice, pleasant, methodical pace when writing and not burn myself out.
Last November, I challenged myself (in a moment of complete lunacy, stupidity, you can pick whichever works best) to write three novels to please my muse. I figured they’d be 50k each, so that meant a word goal of 150k or writing 5k a day. Considering I usually write a chapter (1600-3300 words) per day, I thought a little more wouldn’t be too rough. Then I reached my 50k goal in nine days and a total of 80k-something. Two of the projects were complete, one a 10k novella, but the third hit a brickwalled dead end. What made my self-challenge tougher was I’m a 90% pantzer. Outlines and I don’t get along at all, so I usually know how a story will start, the climax, and how it’ll end and that’s it. Basically, I never make things easy on myself. It’s way too boring. :D
Anyway, the result was I swear I nearly broke something and my muse took a short break. It wasn’t burnout (I did that several times before), but a lack of drive. I’d have an idea, but if I couldn’t write it out in an hour or two, I’d set it aside. That wasn’t something I liked, so I took a couple of months to recollect myself while writing short pieces here and there.
Now, my muse is back full strength and ready to be unleashed on my unsuspecting characters. The difference is this time, I’m keeping it on a short leash. This camp is a stretching exercise for me. A little something to get ready to get back into the writing groove that’s more than transcribing the hieroglyphics my handwriting represents or just short stories.
I know, that doesn’t really sound like prepping, but it feels like it so I’m not arguing. My full drive is back and I’m looking forward to the fun times ahead.
What’s one of your favorite ways to prep to write a short story o full length novel?