So most of you might know what NaNoWriMo means, but for those of you who don't, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it takes place in November each year. NaNoPlaMo isn't really a thing, its something that Chuck Wendig made up, and I adopted. It stands for Nation Novel Planning Month, and it's what I want to focus on today.
First, some more about NaNoWriMo. The whole deal is that a whole bunch of writers (anyone really) commit to write a 50,000 word novel between November 1st and November 30th. It's somewhat official, in that you sign up on their website and if you succeed in the 50k words challenge, you win (you win nothing, really, but that's not the point). It's an interesting idea, and I've heard that it helps a lot of people actually finish a draft for the first time. While I don't have much interest in actually pursuing it this year (some of you might remember that I wrote The Sometimes Sword first draft, which was 60k words in 25 days, back in April), I did want to use the idea and frenzied atmosphere (internetsphere?) of the event.
The other day, I was reading on Terribleminds.com where Chuck was discussing the pros and cons of NaNoWriMo. In the blog he mentioned that many writers go into November with the idea that a starting gun goes off, and they then have to sprint to the end of a race, full tilt. He pointed out that, as NaNoWriMo isn't really a rule-based contest, there is nothing preventing thought and deliberation from taking part. This is where NaNoPlaMo comes into play. What if, instead of a sweaty mob-rush to the ribbon, there was a steadier, perhaps tea-and-crumpet filled stroll along a beautiful scenic forest path?
What I mean by this, is that a challenge to write a 50k-word novel has it's merits, but if you don't write something with potential to be more than that, it was a waste of time. Chuck pointed out that a smart writer would use October as NaNoPlaMo, or a month in which to plan your 50k-word book. Once you have it planned, go ahead and sprint through November, finish that first draft, but be prepared to keep working at it. Write a second draft, expand it as much as it needs.
But back to the reason I'm writing about this. I intend to write my new book's first draft in the space of two months (yeah, I know, it's not NaNoWriMo, but I already explained about that), to the tune of about 80-90k words. I will be participating in NaNoPlaMo in the month of October, making sure I have a solid foundation, thereby cutting down the amount of rewriting and revising I have to do (cause I seriously hate that stuff).
What about you? Have you ever done NaNoWriMo or are you planning to?