I first heard about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2003. It was my senior year of high school and I was game to try. I was, after all, preparing for a career as a novelist. The project I started, still known as UNTITLED MOBSTER CAPER, has never gone anywhere. Why? Because I did almost no pre-work. I didn’t know my characters that well, I had a premise but no plot, and certainly no outline to follow.
In short, a total dud.
I had my first win in 2005, thanks to two hours of commuting time on a train each day. I did my homework and I wrote. For the first time I blew through 50,000 words and learned what a journey writing a novel actually is.
Because of that first win I’ve done NaNoWriMo every year since graduating from college. It’s something I look forward to every year. Fall? NaNo season! Take your pumpkin spice lattes, I’ve got an outline to write.
And I do need an outline. Without one, I’m lost. I have plenty of ideas but they need to be placed in some semblance of order. I have to see how they connect to one another so I can have the right perspective when I write them.
This year my outlining is not going so well.
After speaking with a publishing pro, I’m changing GISELLE’s target category from New Adult to Young Adult. The market’s just better there. I had already thought about doing so, and figured it was possible. Now the time has come to do it and it’s grinding along.
This is not good. There are four days left and two of them are claimed by other activities. I need to get cracking.
What will happen if I don’t complete this outline in time? I’ll start writing with what I do have, and I’ll keep working on the outline. I’ll try to keep a couple of chapters ahead of what I’ve written. It’ll be a new experience for me. Which is not in itself a bad thing. But new is kind of scary.
I’ve got extra work obligations this year that are going to cut into my writing time, and that’s also scary. For the first time in a while I’m left wondering when on Earth I’m going to have time to write. Scary.
I must remind myself that this is not the UNTITLED MOBSTER CAPER all over again. I have a plan, it’s just not been thought all the way through. I have a complete outline for NA!GISELLE, it just needs to be translated into YA!GISELLE. I’ve got this. I can do this.
A little fear can be good. Get you off your butt. We’ll see how it works out. Wish me luck!