Friday, 4 October 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 - Yup, I'm Doing It Again

50,000 words in one month, that's the aim of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), for those of you who don't know. And I'm doing it again this year. :)

Last year, I used NaNo to get going on the second in my series of YA/NA Vampire Novels, Heritage is Deadly, and I found it a really useful way of producing the majority of my first draft. With so many others pushing through to get out 50K words, there's a real impetus to keep at it as we all share our word counts and our stresses and our joy at little spurts of creativity :).  I am still working on this novel, since some of the 50K needed rewrites (but then NaNo isn't about polishing, it's about productivity) and I had another 40K to write to finish it, but NaNo gave me a really good start.

I don't want to revisit this novel this year, because there's not another 50K in it, so while HID 2 goes on the back burner for a month, I'm setting my sights on another novel that I've been waiting to write for a while now. I have a novella available free for download called, Bonds of Fire. It was written as a charity commission in 2011 and it's a techno-fantasy story revolving around a society where humans and dragons bond and live together. It is my most popular download and many of the reviews are asking for more and, since I already had some ideas, I decided to develop the plot of this novella into a full length novel, encompassing the story from Bonds of Fire, but also adding in some more arcs and expanding the characters and storyline.

To prepare for NaNo, I am therefore planning out the story in detail. I have notes about how I want to extend and develop the characters, but now I want to create a scene by scene breakdown. A full length novel requires a different structure to a short story, so I also want to change some of the emphases in the original piece, taking an expanded approach, but not changing the story too much, since the feedback from the reviews is that people like the story. This will be the first act in my novel. I already have a pretty clear idea of how the rest of the novel pans out, but this is where I need to work more on the planning side.

The biggest piece I need to work on is a battle scene, which opens the story, and, since I work in a linear way, this will be the first thing I'll be writing on Nov 1st. I ducked this scene when writing the short story, opening straight into the aftermath of the battle, which I could get away with in the short format, because it was not pertinent to the plot except in reference, but I need to set up the novel in more depth, so it has now become an important scene.

I like writing action sequences, but combat is tricky and I need to work out the major moves to make sure it all goes together properly. I won't plan it blow by blow, because I do like to leave some spontaneity in my writing, but I need to block out main points and, since this is techno-fantasy, I have to be clear on the weapons and such in use. Dragon-warship combat was not something I developed in detail in the original story, so now I have to flesh it out, since it is also pertinent later on in the book.

Planning is going to be more important to me than last year,  because last year I had the luxury of being a full time writer, but this year I'm working as a Project Manager 50% of my time and that means I don't have as many hours to mess around. When I'm writing, I have to be writing. So, I better stop waffling here and go do some proper scene breakdowns. ;P

I wish good luck, perseverance and stamina to anyone else doing NaNoWriMo 2013!

P.S. I'll be posting on my blog occasionally about my NaNo progress, but I give fair warning that by mid November, it may not be coherent! o.O

P.P.S Oh, and before NaNo starts, I have 10 ghost stories and a Hallowe'en horror to write.

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