At some point I should probably look at my page with fave NaNo resources and give it an update, but for now I want to share a new one I just found. I’ve spent the past week or so slowly but surely working on worldbuilding for next month’s NaNoWriMo novel. I intend to write a new-from-scratch draft of my novel Quest for Serentasia, which I wrote for my first NaNo in 2007. I may be including elements of the second novel, Return to Serentasia, which will in turn, perhaps, get its own second draft next year. I am not even going to reread the original drafts first – I know enough of the storyline, and really want to improve it more than proofread it, so I don’t need to reread it.
The biggest problem I’ve had with these two novels is that I don’t have rules for the magic used in the magical fairyland that is home to the kingdoms of Serentasia and Felicimora. My biggest goal for Preptober is to define the magical system, which is going to make rewrites easier and more cohesive. So I have been doing a lot of research on worldbuilding and creating a system of magic for fantasy fiction.
Enter Eva Deverell‘s site. She has a ton of great writing worksheets and resources. Come for the PDFs on magic, stay for the PDFs on every other aspect of noveling. Actually, the amazing worksheets aren’t even why I’m posting, although they are certainly awesome enough to merit a post (and please, if you are a writer then go explore her site).
No, what I am so excited about today is the Novel in a Month Notebook. I will admit that I was a little nervous at first. A cute little booklet whose success depends on my printer’s ability to perfectly print double-sided pages, my own luck in flipping the pages the right way in the printer, AND my precision in cutting all of the pages? No small feat, but I was up for the task. And while I would prefer to buy a perfectly printed and stitched book, I’m really happy with the outcome. I haven’t decided what I want to do about binding (staples? rubber band? string?) but it actually looks really good.
My fountain pen soaked through the first page a little bit, which is a flaw in the system and obviously has nothing to do with the PDF. So I will be using my colorful, fruit-scented, glitter gel pens to fill out the notebook instead, and that’s turning out to be a lot better anyway. 😉 Here’s a quick photo of the notebook as I’m working in it. I will try to remember to post more pictures in December when I’ve filled out a lot more of it.
What most people call November I call NaNovember. I like it. It’s my reminder that for one special month, I give myself permission to spend all my free time (and much of my work time, shh!) frantically writing a novel that I may or may not want to publish some day. I spent a few years working on my Cassandra story, and while that’s still a work in progress, I think I will shift gears this year.
In 2007 I wrote the novel Quest for Serentasia. It still needs work to become publishable, but I had some vague ideas for a sequel back then and I have yet to write more than about 3500 words — that was last year, when I had Lyme disease and had zero energy for at least the first half of the month. By the time I was feeling better, I had no enthusiasm because I felt I didn’t have time to get to 50k.
My current plan of action: Reread what I wrote last year. Edit that if I see fit, but do not add any new words. Start planning the rest of the novel. November 1st, whatever is already written is off-limits. Take the new word count and add 50k to get my 2012 total word count goal. I did this in 2010, adding 50k to the preexisting word count and continuing a failed NaNo attempt from the year before. So that’s what I’m going to do again.
Following Jessica‘s lead, I’m posting my chart comparing this year’s word count each day to last year.
Why it’s so different?
- Last year’s novel followed the quest archetype, which meant I had a bit of a built-in outline, but this year I started with a very basic concept with few plot points.
- Last year I worked part time, about 6 hours a week being average. This year I am working full-time (yay!) and therefore had a lot less free time in my day (boo!).
- Last year I got engaged November 17 and just wanted to finish as soon as possible. This year I’m living with my fiance and have to juggle my free time with when he’s home (I find it a lot easier to write when I’m alone).
- Last year I met with Aimee (Poughkeepsie area ML) Tuesdays in addition to write-ins every Sunday. We had a lot of great back-and-forth convos about our novels. This year I went to the Poughkeepsie kick-off party, one write-in down in Westchester, and a couple IM convos with Aimee (and one with my cousin’s daughter) and that’s it.
Last year I had a spiral notebook where I kept track of the ideas bursting from my head before it was time to set them down in the novel. I have continued using the notebook during editing.
This year I have a spiral notebook where last night I wrote down a bunch of my mom’s recipes. Because I need to put them in my recipe binder. And they have nothing to do with my novel whatsoever.
Lots of things going on in my life lately. I didn’t complete NaNoEdMo, but I’m okay with taking my sweet time on this. I am still tracking my editing hours and have passed the 10 hour point. Now it’s just about time to get ready for this year’s NaNoWriMo. My fiancee said he’ll probably join me, and a coworker is on the fence and trying to get some of her friends to join before she really commits to it. I plan on lending her my copy of No Plot? No Problem to entice her.
I don’t know what I’ll write this year. I have vague ideas for a sequel to QfS, but I’d rather hold off on that until the first one is done with editing so I don’t have to rewrite the sequel ten times as things change in QfS. I also have the “novel” ideas from January of this year, but I think the 1k that I wrote works best as is, so I plan on putting that in my short story binder along with the others. So where does that leave me? I have no ideas yet, but I’m sure (translation: I hope) some brilliance will strike my fancy just before November, as it did last year.
My preparations have begun today, though! I have started rereading No Plot? No Problem, because of course I can’t pass it along until I refresh my memory. I have also started praying that I don’t get sick all that month — I’m sick now, going on a week, and I think that’s enough for one year. I’m thinking about which blank notebook to use for this year’s plans, ideas, research, sketches, highlighting, crossing out, epiphanies, peppermint hot chocolate stains….