Monday, October 17, 2011

Getting ready for November

We're mid-way through the month of October. And, as you can tell, I managed to recover my MacBook. I'm not entirely convinced about the new version of Mac OS - Lion. But, it's up and running now so I no longer care.

There was a time I would, but now I simply need computers to, what's the phrase?, "just work".

Halfway through October means only about 15 days to the start of November and the madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I'll be working again with pen and paper, so the lack of a functioning MacBook would not have been a huge problem. I am really hoping not to do what I did last year - have to sprint madly at the end. In truth, 1,667 words per day is not a lot - given I managed over 11,000 on the last day of November last year!

So, the intent is to go the steady route. Let's see how that works out.

During NaNoWriMo 2009, I wrote the first book of a two-parter (although there's a third percolating at the back of my mind - but, for the moment, it can stay there.) This year I'm going to write the second part, picking up a few months after the last scene of the first.

I have some ideas about the plot. Some of the characters, those who made it through the first, return. There are some new ones.

Right now I'm working out the plot trajectory/points. I am not an outline kinda guy but I am going to "block out" some of the main areas of the story as the narrative will unfold from (a minimum of) three different points of view - as the first story did.

I'm using, as I did for NaNoWriMo last year, an application named Index Card for the iPad. In addition to its corkboard metaphor, it can turn the cards into an outline.

The outline can be imported into Scrivener, giving me some structure on which to hang the text.

For the moment, I've just drawn the lightest of character sketches, color-coded according to the narrative's point of view character. When I lay out the different scenes, I'll maintain the color coding. The theory being I should be able to tell at a glance how balanced the story is.

I'll let you know.

To all those embarking on NaNoWriMo this year - good luck, and keep writing.


  1. I won't be joining you for the Nov madness, as I'm already deep in the throes of scribbling, but best of luck with PACING this time!!!! :D

  2. You're going to tackle NaNo? Well, good luck. Pacing is crucial when you jam yourself into tight creative spaces.

  3. Oh very good luck to you Kevin. I've never done NaNo and I was thinking about it this year - thought I would use it to write the sequel to my first novel, but when I considered the time involved,( I reckoned on around 2,000 words a day - not unachievable because I wrote more than that when writing my first novel), I decided I just couldn't commit that time needed this year - maybe next year with some encouragement I might join you. ^__^

  4. @Laura - I can tell you've been busy writing up a storm. Well done. I'll keep a NaNo seat warm for you in 2012.

    @John - Yes. Going to tackle it. Pacing? Ha! Ask Laura about my pacing. :)

    @Helen - Many thanks for the good wishes, Helen. NaNo is a blast. I started it in 2008. I'd just heard about it (late October that year) and decided, "Whyever not?" It was a blast and a HUGE high. Got addicted after that one hit, I'm afraid.