Thursday, October 25, 2012

NaNoWriMo, or In Which I Lose My Mind

I'm taking the plunge, people. I am all signed up, and am officially a NaNoWriMo participant this year. You can add me as a buddy if you'd like--my name is Lindzee on the site.

I think I'm a little bit insane to do NaNo. As if having toddler twins don't keep me busy enough, I also have a husband who is gone 14-15 hours a day because he is going to school full time while also working full time. So with the tiny terrors and absent husband, I thought to myself, "Life isn't crazy enough." So I joined three--yes, three--critique groups. That means I critique about 300 pages a month. And have to submit my own work 4 times a month.

And now I'm doing NaNo. I somehow think I will be able to write 50k in 30 days and still come out alive on the other side. I've always taken on way more than I can handle, so why should I change things up now? I'm sure other people have busier, crazier, more hectic lives than mine, but frankly, it's a miracle I find time to shower AND put on makeup most days.

I have been a pantster writer in the past, and it has never ended well for me. The LDStoryMakers conference last May totally converted me to outlining. So in May, for the first time ever, I sat down and did an outline from start to finish of a novel. That novel was the Hostage Heart, and I thought my outline was the bomb diggity.

It was not. As I got into the story, I realized my outline wasn't nearly as thorough as I thought it was, and consequently I'm going to have some pretty big edits to do on that draft before it's submittable.

So I decided I would try outlining again for The Good, the Bad, and the Infertile, and this time try to do it right. That's the book I'm going to write for NaNo. I knew, if I was going to make NaNo a success, I would need a very solid outline so I didn't waste time being "stuck" when I should be writing. Enter ywriter, pretty much my favorite free writing program ever. It's an outlining program that has saved my bacon. Yesterday I finished my scene-by-scene outline for GBI. It took me 3 weeks to do the outline, and the book currently will be 50 chapters long. I literally know what will happen on every page of this ms, and I've only written 3 chapters.

This morning, while the twins were (supposed to be) napping, I sat down to go over the outline and tighten it up a bit. I have 5 days left until November, and I want this outline to be solid. I got to chapter 4 (the chapter I've been stuck in the middle of writing for months now) and realized as I was reading the outline I was bored. And then I realized, if I'm not excited to write the scene, then no way is someone going to be excited to read it.

So I'm back to outlining. The whole outline doesn't suck--there are many, many scenes I cannot wait to write--but anything I'm not excited about has got to go or be changed in some way. Because writing is supposed to be fun, and if I'm not having a good time, why am I doing it?

5 days. I have 5 days to make this outline shine, then 30 days to pound out 50,000 words. I have such high hopes for this story. It's so close to my heart, and I just want to do it justice.

I cannot wait.

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