Thursday, September 29, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: Then and Now


Hello All!
By the time you will read this, I will be overseas attending a wedding. If there are any mistakes, I apologize...I'm writing this on a German keyboard. :p
I have so much inspiration for new posts, but today's post will be about NaNoWriMo 2016!

Are you participating in the writing event of the year? You can find my previous post on the subject here, but this year, I thought I'd do a comparison post from 2015 to 2016.

2015: Beginnings

2015 was all about beginnings. I started this blog in October as I was prepping for my first NaNo, and a full year later, I can't believe I have actually kept up with it. I had no idea what I was going to write about this time last year, but my brain had started thinking that writing was something I wanted to do as more than just a hobby. 

2015 was my first full-fledged NaNoWriMo as well. People in previous years had asked me if I was participating, and every year, I simply felt like I didn't know how to "do NaNoWriMo" the right way.

As if there actually is a right way to write 50,000 words in a month. (Hint: there isn't a correct way to do it)

2015 was my "Hello!" year to the writing world.

2016: Growth

In contrast, my goals for 2016 center around the theme of growth as a writer. I understand how NaNo works, and I understand my own writing personality. In other words, I know what works best for me, I understand my rhythm as a writer, and I am able to hone in on improvement. 

Instead of doing this event in order to learn more about myself as a writer, 2016 is about building on the foundation I have set this past year. I realize now that simply "word vomiting" on the page to reach my daily word count does not work for me. It comes easily for me to be "wordy," so oftentimes, these chunks of just "putting things down" don't have much value. 

I know that, when I write, I need to write with a sense of purpose and a sense of meaning so that the end draft will be salvageable come editing time.


2015: High Structure//High Planning

In 2015, I had a very detailed outline. I drew maps, created plotting diagrams, and had extensive personality profiles on every character along with actual pieces of dialogue. Every step of the way was in that outline, and it was about 20 pages long (I blame the teacher side of me for the meticulousness.)

The good thing was that it was a thorough roadmap for what I thought would be the plot. 

The bad thing was that such a rigid outline ended up stalling me and burning me out when what I wrote veered off from the original plan.

2016: Hybrid Plotter/Pantser

In 2016, I want to try a new plotting method by combining a Plotter mindset (having an outline before writing) and a Pantser (those who write ''by the seat of their pants''). Instead of having every step of the way plotted out, I am going to leave myself some breathing room to allow the story to flow organically as I am writing it.

I will have major plot points to act as guideposts for the novel, but how I reach that point will be up for interpretation. This way, I hope to avoid the pitfall of developing stale writing as I won't be chained to an outline.


2015: Active on Forums

By this time last year, I was actively posting and interacting with others on the NaNoWriMo main site. I posted introductions for myself and my writing, and I answered others' questions about grammar, plotting, worldbuilding etc. I had no ''Writer's Tribe'' yet. so I looked for others like me to connect with.
   
2016: Active on Social Media/Word Sprints

Now I have a group of writers I engage with on Twitter, and I fondly refer to them as my ''Writer's Tribe''. These people are warm, friendly and open about their own struggles and triumphs with writing. They are always there to lend a helping hand, to bring me up when I'm feeling discouraged after another round of grueling edits, and are just all-around awesome people. If I didn't have that support group there by my side, my writing journey would be lonely indeed. Therefore, this NaNo will be spent mainly on Twitter with this lovely group.

I also will utilize word sprints more often. Sites like mywriteclub.com are great for word sprints, and you can choose whether to do a global sprint with others, or if you'd rather go it alone. Word sprints help me to not focus on editing during NaNo as well as it forces me to take short breaks in between writing which helps me with burnout.
   

How will you NaNo? Comment below, and follow along to find out more about this year's NaNo experience!

  

As always, may your words be great and your pages many.

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