I’ve been an active participant in NaNoWriMo for over a decade now, but in truth I haven’t finished a novel in several years. Last year, I made it to just over 30,000 words before I lost steam, and I think part of the reason was because I hadn’t fully plotted everything out. I used to be able to write quite a good chunk without a firm plot in place, but these days my brain just doesn’t work that way anymore.
Starting October 1, I’ve been plotting between 2-4 chapters a day on the middle-grade novel I’m hoping to write this November, and the goal is to have the entire thing as mapped out as possible before it’s time to sit down and start writing no November 1.
One of the frustrating things about plotting is that I know it’s all slopping and a lot of what I’ve planned will get altered or washed out entirely once I start writing, but the thing I love is that as I do this, I’m learning so much about the characters I will be writing about, the world they live in, the events that shape their lives. It’s one of the greatest parts of writing for me, personally: the shaping of the world I want to spend time in.
I will post progress updates as I have them, and hopefully I will have a fully plotted novel, beginning to end, to dive into on November 1!
What’s your NaNoWriMo process like these days? You still pantsing your way through thirty days of madness, or are you taking a new approach and plotting? Have you abandoned the meticulous plotting you once allowed to lead you through the words in hopes that a more frivolous approach will get you through to the end? I want to hear about your process if you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, and how it differs, if at all, from previous years you participated.