I never thought I’d be writing about thriving in National Novel Writing Month, but November 2016 changed my perspective on what I could do in my writing life. I learned the discipline of trying to write an entire novel in one month. I had had nothing but challenges trying to find a publisher for my first novel, The Renaissance Club (forthcoming January 16, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing). They say the best thing you can do to sell your book is write a new one. So on a reckless whim, I signed up for my first #NaNoWriMo.
How did I find a way to thrive? By plunging into a daily word goal of 1,600+ words. What I learned is that I love s challenge, and word count made me compete with myself, I was not only reckless to enter #NaNoWriMo, I wrote recklessly. Thirty days later, I found the partial novel draft full of life, and for the last year I’ve fleshed it out.
NaNoWriMo for Pantsers
If you’re an outline-averse writer like me, the idea of entering a force writing march with a precise outline of who, what, when, where, why feels like closing the door to inspiration. Charts like that shoo away any muse I have wooed close. So what can I use as a guide, other than my vague idea that my sisters would be like those in Sense and Sensibility (did I mention that I have two complete sets of Jane Austen novels, one for upstairs, and one for downstairs?).