Why is Preparing for NaNoWriMo so Difficult?

NaNoWriMoNational Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, arrives in a few days so I’m plotting out the book I’ll write during the annual event. I’m attempting for the third time to write the third book of a trilogy. I’m hoping third time’s a charm, as the saying goes.

I’m ready for this novel to be done. Sometimes I think I’m weird that I feel like this novel has to be done so I can move on to the next novel. But a writer friend told me I’m not weird for wanting to do that.

Starting over again

I’ve written a different beginning the other times, and even some of the story was different. I’m looking at the possibility of combining the best parts from the other versions and rewrite the first part. Hopefully, I can finish the novel so that I have a good first draft, which I’ve never had before.

When preparing for NaNoWriMo in previous years, I’ve never done a detailed outline. I’m not that kind of writer, but some place between pantser and plotter. But this time, I would like to have more of an outline.

Participating in a chat

So, I’ve been following a weekly Sunday chat for a writing group using K.M. Weiland’s book, Outlining Your Novel. Weiland suggests using a notebook, but I’m more of a visual person. I’m trying to figure out how I can outline my novel so that I can see it — let it stare me in the face.

Back to Weiland’s book for a minute, this book is an awesome resource if you are a detailed plotter. She goes into every little detail you can ever think of for getting all of the details worked out. She makes you think of everything that could happen with each character and fills notebooks full of notes. While that is great, I don’t want to outline that much, as I’ve stated before.

Visualizing the outline

During one chat, the writer friend leading the chat gave us ideas on how we could outline using a white board. I don’t have a white board, but I’ve often thought about getting one.

In the meantime, I have a pink bulletin board that I’ve had since I was a kid. My room was the girly pink one so everything was pink, and I’ve kept it all this time. It’s always been useful.

Until this chat, I had been using it for one of my other businesses, but I decided it was time to use it for writing. I stripped it clean of the business stuff and put up the index cards I’ve filled out for the other versions of my novel. Making this change is definitely helping see my story visually, and I’m glad I went to that chat.

I could also use Scrivener as it has a great way to outline using the index cards within its software. But that’s harder for me to see. I can’t be as visual with it.

Getting back to the actual outlining, I will review the index cards staring at me and see what I can do to get the plot outlined the best I can. I do know I need a road map of some kind, or I won’t write and do well. I have to know where I’m going even if it’s brief.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what preparations do you do before the big event begins?
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