NaNoWriMo 2018 begins

official NaNoWriMo badge

And so it begins again …

I was a little late to the party this year. For the past few years I’ve been ready to go by the end of play on 31 October. This year, I finished most of the prep at around 1:30pm today. Eek!

When I say prep, I mean my Scrivener binder – it’s currently mostly blank, but at least all the bits are there waiting to be filled in.

I’m being a rebel this year. I’m giving an old story a new treatment using a familiar character. I’m seeing if it works as a sort-of Marcie Craig mystery, although as it’s also historical (November 1974), she’ll be discovering most of the facts in retrospect.

I still have planning work to do for the new scenes, and I’m going to have to do major re-writes for some of the existing scenes. I’ll also be able to cheat. I just won’t make a habit of that. I do expect my word-count to be considerably higher than 50,000 words by the end of it, though. I’ll need it to be at least 75,000 words before I can do anything with it.

I did have a choice of 2 writing books to accompany me on this year’s NaNo. However, at the last minute – well, in the past week – I discovered How to Plan, Outline, and Write Your Novel in 30 Days by Amy Deardon.

I have read this book through twice. and it will definitely be featuring in 52 Books in 52 Weeks, because it’s quite possibly the very best book I have ever read on writing.

At last, here is the guidance I’ve been looking for all my life. There is no fluff. There are no pointless exercises for arty sake. It’s a practical how-to-write-your-novel-one-step-at-a-time-and-in-the-order-to-do-it.

It’s not too late to add this book to your NaNo companions this year, because Deardon offers two suggestions for writing a book in 30 days:

The first is to spend 5 days planning; the second is to do the planning before you start. Then both methods give you either 20 or 25 days to write either 2,500 words a day or 2,000 words a day, depending on when you do your planning, in either 2½ or 2 hours each day, and still have 5 days off!

Yes, really! It’s the book I wish I’d written.

Because my planning is a little late at the moment, I’m using at least the time for one of my days off to plan as I go along. I’m working in between, on proofreading and editing contracts for clients too, and I’ve started writing.

Go buy her book. Just look at how many words I’ve written so far:

word meter from Writertopia

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