Saturday, October 15, 2011

Prepping for NaNo

Where am I in this task of preparing for NaNoWriMo?  Well, considering that I didn’t know what I was going to do on the 1st of the month, I have moved along slowly but with promise. 
Last week I mentioned I’m taking a class with Susan Merier, who by the way has written over 50 published books.  I figure she has a handle on getting those words down and into a story form.  So, the first week we had to come up with a story summary in the form of a paragraph or a sentence.  Well, at first I thought that was pretty lame since I didn’t have an idea of what I was going to write.  Then the rush of the assignment and the time element moved my brain to do amazing feats.  I started with the one sentence, the elevator pitch.  My thought was that it’s easier to write one sentence about something you don’t know squat about than a paragraph.  And it was and it wasn’t.  But, from that one sentence, I came up with a story idea and then went on to the paragraph.  Bit by bit the story started to emerge.  But, there were big holes in the story and they needed filling. 
This week in the class we did an assignment called a ‘list of 20.’  It’s an exercise where you ask a question related to your story and the more specific the better.  Then you let your creativity go wild to answer the question from the logical to the wierd. There are no right or wrong answers.  The point of the exercise is that after twenty answers you will find two or three gems that will kick your story out of its stuck mode or in a completely unexpected direction.  Neat.
 I took it further, as Susan said I made the exercise my own, from the list other questions popped up in my mind and more answers came into the forefront. This continued until the list was gigantic.  The holes were filling up.  Mind you, I don’t have the exact inciting incident or the plot points or the realization yet.  That’s what I will be working on the next two weeks, as well as a list of scenes.  Tick-Tock! Tick-Tock!
What is your method of preparing for the great write in November?



Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

I haven't participated in NaNo yet, and won't this year, as I'm in the middle of a rewrite of another book. But these suggestions were quite interesting as a way to approach a new and yet-to-be written novel. Usually my books arise from a character's voice and then other characters who relate to that character.

EW Gibson said...

Mrs. Seraphina,

I would normally do the same. And really would have liked to have approached the NaNo that way, but LOL, didn't have a clue of a character. Everyone says don't worry, it'll be fun. Well, I'm worried, so I'm planning like heck. hehehehe!

Always nice to see you. BTW, I love the name Seraphina. Phillip Pullman uses that name in his Golden Compass series. The beautiful witch who helps Lara is named Serphina Pecala.

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