NanoNewbie – Goin’ For It

Nanos have come and gone and I’ve watched them pass, focusing on editing or letting my corporate gig monopolize my time, while my writer friends crow in triumph as they type across the finish line in frenetic bliss. Well, time to snatch me a piece o’ that bliss ‘cause I’m going for it this year. Consider me a Nano contender.

By throwing my keyboard into the ring, I’m committing to writing 50k words in the month of November. It’s doable, with direction and dedication, but by no means a simple feat. Not for me at least. I’m trying to get my daily/weekly/monthly wordcount up, but this is gonna be a stretch.

So be it. I’m ready…or will be by the end of the October.

Several, if not most, Fictorians’ posts on NaNoWriMo will focus on preparing for Nano. Each of us has his or her own basic needs to satisfy at the beginning of a project. Some writers can jump right in. Give her a name, place, and basic concept and she’s off. Me, I need a bit more. The pantser-style and I don’t work well together, so I need to outline. Over the past year, I’ve developed the basics of a middle-grade fantasy—settings, characters, conflicts, and key scenes. Now I need to create the scene-by-scene breakdown. I write more efficiently having mapped the story out prior to planting my butt in the seat to type the first sentence.

I also need to map out my character’s conflict against the main story arc to make sure I nail the emotional beats at the key points in the story to ensure her growth and development. Give me a conflict map and a scene-by-scene breakdown and I’ll fly the alps in a plane with no windows. (bonus points if you know that movie reference)

That’ll give me enough of a strawman to start pounding the keys, but I still need one more big thing out of the way— the edits on my current WIP. I’ve had them hanging over my head for a long time. And I’m close…so close, but I need the Knight of Air off my back and into my publisher’s hands. I won’t be able to focus on the new book while still having that tale in the drawer. I’ll feel like I should be working on the Knight’s book and lost focus and drive on the new one.

So here’s what I need to do:

  1. Finish edits on “Knight of Air” and submit to publisher
  2. Complete the scene-by-scene breakdown of “Brownie King” (working title)
  3. Complete the “Brownie King” conflict map

Hmm…not so bad. Only three things on my writing “To do” list for October. I got this.

What about you? Have you thought about what you need to do to be ready to write your brains out next month? Maybe it’s clearing out old projects or negotiating writing time with your family or plotting out the next story. Take the time early this month to figure out how to be successful in November, so we can both crow triumphant on 11/30!



About Scott Eder

By day, Scott is a Champion of software quality, breaking code, and squashing bugs. By night, he’s a slinger of fantastical words, creator of places and people undreamt, and smith of heroic tales. Oh, and an adviser/coach/fanatic for competitive youth bowling. Ask him about it … he dares you. Scott lives with his wife and two children on the west coast of Florida.

One response on “NanoNewbie – Goin’ For It

  1. Brenda Bensch

    Florida ? ? ? How deep was YOUR water after the hurricane ? ? ? You and I met in Southern Utah at a week-long workshop with Dave Wolverton/Farland. SO glad to see you writing here: I’ve copies-to-keep more than one of your pieces. Congrats! Need an editor? I’m the one who taught English in MANY Utah high schools and 2 of its Universities. And I’m FAST. Also, I’ve been doing NaNo since 2011. Welcome to the MADNESS ! ! !

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