Saturday, October 23, 2010

OctNoWriMo, or Adapting When Necessary

I've blogged about participating in National Novel Writing Month this year. National Novel Writing Month is, basically, a way to make a writer get his or her butt in the chair and write a novel in a month. I consider it a great way to jump-start a project, and since I'm at a good place to do that, I decided to participate in an unofficial way. being what it is, November is starting to get booked up already. (And I must say, I suspect November was chosen as National Novel Writing Month by a man. Or somebody who isn't American. Because while I'm not an American, I'm sure for many American women, November is the Month of Preparation for Thanksgiving, so not a lot of spare time. But I digress.)

Since November is getting busy, I've decided to start NaNoWriMo early, making my own OctNoWriMo. My goal is to write 2 five-page scenes a day for four weeks. Unlike official NaNoWriMo calculations, I am not going by word count. I'd rather think in terms of scenes. If a scene is over five pages, then I'll go with ten pages for the day.

A couple of things to note:

I'm not including weekends. I may choose to write on a weekend, or I may do laundry, etc. Or I may find I need to rethink my outline, or do some research. And a break day may turn out to be Wed. instead of Sat. Basically, I'm allowing myself a two-day break. Again, this isn't the way official NaNo works, but if there's one thing I've learned in my career, it's that I don't have to do things the way everybody else does.

I have a cleaning lady who comes every two weeks. That means I have tidying up to do before she comes, but not the heavy lifting. Believe me, I appreciate this.

I don't have school-age kids at home. (Sigh.)

I'm including time to exercise and cook dinner in my schedule, which will hopefully look something like this:

read the papers (I read two a day)
check (brief) outline, write one scene
check email, tweet progress
go for walk (or go for walk, then lunch, depending on when I finish the scene)
write second scene
check email, tweet, blog progress
make dinner
the rest of the evening is mine to enjoy

We'll see how this goes, but if all goes well, I should be well on my way with a project by the middle of November. Of course there will have to be revisions, but I think most writers will agree the real grunt work is the first draft.

Stay tuned for daily progress reports, starting Monday.

ETA: I'll be blogging about my preparations for OctNoWriMo tomorrow.

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