Thursday, October 30, 2014

NaNoWriMo: Blowing Stuff Up

"Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!" - Folk verse

This November 5th, I plan to blow something up in honor of Guy Fawkes Day.

It should be pointed out, for all the FBI web-crawling butt-munching spiders out there, that I'm a writer.  Nothing will actually, physically go boom, I promise. 

No, nothing will actually explode.  In the prose I'll be composing, however, it shall, and big time.  To quote one of my favorite movies of all time, "big badda-boom!"

You see, November is, as I'm sure all of you who've read my blog (or any other writer's blog, probably) recently already know, National Novel Writing Month.  NaNoWriMo, for short.  NaNo, for shorter.  Holy-cow-this-crap-is-insane Month, once we get to about Week 3.

And I'm'a gonna do it.  It'll be my fourth experience, and (hopefully) my third win. If you're in there, look for me under the nickname skingcharter. 

Why do I do NaNo?  To get a book ready to be sent to agents in December, of course As I learned after the first experience, the result is way too crappy of a draft to send anywhere, but at least it's a novel draft done and ready to be revised later, and that's crucial to my desire to put out two books per year.  It also helps me focus myself and build the writer's discipline and techniques that make me better at the craft.

I've long ago given up on the "No plot? No problem!" approach espoused by Baty et al.  Not that that direction doesn't work for some, but it doesn't work for me.  I've learned that, for me, the key to finishing is to start with a fairly elaborate plan.  Sure, it changes along the way, and that's part of the fun of writing, but if I at least have a road map, I can follow along through the construction and the explosions.

Which brings me to my favorite topic: blowing stuff up.  I actually only rarely do that in the writings that you'll read, because it rarely happens in my stories.  But one of the tricks I learned early on in writing is that if you get stuck, blow something up and have the characters react to it.  You can always (and I do) delete it after the draft is done, but at least it gets action started.  Granted, I've had to do it a lot less since I've developed my own outlining method, but it's still there, and it's still useful.

And I'm'a gonna do it on November 5th, just in honor of GF Day.

Who knows?  Maybe some day you'll be enjoying a novel by Stephen H. King titled Life With Bacon, reach a scene early on where something on the farm goes ka-boom!, and know that that's the part I wrote on November 5th, 2014, and that I left it in there.

It'll be just our secret, okay?

By the way--today is October 30th.  That's two days till NaNo.  If you're going to do an outline for your work, it's about time to get that part of preparation done.  If you're going to learn to use Scrivener, now's the time.  Because it's coming, and it's coming soon.  Can you feel the excitement?

Oh, hey, side note: my last blog about NaNo, I commented negatively about self-pubbing your NaNo project in December because, as I said, it's going to suck too much.  I figured you all knew me by now and know that I'm self-pubbed, myself, but I was wrong.  For everyone's sake, let me clarify: I wasn't dissing self-pubbing your wonderfully revised and edited book, not at all.  I was only dissing self-pubbing crap.  

That said: Enjoy!


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