Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Summer Project - Planning for NaNoWriMo!

I need to carve some big chunks of time out of my calendar for my latest project.

To explain what NaNoWriMo is, I have to quote blogspot’s MerlotMom who said:

It's called NaNoWriMo. NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth.
For everyone else it's in November.
Crazy people, like me, get together online and spend the month of November killing themselves.
They lose touch with their families, forget to shower, drink too much coffee, eat too much junk, chew their nails to the quick, pull out their hair.
But they do it together.
And at the end of the nightmare they are rewarded with a first draft, albeit, most likely an awful one, of their novel.

The timing makes sense.
The weather is miserable in November.
The kids are in school.
It's before all the holidays.
But I rarely do things that make sense.
And I can't wait that long.

She continues to explain why she is writing her Novel in 30 days starting today

Please go here to read her full post…
(I don’t have her permission to quote her blog, so if asked I will need to remove the quote – Her words explained my expectation of the November novel writer’s life during that month so well that I wanted to share it with you without losing you to a “click”.)

I am not starting to write my novel today (or more precisely June 17th), like MerlotMom, otherwise I would need to carve a month out of my calendar – not just “some time”. What I am doing over this summer is the planning and research necessary so I can get my novel done when November this year rolls around. I am determined to write a novel in November and at least get across the finish line in this international writing effort.

I had set the goal for the month of June for coming up with “The Idea”. Every novel has to have the germ of an idea (a concept, thesis or motif) and without it nothing else can be done, a good one is essential. This week my idea arrived. Funny how these things happen. I wasn’t even thinking about my novel when I was walking to work this week and “the Idea” arrived. It just landed in my brain, right out of nowhere. Funny, the way it happened. I couldn’t listen to my usual CBC Radio 2 Morning Show because I discovered as I was leaving for work that it had somehow been left turned on and the battery was flat. So I did not listen to music on the way in and I had no diversion. My mind was in “free float”. Now I know how people feel when they say “it just came to me”. And it did. So now I can research and plan.

I am a planner, by personality and by profession. Actually, I work as an IT Project Manager really, but a large part of that job is planning – of course the part that pays is the role I play in making sure the plan actually comes to fruition, but my job is not the topic here. Suffice to say I will take a very disciplined approach to my novel writing activity to come. While the actual novel writing is in November, it is permissible to do all the pre-work you like prior to that date. There is lots to be done in advance to help ensure success.

Having got “The Idea”, I can now start sketching out the who, what, when and where which will be included and the actual items of crisis and resolution that will need to be dealt with in progressing to the ending. I also will need to do a fair bit of research because for the most part it will not be set in this country. There is a great deal to find out and map out before I can do chapter/scene summaries in Sept/Oct.

Because the idea is so GREAT, I am shivering with excitement just thinking about it. It will be so much fun to figure out how this is going to work. It is a rather large idea and radical concept so choosing the right path to present the idea is key. I was smiling all week as the potential of different scenarios played out in my mind.

Hence, I have a need to carve out a great deal of time in the next 2 months. Keep in mind that I have a demanding job, which at the moment is cooking on all burners (I billed 55 hours last week – so I don’t keep bankers hours!) and therefore my time is at a premium.

I have been thinking about how to find some time and there are some areas of my life that could be short cut a bit -ok – dust bunnies can wait, but aside from work and the daily chores of living, blogging, reading blogs and commenting on blogs has been the biggest consumer of my time.

I have decided to do the opposite of a “summer sabbatical”. I am going to do take a “NaNoWriMo planning sabbatical” from blogging. Well, not entirely. I will put out some brief entries when struck by the absolute necessity to stand on a soap box and wax lyrical to the world, but mostly I will just use my blog to post progress notes and to give anyone who might be following a snippet of information about what I am dreaming up – without revealing too much of “The Idea”. Well, at least not while it is just half baked. Maybe later as it develops. Of course, comments and encouragement will be most welcomed!

I will apologize in advance for not keeping up properly with my dear bloggist friends posts. I may well speed read one or two (I can do that on my iPhone at work whilst waiting for folks to arrive at meetings, LOL) as time permits, but there will be no long comment responses to thought provoking blogs (I can hear Fram sighing in relief) at least until the end of summer.

Please wish me well with this project. Next Sunday night I will publish a post to let you know how the first week went and what progress I have made.

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