Preparation is key. That is one of the things I have definitively learned the hard way these past years during Nanowrimo. Not that Nanowrimo has been hard these past years, that is not what I meant to say by that statement. During those November’s I was on a roll and nothing could stop me. But in December doubts started to roll around and I knew that I could improve the stories I was working on by changing a lot of different smaller and bigger things.
Where I made my biggest mistake last year
This is what happened last year. I had the idea for my story pretty much thought out, however not much of it was really planned out. I choose a point on my time line which was too far back – before the action. So when I reached the end of November and also that magic 50k line I was still getting into the story. The build-up was too slow and took way too long. It wasn’t bad, I got to develop some of the characters in depth – which I am sure I can use to my own benefit this year but not in the way I wrote it last year. More as background info and a better understanding of the characters I’m writing about.
That was a huge mistake I made, I could have thought it out better – took more time to go over the details polish it up before November. I didn’t, partly because I never before took the time to plot before I started working on a story. I read the book ‘Outlining your Novel’ by K.M. Weiland and as I said in my review of the book it helped me to get a better understanding of the process.
You have to start where the action is, grab the focus of the reader and keep them interested. I have been thinking about my story idea this past year and due to that reason I have also decided to change another significant character drastically. Last year my character ‘Ezra Miles’ was my main characters best friend. He took care of her and basically cared for her because she needed the help. However during this year I have decided that he’s going to be the exact opposite, he is actually one of the people who makes her life even more difficult. Reason for that is that I belief that it will make for a more interesting and surprising story.
What I’m changing this year
For instance yesterday I wrote the premise sentence for my story. Which I formed due to the answers I wrote down following the questions from the ‘Outlining your Novel workbook’ written by K.M. Weiland (which is also part of my Reading Challenge – there will be a separate review for this book). This premise sentence says enough, without revealing too much. Although I do think that it’s still a little bit too lengthy, but that’s okay I can live with that.
Silver Lining (working title)
Ainsley McCallum (protagonist) wants nothing more than to be a normal member of society. Instead she’s been living on the edge of her community (situation), because she never received her ‘sign’. When she finally gets her ‘sign’, she almost wishes that she never had (disaster) because she finds herself being chased by the Watchers (opponent). They want to stop her from reaching the people who might be able to give her the answers she’s seeking (objective).
Premise sentence – Nanowrimo 2015
I’m going to work through the book, see what I can use from it and if something doesn’t work for me I will see what I can change to get on with the work. I love it, I thought that plotting would be boring that it would take the fun out of the experience but so far it has been great. Although of course the real test follows in November. Will it still be fun to actually work on the story? Or am I going to be so done with it that I can’t get any real writing done?
I really hope that it doesn’t come to that, because with the year from hell that I have behind me I need November to be extra fun! And I really hope to accomplish something during November so that when I look back at this year I have something to look back on with a smile.