(This post was originally written on 750words.com. It has been edited.)
This novel is really coming together. I’m getting really excited about it. So excited, in fact, that I just officially signed up for NaNoWriMo. It’ll be my very first time. I’ve watched it from the outside, but never even thought about attempting it. I’ve never had much luck writing long things. The longest continuous story I’ve ever written is barely over 7 thousand words. Characters have always come easy to me. Settings and scenes and dialogue. I can do that stuff, no problem. It’s coming up with enough plot to sustain a narrative into the double digit thousands that I’ve struggled with my whole life. But I think I can do it this year. That’s the goal. NaNo in November, but a decent first draft by the end of the year. I’ve got almost three months. The rest of October, I get more pages stuck up on my wall. Lots of plot planning and character backstory and scene lists. Maybe do some fantasy casting and sketches. Read some similar books; watch some movies. Read more Shakespeare. Make sure that the idea doesn’t change anymore.
In 2008, I wanted to do something like NaNo. I knew I couldn’t do NaNo, but I wanted to challenge myself. Just 250-500 words a day. No big deal. It turned into a huge deal. I ended up writing more than 20 thousand words that first month. And then we kept going until July. It was amazing. But it’s still only fan fiction. Now, I want to do it for myself. For money. I know I can get halfway to a NaNo novel. I don’t know if I can do 50 thousand, but I’m certainly going to try. There’ll be days I just barely write my 750 words that I need to do here. And there’ll be days I break 2 thousand. It’ll even itself out. I hope.
Before I go to sleep tonight, which I’m going to pretty early, because tomorrow is a long day, I want to reread that 2008 epic. Remind myself that tiny scenes can make up a big story. Because that’s how I’m going to get this novel written. Now that it’s feeling settled, I think I can get a list of scenes down. That’ll be the big job for the rest of October. Bits of writing, but not much. Saving the word count for November. This is all about the planning. Getting the thing in stone because it can’t change anymore.