How I’m Writing a 30-Day Novel – Introduction

Welcome to July and the second half of 2014. Already.

Among other things, July is Camp NaNoWriMo month. For participating writers, it’s a time to write as much as possible as fast as possible in the company of thousands of other writers from around the country and around the world. Writers choose their own projects and set their own word count goals. Anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 and beyond.

Camp NaNoWriMo logo

I’m participating.

I’m starting a new project.

Unlike most of my writing projects, I’m starting from a dead stop with next to no planning and I’m hoping to have a complete (or nearly complete) novel by the end of the day July 31.

In other words, I’m writing pretty much by the seat of my pants.

The Reason for This Series

Anyone who has followed my blogging for any length of time knows that I’m a big advocate of planning novels. Methods vary from writer to writer and my methods vary from novel to novel (or nonfiction book to nonfiction book). Over the last year or so, I’ve written about various aspects of novel planning including single-sentence summaries, turning points, and paragraph summaries.

But planning a novel before writing it hasn’t always been my preferred method. Back in the day, if an idea came to mind, I wrote it down and started with whatever part of the story the idea concerned. Sometimes, it was the beginning, but more often, it was a moment of crisis. I wrote the final scenes first for more than one story.

I haven’t done that for a long time and I’ve never chronicled the process. So having this new idea take shape as it has and with Camp NaNo looming on the near horizon, it seemed like the perfect time to start a series on writing intuitively. Or writing by the seat of your pants.

What You Can Expect From This Series

The first thing you should expect is a little bit of incoherence from one post to the next. After all, I will be talking about intuitive writing and intuitive writing doesn’t often follow a linear path so there will be some jumping around from one part of the story to another.

Beyond that, I’m going to chronicle the writing of my Camp NaNo project. The working title is The Candidate  and it’s a political thriller. I’ll tell you more about it in the next post.

But there is another story lurking just under the radar and it’s also seat-of-the-pants. Very seat-of-the-pants. I’ll be featuring it when it fits into the context of the discussion, even though it isn’t officially part of my Camp NaNo work because the way it’s taking shape illustrates one of the prime advantages and disadvantages to writing by the seat of your pants.

The 30-day novel series will also be presented in two parts. The first four posts will hit the highlights of my pre-Camp NaNo activities. I’ll talk about scene descriptions, character sketches, and note keeping, among other things. These posts will be published throughout July.

The second part will be a report on the Camp NaNo experience itself. I’ll talk about successes and failures, high points and low points. I’ll publish these in August as a look back on the month that was July.

Conclusion (And Disclaimer)

This method is not for everyone. It’s like walking a high wire with no safety net. If you’re more comfortable planning before you begin writing, that’s okay, (though I still hope you’ll share the journey with the rest of us.)

For all of you pantsers, I hope you’ll participate in the discussion. No method of writing is perfect for everyone and that includes intuitive writing. If nothing else, you’ll get a good idea of just how flexible it can be.

And I hope you’ll share your pantser experiences, too. That way, we can all learn from each other.

So that you don’t miss a post (it is summer, after all, with a big holiday, too), go ahead and subscribe to Indie Plot Twist here. That way, you’ll have notification of every new post in your inbox. Besides, you’ll also get our free eBook!

Next time, I’ll introduce the star of this series and the under study and share the getting started process for each one. See you then!

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