Is Nanowrimo for You?

NaNoWriMo IconUnless you live under a writing rock, you’ve probably heard about National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo).  Hundreds of thousands of writers band together to complete their novel in 30 days. It can be a great way to really focus on completion.

It’s also a great exercise in planning. As we’ve mentioned, there are, in general two types of writers: pantsers and plotters. The first type sits down and lets ‘er rip. The second is a meticulous planner, often with reams of paper devoted to character sketches, image boards, and plot lines. Many successful authors achieve a balance between the two.

For pantsers, the hard work begins after they get the first draft down. They may find themselves written into a corner, or with many stray sub-plots that go nowhere, not to mention problems with character development. Plotters must do a great deal of planning in October to be ready to hit go on November 1st.

Neither way is wrong. What doesn’t work is forcing yourself to be someone you aren’t. If planning makes you upchuck, don’t do it. Hate feeling out of control and rework? Plot your little heart out. Or develop a way that strikes a medium between the two. Your style may change over time. I used to be a dedicated pantser, but found I couldn’t produce quality work using that method.

Whoever you are, take a look at Nanowrimo and see if it can be a tool to use to get the first draft or last half of your book complete. Then give thanks for your dedication!

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