Outlines, Deadlines, and NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of year again! That moment when I start really pushing the writing stuff and getting words on paper and all that. National Novel Writing Month begins in just a few short weeks and I’ve been happily fixing up my outline for a horror/supernatural novel.

If you’ve never heard of National Novel Writing Month then I encourage you to check them out. The contest is basically against yourself and the clock, trying to get 50,000 words written during the month of November. I’ve participated for several years now and have loved it every year … even if I often fail.

Witch-Born was written during NaNoWriMo in 2008, actually. (It’s on the side bar!)

But wait! I’m still working on Dead Weight, the sequel to Tapped. Will I be done in time for November 1st?

Why yes, yes I will. Because I am sitting at 10 chapters left in that rough (so very rough) draft. And because it is a rough draft I can totally put things like “Good Lord, Aimee, edit the crap out of this section” in the margins and move on.

So worry not! I will undoubtedly meet my deadline.

And while I’m at it, I’ve been working on the outline for the NaNo project, which has been titled Ashwood.

Pardon me as I do an excited squeal about this particular project. Ashwood is a horror/supernatural/romance thing and I’ve already done the second pass on the outline for it. I’ve been collaborating with another writer, Brendon Mann, who has helped shape the outline of this book and will be aiding me with all the male POV scenes.

Speaking of Brendon, he acted as a bit of a last-minute Beta Reader and Copy Editor for Persona, which I had scheduled to be released in December of this year. However, after he finished the novel he insisted I try another pass at the traditional market, so I’ve sent out several more queries with different publishers and agents.

We’ll see if any of them request a full manuscript. If they do, the projected publication date of Persona will obviously be put on hold until said publisher has made their decision. (Thank you, Brendon, for forcing me to try again. I seriously hate writing a synopsis and things, but at least I can say I gave it another go.)

In the meantime … I’ve got a list of things to help me survive National Novel Writing Month …

  1. COFFEE. Lots and lots and lots of coffee.
  2. Creamer to go in the coffee because, let’s face it, black coffee is gross.
  3. A new coffee mug, only to be opened and used after I make the mid-way point of the novel. (Reward systems are important.)
  4. Ranch flavored Corn Nuts – because I’ll make sure to feed my kid, but I’m likely to forget to eat myself.
  5. Notebooks, note cards, pens and pens and pens – so that I can write the last line I’ve typed down and then carry it with me to work and things. That way I can get more stuff down on my lunch break and whatnot.
  6. … I have to buy all the Thanksgiving stuff now, because I will be a bit of a zombie through the month of November and am likely to forget important things like pie. (Seriously. If I forget the pie this year, my son might flog me.)

I’m sure I’ll think of some more things between now and November 1st, but for the moment this list will do. If you’re going to try NaNoWriMo this year, I’d love to hear what tricks you do to keep yourself productive, awake, and somehow function as an adult at the same time.

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3 thoughts on “Outlines, Deadlines, and NaNoWriMo

    1. It took me a long time to develop that strategy, but it really seems to work for me. Not sure it’d work for everybody, but hey … I think the first dozen books or so we’re still hunting for how things work for US as writers.

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