Cross-posted at Today, I Read…
In less than a week, the mass month-long caffeination of hundreds (possibly thousands) or writers worldwide will begin. Yep, I’m talking about National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, where the participants are asked to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days’ time.
Impossible, you say? Not so. Last year I won, even if the 50,000 words I managed to churn out amounted to nothing more than a coaster made of recycled trees. (Yes, I really am using last year’s novel as a coaster right at this very moment.)
But learning from past experience, this year, I’m going in with (more of) a plan.
My brain likes structured chaos—you know, the stuff that looks like a hodgepodge but is really organization in disguise—and highly visual stuff—big and colorful so I can’t miss it.
The light bulb flickered on for me when I saw the extra 24×36 in. poster frame I had stashed in the corner of my room. I thought, “Hmmm, that’s big enough to fit a whole bunch of bright colorful stuff on. (sound of mental gears grinding.)” Story collages, mind maps, the magna cartas, inspirational quotes…a calendar…all smooshed together.
BAM! The NaNo board idea was realized.
With the easy part of the way, it’s a matter of figuring out how to implement it. (Wish me luck.) Here’s the blueprint so far:
- Epicenter = mind map. A few months ago I came up with a story idea and drew up a mind map on an 9×12” sheet of paper.
- Calendar below. I was going to create my own, but finding a link to all the NaNoWriMo calendars on deviantART saved me the trouble. (I printed out a fun one with coffee stains and quotes.)
- Magna cartas on either side. No Plot? No Problem? (links to my review) discusses creating two magna cartas (aka lists), one detailing everything you like in a novel and the other detailing everything you hate.
- Inspiration on the fringes. Pictures, other images, and words that relate to my story and help keep me in my inspired happy place while writing. (In other words, shinies in collage form. Looks like all those magazines I’ve saved since 2006 will finally come in handy.)
During the next few days, I hope to finish, in addition to the chaotically structured NaNo board, my novel folder which will include character dossiers, location samples (i.e. maps, descriptions, random town facts), and fleeting bits of dialog.
When it’s all set up, I’ll be sure to take pictures and update.
Meanwhile, I need writing buddies. Hit me up please.