Camp NaNo: Should You Outline?

Camp NaNoWriMo is slowly approaching. Hopefully you know what you’re going to write at this point. If not… then I think you need to go get some writing done.

If you do, then that’s great! So what should you do next? You have two options:

1. You can outline your novel.
2. You can twiddle your thumbs until April arrives.

Everyone should know by now that I love outlines and I plan my novels all the time. However, not everyone works that way. Some people are planners and others are pantsers–the people who twiddle their thumbs until April and then free-write the moment NaNo begins.

Do you like following a plan? Do you like mapping out your world? Setting the scenes? Explaining small details about the characters? Then you should probably outline your novel.

Would you rather make things up as you go along? Do you want to get to know your characters as you write the novel? Then you should probably wait for April.

Everyone works differently. Everyone writes differently. Aside from getting that first draft finally done, I think that’s one of the major points of NaNo: figuring out your way of writing.

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Mind Blown

Ready To Be Confused…?

 

First things first: I lost count of my word count. Seriously, I thought I was doing really well with the word count and keeping up with it, but I just calculated everything out and I was about 4,000 words off. The word count on here was higher than what my calculator said. So I decided to change it. I’m adding the words from Take Over, Saving Each Other, Seeing Things, and so far of The Blank Page because that’s really all I have written for 2013. So the word count is a little less, but oh well. I think I might have gotten confused because of the NaNo count, as well.

That’s not what I meant by the confusion, though. Although I am pretty confused about the word count, but whatever. What I was going to mention about being confused is the fact that I am trying to write four books at one time right now. Yes.

I have been trying to stick with one book at a time to make it easier on myself and to force myself to be more organized. So far, it’s been working. The only thing is that I have Seeing Things started, but I plan on finishing that as soon as I finish The Blank Page.

Speaking of the The Blank Page…you know how that novel is about three writers getting together once a week to write their own novels? Well, three novels plus The Blank Page, equals four novels. There you have it. I am going to be writing four novels at once.

When I first started writing The Blank Page (before my flash drive died) I thought about writing their novels along with the real one because I thought it would help me keep track of their progress, figure out their own writing styles and habits, and I could get their plots straightened out. I never did, though. I don’t know why and I got confused a lot and there were a lot of holes in The Blank Page…holes that my characters found and jumped through as I tried to continue on with the novel. So not only did I have no idea what was going on, but they decided to play hide-and-seek on me…and I lost.

So I decided to write each novel as I write The Blank Page. It’s going to be tough, but I think I will be able to get through it. I hope I can, anyway. It’s tough right now because I gave each of them their own way of thinking on how to write a novel. For example…

Adair is writing fantasy. She doesn’t know the title of her novel and she doesn’t think. She just writes whatever comes to her mind because to her, editing is when the real writing begins so the first draft is going to be crap no matter how well she writes it. She just wants to get the editing process sooner rather than later. Her novel is single-spaced, but she still has more pages than the boys because she types a lot faster.

Justin is writing a young adult drama and he is the complete opposite of Adair. He knows the title and he thinks a lot. He has a notebook filled with notes and, outlining for this novel. He knows the exact beginning, middle, and end to his novel to make sure that he doesn’t get stuck behind writer’s block. He hates editing, which is another reason as to why he plans it all out. He also types really slowly to try not to make too many mistakes to make editing easier, as well. His novel is double-spaced “as it should be.”

Dominic, in a way, is a mix of Adair and Justin. He came in not even knowing the genre. Apparently, he has written mystery, suspense, and thrillers before, so he decided to write a mystery after Adair told him to. His is double-spaced, but still has the least amount of pages. He doesn’t plan, as he didn’t even know the genre, but he hates editing. He has no idea what the title is and he has no idea where the plot is going to end up. He doesn’t even really have a plot at the moment.

So as you can tell, it’s a little tough because I have to write two novels entirely from scratch and I have to plan out Justin’s novel. Well, I don’t have to, but I want to. It’ll be a good exercise to step into my characters’ shoes and get to know them a little more. I’m just a little afraid of what I might find.

 

2013: 119,319/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

“The Blank Page” Characters

Adair’s A Freak, Justin Lives Under A Rock, And Dominic Is Actually Normal…

 

Can we talk about my characters for a minute? I wrote half of chapter four today and I quickly realized how…interesting (for lack of a better word) my characters are.

In chapter four, Adair bothers the two boys to read a little of their stories to each other so they can see what each other has so far. I have quickly realized that all of chapter four they’re just going to be talking about Adair’s novel. Each chapter is their next meeting, which is only an hour and a half long. With the conversation they’re having about Adair’s novel, there is no way they’re going to be able to talk about all three novels in an hour and a half. Especially since when they started talking about her novel, they already only had an hour left.

In my last post I mentioned that I might plan our their novels a little bit. Well, I forgot to do that and I remembered when I was crawling into bed. So needless to say, I never planned out their books. As I wrote chapter four, I made everything up as I went along. I had Adair read her opening sentence and ask the boys what they thought about it. Well, I can tell you what I thought about it…it was crap. I read it over and over and over again and I said to myself, “Adair is completely weird.” I wondered what goes on in her mind and then I realized…Adair is me. I’m the one who wrote that sentence for her.

Justin rewrote the sentence for her, which came out a lot better, but Adair was pissed because her sentence was 41 words long and Justin’s re-write was 24 words. Then Justin was appalled because he can’t believe her biggest concern is the word count. And Dominic is just sitting there, along for the ride because he doesn’t want to get involved because he’s smart and normal.

But then Dominic and Justin both grilled her about this novel because it is the strangest thing ever. This is what we found out about the novel: Cerridwen is the main female, Zindel is the main male, the novel is in Zindel’s POV, they live in a forest, the plot of the novel is that the forest is in trouble and Cerridwen and Zindel need to save it, Victor is the bad guy, Cerridwen has the power of earth because she apparently is not human and evolved from a plant…which is why she has vines attached to her hair, and Zindel has a power, but we don’t know what it is, yet. Completely strange/ridiculous/I don’t even know what to call it, right? So Dominic and Justin are trying to make sense of this whole novel and are hoping that she changes it drastically. I’m just sad because my mind was capable of coming up with something like this.

Then throughout the whole chapter, Justin is freaking out about the names. I had Adair use obscure names because that’s just something she would do. But Dominic keeps pronouncing them wrong and Justin is just angry because Adair has names like that when she made fun of him for naming his main character John. Plus, Justin is wondering why the bad guy, Victor, has a normal name. On a random note: Justin lives under a rock. So far throughout the novel, Adair has mentioned Mario and Princess Peach, Link and Zelda, and The Sims games. He had no idea what she was talking about for all of them. He is a 27-years-old man and has never played video games…there is something wrong with that picture.

And the chapter isn’t even over, yet…

So, like I said…interesting characters, right? There certainly is never a dull moment with these guys. I have to give them some credit though because they really are fun to write.

 

2013: 13,193 Words

Day 27

28334/50000 Words

Lookie! Lookie! Look at the word count!

Ha ha, I tricked you…it’s still the same.

But this is okay…even though I only have, what? Three days left?

Let’s start with this: The reason as to why I haven’t posted on here in a while is because I went away for the Thanksgiving weekend. I hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving, by the way. 🙂 The other reason is because, as you can clearly see from the word count, I have not written anything in a while. This is why:

I went onto my computer and I opened up Saving Each Other last week or whenever it was. It is right at the spot where my outline ended. I also noticed that I tried to write a little past the outline. I have three paragraphs about Blake waking up and being bored while Sierra and Luke are still sleeping. Wow! What an interesting read! As I’m reading this I’m trying to think, “Where was I going with this…?” Absolutely no where! So I told myself that while I was away, I would bring my outline and write a little more in it. Then I realized that I don’t know where this book is supposed to end. Saving Each Other is the first novel of five…or six. I’m pretty sure it’s five, though.

While I was away, I was actually a tiny bit productive because I planned out the gist of what is going to happen in each of the other books. So I realized where Saving Each Other is going to end so I can pick up where I left off on the next one. I started to write a little more of the outline again, but I didn’t get very far. I just kind of came to the conclusion that I’m at the climax of the story, so I really don’t think that I have too much more to write. It will be over 50K words, but I don’t know if it will make it to…say 100K or something obnoxious like that.

Anyway, now that I know what I’m going to be doing for the rest of the story; well, I guess I should say I know where to stop, I finally feel like I can continue. My only issue is that I have a little over 20K more words to write and I have three days to do it. I have school work, finals are sneaking up, I’m still working, and all that fun crazy stuff. I looked on my stats on NaNo and it told me that I have to write a little over 5K a day in order to finish on time. Well, this is going to be an issue because it’s the end of the semester and all my professors are realizing that they have a lot more stuff to teach us.

I guess this just means that I’m going to be staying up late for the next few nights. 5K a day isn’t actually that bad. I have done it before. But I don’t think I had school at the time. So I’m going to procrastinate on my homework–I’ll leave all that for December first to do–and I’m going to write in my two-hour break in between classes today. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to write at all tonight (long story short, my friend’s cat burned her paw and my boyfriend is the only person we know with an aloe plant). Tomorrow is Wednesday and I have no idea if I’m going to have any time to write. My sister and I have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword a lot lately and we’ve almost beaten the game. She actually has the day off on Wednesday from work so after my school and my work, we’ll probably be playing that all night. Thursday, I think I’ll be good because I just have one class so I can write while I’m in school, then after work I have the rest of the night. Friday…I’m screwed. That’s the last day to get anything in and I’m not going to be home at all that day.

So I basically only have two days to write (well, I could skip playing Zelda, but we all know that’s not going to happen…Link’s too adorable!) and if I have to write a little over 5K a day, then I guess that means I have to write a little over 10K a day. This is going to be an interesting challenge…I also realized the other day that if I really did write 2K words a day this whole month, I would have ended with 60K. Now in the next few days, if I happen to make it to 60K that would be completely awesome. However, I think I’m only going to focus on the 50K. If I go over, that’s cool. I’m not going to blind myself by the computer screen. Well, I guess I already will be by trying to get to 50K.

On a different note, but I guess it can be half-different because this could be another reason as to why I haven’t been writing lately. I came up with yet another series. I’m not surprised though, I always come up with a million ideas that I never finish…or sometimes even start. But I have to say that I really like this idea and it may just be the next thing that I write. I wrote it down plus with a few ideas for it so that I don’t forget it. However, I am not going to say anything about it now because I know that I’m going to end up wanting to write that today instead of writing Saving Each Other.

As stated earlier, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and weekend and I’ll hopefully update tomorrow with whatever I write today. Wish me luck and I hope all of you aren’t as behind as me! 🙂