I’ve signed up to do NaNoWriMo again this year and that’s set me thinking about planning.
I’ve had a few goes at NaNo before but have yet to win. I’ve enjoyed the experience but have struggled to sustain the writing. This year I thought I’d be more organised and plan my novel properly before I started. However I’ve been struck down with some ill health and have left things hanging. I’ve managed to do a little planning – character types, basic idea for story, setting – but not a proper plan.
Now here’s my dilemma. I have done a proper plan for a novel that is sitting on the hard drive. It stands at 18,000 words but is not feeling the love at the moment. Since I went to the writer’s group and got some feedback I’m not sure that it’s going the right way and I need to think it out. This means I’m wondering whether to plan my NaNo novel or ‘pants’ the thing. I’m quite happy to write this way so it holds no fear. I’ll make my mind up at some stage but again this has got me thinking about whether I’m a planner or a pantser.
I know that there are positives on both sides. With a proper plan I know where my story is going and can write any part at any time. I can write the ending first if I want to – rebellious or what? But the novel with the plan is stalling and I’m not sure I believe in it anymore. If I write with no plan I feel freer and the story seems to flow. I can let the story develop as it wants to and I can change things as I go along.
So what should I do for NaNo? Do I force my tired cold-ridden brain to do a proper plan for the novel or do I just start writing on November 1st?
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