It's cold and chilly today and I haven't dared to leave the house yet. That's why it's the perfect morning for the last preparations concerning NaNoWriMo (add me if you're participating, I love having writing buddies --> SalFlorentine).
Many of youz have already blogged about their NaNoWriMo-tactics, offered tips, advice and general encouragement. As a first-timer, I feel I cannot add to the good stuff that's already out there, but here's a list of what I did to get ready for NaNoWriMo - and what I do for any writing project:
Hunting for inspiration
I make a list of things I find interesting and about which I'd like to write a. I look for additional inspiration in the news, history books, and things that happened to me personally.
Picking a subject to write about
The first inspiration that I wanted to write for NaNoWriMo seemed to promise so much fun putting it to paper, but after having outlined the whole thing I felt totally indifferent about the protagonists.
I found a different prompt on my inspirations-list and did another outline. When I came to the point where I needed to find the reason why the murderer had killed a bunch of innocent teenagers on a party I couldn't find one. Plus, the whole storyline was one large cliché.
On to the next topic on the list. Writing down the first outline was like floating. Ideas kept coming.
Everything feels right about this one so I'm going to stick with it during NaNoWriMo.
If I like a story, I write more than one outline.
The first one is pretty rough, it doesn't contain any names or places. I only refer to City A and Person B.
The second outline is more complex. I add names and subplots. Conflicts get more complex.
That's what I did for my NaNoWriMo project, too: write three outlines.
Sometimes I know a character before I know the story. Sometimes I come up with plot and don't know the cast yet.
But no matter what, I always write down some basic stuff about a character.
- What's his/her name?
- Who/what is he/she?
- What's her/his job?/What does she/he do?
- What does he/she want? Why?
- What does she/he fear? Why?
- Details about her family.
- Details about her appearance.
I like the idea of one-sentence blurbs very much. One has to stop and think about a story's basic conflict and sum it up in one sentence only.
Having done all that, I start writing.
What about you? How do you prepare for NaNoWriMo and/or any other project?