Yes, I am a NaNoWriMo virgin. I've written 7500 words in one night, so 50k over the course of a month shouldn't be a big deal, right?
Wrong. If they were meaningless words, it wouldn't be a big deal at all, but I have a very ambitious novel that I think the world needs to read, and am going to use NaNoWriMo as an Ares rocket to strap my premise to and fire it off into the ether.
This is also my first full length novel, and it will likely end up being longer than 50000 words when done. At this point, I already have 7500 in the can (three chapters), and have decided for continuities sake to try to adhere to 2500ish words per chapter.
I have an outline (more of like a guideline) that would seem to indicate that the finished novel should be around 21 chapters. 21x2500=52500, but there is alot of material that I have added in handwritten notes to the end of my outline (to be woven into the plot), so I'm looking to be closer to around 30 chapters when all said and done.
I say this not because the word count grand total is such an important measuring stick, but to give you a primer to understand what a large jump this novel will be for me in terms of the length I am stepping up to. Judgment Cove was around 18000 words. Where I Can't Follow was 7000.
So, professionally I have one Novella and one Short Story to my credit. To ensure that this novel avoids the clutches of becoming an unholy mess, I've come to the realization that I need a game plan. Not being much of a "Plotter", I've decided to plot out my novel in a new way to help me stay organized. I am going to use yWriter5, a free program created by Simon Haynes (who I recently ran into on Google+).
Each Chapter allows you to incorporate a Description, which I am going to use as a means to divvy up the list of bulletpoints that I had been working on. I will copy the bullet points that applies to each chapter into their respective Description boxes, and that way I only have to remain on task within the confines of that chapter, and can concentrate more on producing word count and layering in the ambiance of the world.
The Description entry for Chapter 3 (A rough draft of which can be found elsewhere on this site) goes as follows.
+Miles meets Skyler at their favorite Internet Cafe
+Skyler give Miles his birthday present early, a sideARM
+a sideARM is a mobile computing platform with Augmented Reality contact lenses and an ear peice
+Skyler expresses confidence in Miles, that he will find a way to save his mother.
+Miles explains that he has tried all legal options
+Skyler tries to get him to pursue illegal ones, offers his help.
+Miles tells him no.
+The two begin to explore the capabilities of the new system.
Again, pretty straightforward. yWriter is a great application, and it affords even more controls to manage your plotline, character building and more. Plus, I am a big supporter of Free and Open Source Software, and try to support it every chance I get. If you decide to try it out, the software is of course free, but if you like it and produce something sellable with it, I'm sure Simon wouldn't object to a contribution to his Paypal account via the links on his site ;-)
So, there is my very simple (KeepItSimpleStupid) plan to tackle NaNoWriMo. I have a ton of writing ahead of me, but if what I have outlined is any indication, it is going to be a great book, one that I can't wait to read myself after I get it all out on screen (But I'm sure I will get my chance with endless rewrites, lol).
I hope you decide to check back often throughout the course of November to check in on my progress (I will be adding a NaNoWriMo widget to this blog, I just haven't picked out a place for it yet).
About Chris Godsoe