Okay, besides drive and motivation and writing around the clock for thirty days, what’s one of the best ways to achieve success in NaNoWriMo?
Start with a solid plan. Because I’m pretty much an obsessive planner, (Virgo… helloooooo!) I approached this pretty much the way I do any large project. I started with a plan. I had the pieces in place that would help me get through thirty days and thirty nights of writing. I’m also an engineer (see Virgo) which means I like working from blueprints and specification. No flying by the seat of the pants for me.
Before I started out on, HAUNTING CHARLESTON, the second novel in my Phoenix Worthy series, I had a full outline completed, all 37 chapters of it. I have character worksheets so I don’t have to guess at characterizations and can easily go back to find out anything I need to know about any character.
I am scary organized.
I want to take this opportunity to give a big shout-out to the FREEMIND mind-mapping freeware used to manage the outline, locations, characters, plots and sub-plots, all in one handy little application.
(Did I mention it was free?)
Freemind has radically changed the way I approach outlining and documenting a writing project. It’s very quick and easy to build a plan and stick with it. It’s also a breeze to shift gears and make changes mid-stream. You can move stuff around by the old click and drag method. Thank you to the folks at Freemind for a very simple software product.
I’m not against writing for the sheer joy of it. Without a plan or prior thought, you’ll sometimes end up with a rough draft worth revising. ~ Elizabeth Lyon