Checking In; part 2

We are now into the second half of October; a month which for me—like many other writers around the world—means preparations for NaNoWriMo.

I began planning this year’s entry in earnest at the start of the month [see my earlier post] and have been working toward a solid plan to take with me into November.

For me, planning writing has not been an easy task. The differences between planning something creative and planning an essay or a case study are profound. I’d not attempted to plan a piece of fiction in advance before, so this has been a steep and surprising learning curve for me.

However, I believe that the effort has been worthwhile. I have finished the basic outline that I mentioned in my earlier post. I’ve even found time to write out a few notes on scenes I may—or may not—include in the draft. There are also a selection character and scene sketches I’ve hashed out along the way, both giving me a more confident footing as I approach the start of November.

The one thing that has surprised me most is how liberating I’ve felt whilst planning this story. All authors have their preferred approach to planning; some like to work from beat sheets, some from plot points, others prefer to follow a character-arc [such as The Hero’s Journey]. The main thing I’ve learnt is that there isn’t a wrong way to begin your plan.

I’ve avoided planning for so long, fearing that it would stifle my creativity and kill the inspiration before it had chance to blossom into a story. What planning has done for me is quite the opposite. It has saved me from running with the first idea I’d had for this year’s NaNoWriMo—an idea that didn’t have enough substance to carry an entire storyline even if I wrote it as a short story, let alone a novel—and instead focused my attentions on one which has more substance to it.

So what is my NaNoWriMo 2015 about? For now, you’ll have to wait and see.

In the final part of my NaNoPlanMo I shall be looking deeper into character relationships, themes, sub-plots and potential plot twists.