Another year, another NaNo. In the seven years that I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, I have only finished two stories, neither of which I have published in any capacity. I’m still waiting for that one story that I could really polish up and turn into something I would want to have out there. Last year, I had a plot that I liked and that I had plotted the main points out… and then I ran out of story about halfway through. I’m hoping to avoid that this time around, and have more of a plot structure made for the story along with more vague ideas that I’d like to use. Still very much a Planster – a planner who wings some of their story.
As with previous NaNos, I’m only going for the 50,000 word goal. I may be a little more ambitious in the future, but 50k is more than enough to try to crank out in a month for me. I will also need to schedule time to finish up holiday crafts (embroidery and crochet) so that I’m not trying to do them all within the first couple weeks of December. This month has been a lot of research for the background details of my story, as it’s set in present day Ireland and I’ve never lived there. I rarely write anything outside of romance or erotic romance for my NaNos, this year is no different.
I feel like my writing – either original or fanfic (which I write considerably more of) – tends to straddle the romance/erotic romance line. With the majority of my original fiction, the sexual relationship isn’t the primary focus of the plot. This disqualifies it from truly being in the erotica category, although the sex scenes fit. On a 1-to-5 heat level, I’d call it a solid 4 because of the detail involved in those handful of scenes. A “steamy” romance, if you will.
Since I’ve become a planner nerd, I’ve set up a NaNo tracker that I adapted from others like Boho Berry. I own a personal size planner, so unfortunately Kara’s printable doesn’t quite work with what I have. My planner style borrows heavily from bullet journaling techniques (I’ll make a post on that some other day), and it keeps everything in one place for me as well as serving as a backup for my Calendar app and other digital trackers. Never hurts to have a backup.
On top of having an outline, a way to keep track of your progress and take notes, I find that music really helps me write. It can’t just be anything, it has to fit the mood of what I’m working on. My “Slow & Sexy” playlist features a lot of chill hop/downtempo style music like BANKS, Massive Attack, and Portishead.
A very good thing to keep in mind is that it is okay if you don’t finish. I’ve beat myself up too much in past NaNos and it’s not worth the stress. Reaching your goal is always great, but if you don’t – that’s fine. Just try again another year. I didn’t finish my story last year, so this year I’m giving a new story idea a shot.
Best of luck to everyone participating this year.