In November 2011, I decided to use National Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to focus on writing a short story. Which turned into a novella. Which turned into a novel. Which turned into a part of a series. But not all in one month, but over many months, and after changing my ideas so many times for that story itself and for the series, I’ve decided instead of overwhelming myself with big ideas, I was going to go back to focusing on something small again.
And by small I mean a full-fledged novel to be written in November (as much as I can, anyway). But just one story, and a stand-alone at that. Hopefully. The other started as a stand-alone short story after all…
However, I have a plan and a plot this time. In 2011, I was going in completely unplanned, discovery writing if you will. Which was kind of fun, and it led to a lot of changes. But this time, I know that to write approximately 50,000 words in one month, I’ll have to be focused. I’ve plotted what I can and written bits and pieces, and the rest will have to find me as I go. I already have the end in mind and I feel the two main characters are well established.
And I have to remember the first draft won’t be a masterpiece. And that’s OK.
I’m reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott right now, which has already been so encouraging for me when it comes to writing. I decided I wanted this to be the last book I read before launching onto this novel writing project, and that in November I might not even read anything. I have spent from February to the present so focused on reading and blogging that writing has taken more of a backseat than I have wanted it to. This is to help re-orient myself back to it. I’ve exceeded my reading goal for the year so it feels easier to move on to writing now. So now I just have to take it sentence by sentence, or as Anne Lamott puts it, bird by bird.